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PLAYERS GREET SEASON-TICKET HOLDERS AT SPECIAL EVENT

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes
GLENDALE -- Coyotes season-ticket holders braved the raindrops and the rush-hour traffic on Tuesday and made their way to Jobing.com Arena to visit with players, get their autographs and take photos with them.

Scottie Upshall signs some pennants for a fan on Tuesday.

The gathering is an annual event staged exclusively for Coyotes season-ticket holders. Approximately 1,000 such fans attended this year.

Captain Shane Doan, Ed Jovanovski, Scottie Upshall and their teammates interacted with the season-ticket holders for several hours.

Rick Hayes, 50, regularly sits in Section 209. He said Tuesday's event was special because it gave him the chance to visit with the players and broadcasters in a more intimate setting.

"This is a nice perk for being a season-ticket holder," Hayes said. "It's great to be able to get up close with the players."

Karmalee Thompson, 31, got autographs from Ilya Bryzgalov and Peter Mueller.

"This is my first time (at this event) and it's great," said Thompson, whose tickets are in Section 118. "It's funny because I used to hate hockey. I used to think it was the dumbest sport ever until my mother-in-law brought me to a game last year and now I love it. It's addicting."

Jim Vandermeer signs a program for a fan on Tuesday.
Thomas Ferrier, 15, and members of his family come to the games all the way from east Mesa and sit in Section 112. They made the trip on Tuesday with pleasure.

"This event is really fun," Ferrier said from the end of a line of fans waiting to visit with Doan. "It's really cool to be able to see all the players. I just talked to Jovo, and he signed my phone actually... It's great because all the players have big smiles on their face when you get to talk to them. They look like they're really glad to be here, and it's fun to shake their hand and being that close to someone that you watch on TV. "

EDITOR'S NOTE: Click here to watch a video of this event.
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