The St. Louis Blues annual Rink Tour graced local hockey fans at the on Thursday night.
The event, which was sponsored by Verizon Wireless and Dairy Queen brought out current St. Louis Blues players Brad Winchester and Roman Polak as well as former Blues Forward Gino Cavallini. The event was initially scheduled for December 12, 2010 but was rescheduled due to inclement weather.
Fans of all ages came out to interact with the players. Many fans brought their cameras along to get shots with Winchester, Polak and Cavallini. Various different objects were autographed by the players, ranging from youth players hockey sticks' to the shoes of some fans. The Blues' players were happy to oblige, contributing many handshakes and laughs with the crowd.
Josh Melliot, a youth hockey player for St. Peters hockey had the opportunity to meet and greet the Blues players.
“It was really cool,” Melliot said. “I got a picture and they autographed my stick.”
Other fans provided their perspectives.
“We love coming to this,” Rick and Ellen Phelps said. “We've come to these events in the past. It's neat that the players can take the time out of their schedules to come out and sign autographs for the fans.”
The event has become a staple for the Blues to outreach to the community. Angelo Picucci works in the Blues marketing department and was able to provide insight into the positive effects the Rink Tour brings to the communities in which the Blues players and alumni visit.
“The players are able to come out, some of the members of the marketing and sales teams help out in order to get some good publicity for the rinks that we visit,” Picucci said. “The Rink Tours are available to everyone in the area. They provide some great package deals for the fans and us. We're able to get out to the community, the players can get their faces out there to the fans and the kids really enjoy it.”