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No Autographs, Please

Sign recently installed at Ristuccia Arena asks fans to refrain from seeking autographs at Bruins practices.

Looking for your favorite Bruin's autograph? You may have to look somewhere other than the Ristuccia Arena parking lot.

In about December, the Bruins put up a sign informing the fans attending the team's open practices of a change in policy.

"Autographs are prohibited," the sign reads. "Please note for the safety of our fans players, coaches and staff, a very strict no-autograph policy has been instituted in the parking lot area. Thank you for your understanding."

It is not clear if the change was made due to a specific incident, or just as a precaution. A member of the Ristuccia Arena pro shop declined comment on the policy and deferred questions to Bruins staff members, who were not immediately available for comment.

Several fans on the Wilmington Patch Facebook page weighed in on the pros and cons of the policy. Many readers mentioned the spike in popularity of the team as a reason, as well as an increase in the number of autographs being resold for profit as reasons the change makes sense.

Some of the readers who weighed in mentioned how much the atmosphere around the arena has changed over time.

"Things have changed a lot over the years," said Cherie Pothier. "My sister and I used to go all the time. Everyone was so nice and friendly and they always came outside and spent a lot of their time with the fans. Over the last couple of years they drive out and sometimes stop for the little kids, but as mentioned it's tough because of all the (people) who want autographs to sell on eBay."

Reader Paul Legere said he used to attend Bruins practices frequently, and wonders how much impact the change will have.

"I used to get autographs all the time and just noticed the sign, too," said Paul Legere. "It won't stop the fans."

So what do you think about the change? Do you think it's for the best, or do you think it's unfair to the diehard fans? Let us know in the comment section below.

Stacie February 17, 2012 at 04:28 PM
If it wasn't for fans then there wouldn't be hockey. I was shocked to see the sign, but it doesn't stop people from trying to get autographs. I recall yrs ago, we would go watch them practice and not many people would be there, now you need to get their early just for a seat.
Erika J. February 18, 2012 at 02:45 PM
This is yet another example of the power of money. I went with a friend to a Bruins signing, in which she paid $80 for Brad Marchand's signature, 2.5 seconds of being in his presence, and a picture in which we were yelled at for taking. Meanwhile, we went to the practice where younger kids would run up to Lucic's car and get hats signed for free from a smiling player. I agree with Stacie, where would these players be without the fans?! I guess money talks louder than pride in our favorite team and undying support.

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