NHL Al story

What's in Al Snow's closet?

This story has been re-printed with permission from the NHL Players' Association Web site.

 A note to NHLPA members Darren McCarty, Mathieu Dandenault and Ray Bourque. You are in possession of something that WWF superstar Al Snow covets just as much as a win at WrestleMania (April 2nd, at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim).

Snow has recently developed a hobby of sorts that keeps him very busy when he's touring with the WWF. In every city he visits, be it Raleigh or Miami, Snow makes sure he purchases a hockey sweater to add to his impressive collection - one that currently stands at 136. There are a few more jerseys Snow would like to put on a hanger, including that of Red Wings star Darren McCarty.

"I met Darren and Mathieu Dandenault in December of 1998," said Snow, who had spoken with the players after a WWF-sponsored event in Detroit."I got to go down to the locker room and talk to the guys. It was great. I wouldn't mind adding their game-worn jerseys to my collection."

When nhlpa.com contacted McCarty about Snow's wish list, the Red Wings forward was thrilled to hear the WWF superstar had mentioned his name. It should come as no great surprise. McCarty is bona fide WWF fan.

"I love wrestling," said McCarty. "I can't believe Al would want my jersey. He's a really good guy."

It's not difficult to see why Snow and McCarty would have a kinship. Both can easily relate to the other's profession.

"There is obviously the physical aspect that is prevalent in both professions," said Snow, a big fan of the Red Wings."But I think we are similar in that both of us have to be an independent player who works well within the team atmosphere. You take charge when the situation calls."

It's something that Snow has done for nearly two decades on the wrestling circuit. The well-spoken native of Lima, Ohio, is a highly-respected veteran on the WWF scene, looked up to by thousands of fans. In fact, one of his biggest supporters has developed the same penchant for collecting sweaters - Snow's son, Jacob.

It's a sure bet that whenever WWF Raw or any other WWF event is on the tube, you'll find Jacob in front of the television, completely focused on what he's watching. But while he has one eye on the action, the other eye is scanning the arena, more specifically the boards surrounding the ring.

"Jacob always wants to know what city I'm in because he knows I'm going to get a sweater of the team in the area," said Snow, who has donned a hockey jersey on occasion prior to his matches. "He's into collecting sweaters as much as I am."

While Snow has never mastered the art of playing the game ("I guess I should learn to skate before I play"), he marvels at the exploits of those who do. Mention the name Ray Bourque to Snow and the accolades begin.

"Some athletes explode onto the scene and have one or two good years," said Snow, who counts a Team Norway Olympic jersey as one of his most prized possessions. "But not Ray Bourque. He has played a consistent game since he came into the league. He still looks unbelievable after all the years he has competed."

The same can be said for Snow. The wrestler has worked tirelessly at his craft for 18 years, Bourque for 21, and both show no signs of slowing down. Perhaps that is why Snow would love to have Bourque's No. 77 Bruins sweater as part of his collection.

"That would be a great one to have," said Snow. "I have a lot of respect for the way he plays. That certainly would be one I'd love to add."

Who knows? At the rate Snow has been making his acquisitions, it could happen. You can bet that he has three hangers available just in case McCarty, Dandenault or Bourque's jerseys find their way into his hands.

Edge-Bite This-May 8,1999-

C = So Edge, despite the disappointment of the Devils, we know that we'll get down there in Florida this weekend and have some fun....

C = Hey Edge, out of the jerseys you don't have, which one would you like to get?

E = I want the Washington Capitals jersey. I couldn't get my hands on it while we were there. They deny me it every time, so my big one to get, I actually don't have Florida Panthers one yet.

C = But we'll be down there on Tuesday.

E = Yeah that's what I'm thinking.

C = You and Al Snow are always in hot pursuit of the local teams jerseys, who has more?

E = (big sigh) Well, Al Snow, he is a very political person, when it comes to these uh, managers and hockey players so he, uh, might actually have the edge on me, BUT! I have more NHL teams and that's really what counts.

Perhaps the most well-known connoisseur of free merchandise is Al Snow. Not only does Snow often wear (free) Federation merchandise, but his collection of hockey jerseys has been well documented. He has to pay for some of them,but most he gets for free.

Snow also enjoys wearing law-enforcement shirts -- FBI and police departments -- and someone once gave him an actual New York City Police badge. During an interview with WWF.com, Al wears a Submarine Base Bangor hat. He was given the hat last September when he toured the Naval facility in Washington State and re-enlisted a soldier there.

Snow said memories like that are part of the reason that he enjoys getting merchandise.

"Our favorite motto is, 'If it's free, it's me,'" says Snow. "Even if we don't like the T-shirt, if it's free we'll take it. We may never wear it, but damn it, we got a free shirt! And that's all that matters, that free shirt."