All the young hockey dudes will be in Columbus, Ohio tonight, hoping that at some point during the infancy of their careers they caught the eye of an NHL scout. They will have their families and friends with them in the stands, and they'll be waiting to hear their names called. Some will wait longer than others. The Hurricanes say that they have 4 to 5 names on their short list of players who might be worthy of using their 11th overall selection on. Jim Rutherford has also hinted that they could trade the pick. These drafts are always exciting, not only because of the drama concerning the youngsters who are selected, but because of the usual plethora of trades that are also involved. Is it possible to have that many NHL general managers in the same room together without them making trades? I doubt it!
During the past couple of weeks, almost every hockey news service has published a "mock" draft. Amazingly, each one of these drafts has the Hurricanes picking someone different! "TSN" has the Canes picking Ryan McDonagh, a slick, puck-moving defenseman who was named hockey player of the year in the state of Minnesota. The "Fourth Period" has the Canes picking Zach Hamill, a strong center who isn't afraid to go to the net. "Fox Hockey News" thinks Carolina will pick Logan Couture, a highly skilled forward who has slipped in the ratings recently due to illness and injury. "SI.com" says that the Canes will draft Kevin Shattenkirk, a defenseman who is another puck moving specialist, who was captain of the USA under 18 team, and who should be a valuable, future quarterback on the powerplay. "Sportsnet" has Carolina picking another defenseman, Keaton Ellerby. Then you have the listing of players that the Canes admit to being interested in which was posted last week. At the top of that list was Angelo Esposito. Do you get the same feeling that I do, that anything could happen? I promised earlier that I would make my own uneducated guess, so I'll do that right now. I predict that Rutherford will trade the pick. How's that for being a killjoy?
Our favorite television network, Versus is supposed to be broadcasting the event tonight starting with a special at 6:30, then following that up with the actual draft which begins at 7. Anyone posting odds on whether or not this gets pre-empted, or bumped, or just plain lost in space? We all know what happened concerning the broadcast of the awards show last week, so nothing will surprise me tonight. Versus seemed to have trouble coming up with excuses to cover for their inadequacies for the last debacle, so I thought I would help them out a bit this morning. I'll provide them with a listing of "Top 10 Excuses as to why the draft coverage was screwed up", right now ahead of time. That way when things go wrong tonight, they can have my list handy and they can just pick an excuse! If people are still angry and refuse to accept that first excuse, then they can always choose or make up another one on Saturday morning. Let's get this started!
Number 10. The "broadcast bus" which caught on fire last week overheated and caught on fire again! Hey, with our budget we can't afford to upgrade our 1973 VW bus!
Number 9. The CBC slipped us an incorrect schedule again. It said June 22nd, 2008.
Number 8. One of the executives, (chimps), in the home office accidentally pulled the plug while jumping in his chair.
Number 7. We are under orders not to televise any NHL event unless Sidney Crosby is present.
Number 6. See number 7.
Number 5. The promoters of the Death Cage Match scheduled at 10 demanded that the match be moved to 7 because the cage was accidentally double booked and was to be used for a political debate at 10.
Number 4. The Kentucky Derby winner was getting his hoofs cleaned, and we thought that might be more important.
Number 3. See number 6.
Number 2. ESPN is intentionally sabotaging the feed to make us look bad!
And the Number 1 excuse..... We just love messin' with hockey people, what can we say? It takes extra coverage away from the rodeo!
Okay, okay, I'm sorry! I'm sure nothing will go wrong tonight!
In other news, as most of you have probably noticed, I inserted some hockey news feeds along the right sidebar. These feeders are great because you can check several sites for updated news in just a few seconds, all at one sitting. I have been using these feeds for quite some time on my own reader, but just recently figured out how to put them on the blog so that we can all enjoy them. I'm doing my best to make this the most informative blog that I can, so if any of you have more suggestions please feel free to let me know! These babies should really come in handy during the next couple of weeks because there's going to be a ton of news and activity. After things quiet down, I'll trim down the numbers because I know there is redundancy.
Finally, as you can see on the Lord Stanley's Blog feed, Bret Hedican is definitely coming back to training camp this fall. As long as he's healthy, I have no problem with that. I'm sure he's going to give it his best shot, Bret is no quitter. We'll just have to keep our fingers crossed that he can play like he did in 2006, and not like he did last year. I've been thinking a little bit about what Jim Rutherford said yesterday about trading for a puck moving defenseman. He said something about trading one type for another type. I hope he isn't considering trading Commodore, that wouldn't sit well with the Caniac Nation. Enjoy the draft tonight and cheers to Versus!
Mott the Hoople