Friday, June 26, 2009

Some Reflections on NHL Draft 2009. . .

Well, the highly anticipated 1st round of the NHL draft took its time - it's sweet, sweet time - but 4 hours later it has come to a close.

First of all, I was excited as anything to spend the evening watching the draft, as any hockey fan would be. And I got my takeout =), sat down, and enjoyed myself for...the first hour and a half. I'm not going to lie though. It was very, very long. I am not the only one to mention it.

Last year, it seemed quicker, for one, and that they asked the interviewees more than a single question. I remember being so impressed with Stamkos and Schenn - =) - and all the newly minted draftees.

This year, I feel you hardly got a chance to hear much from them, with the exception of the chosen 3.

And the length of this draft. Even I lost interest towards the end. Too long. And not enough substance.

Perhaps we were all spoiled with the intense feelings of drama heading in, what with not knowing, for sure, the #1 pick, and the potential Heatley maneuvers, and any big trades.

After the Pronger bombshell, there just wasn't much else, it seemed.

Still, I'm never disappointed to spend an evening watching hockey coverage of any kind. Thrilled to be a hockey fan. Tonight is no different.

A few quick and random thoughts from Draft '09:

*Of the chosen three, mind you, Colorado's #3 pick, Matt Duchene is awesome! He designs hockey sweaters, sings, and can apparently beat anyone at a game of "Name what player uses what stick." Awesome! What a great personality. And again, always love the kids going to their favorite teams. It's a nice story.

*You know how I love when hockey people speak French? Yeah. Well Gary Bettman speaking French just doesn't do if for me. And, Gary, it's JOFFrey Lupul not JEFFrey Lupul. Please.

*On the Gary note, I have to admit something. I watched the NBA Draft yesterday. The difference between the fans reactions to David Stern and the fans reactions to Gary Bettman are so amazingly different. Stern is respected. Gary is loathed. Do you think he ever gets used to the boo-ing? Think he's jealous of David Stern?

*The Pronger trade disappoints me on many levels. One practical - Pronger is known for some cheap, dirty crap, and thusly I really don't like him as a player. I will not be thrilled to see him playing in our division. It will however potentially be fun to see the Flyers play the Penguins, Devils, and Islanders. One silly - Joffrey Lupul has such pretty eyes; it's a shame I won't get to see those six times a year.

*Evander Kane going to Atlanta is a great thing. The hockey is for everyone's legit. And hopefully Kane will be a good reminder of that fact.

*My moment of the night was seeing Luke Schenn - in a stylish suit - giving one of his trademark grins when his brother, Brayden, got drafted by L.A. He looked so happy for his brother, even though you can imagine he'd have loved him to be a Leaf too. They "keep each other honest." You all know how much I love Luke Schenn - =) - and it's great to have another Saskatoon boy in the NHL.

*Burke's "mic'd" segments left something to be desired, but the idea was great. There just should have been more of it. Burke is just, well, Burke. I loved his talking about how he could have moved up but he would have had to give up Schenn - the future Leafs captain - to get the #2 pick and he wouldn't have gotten Tavares and, thus, would have looked like an idiot. Oh Burke.

*That Magnus-Paajarvi-Svensson kid that got picked by Edmonton has a website TSN touted. Check it out here.

*We now know that Peter Holland (Anaheim/15th) has a mini-zamboni collection. Gotta love TSN.

*This was the year of the Swedes at the draft where 7 went in the 1st round. I love Swedes. They speak English almost flawlessly, but they still have a foreign flair. And, please, we must all as Rangers fans, appreciate the country that gave us Hankie.

*The Rangers took a young'un at their #19th pick, Chris Kreider. I wanted Carter Ashton. But when they said this kid was going to Boston College and even uttered the name Brian Leetch, I was not going to argue. I'll take it. And remember, with the Rangers, it doesn't mean anything until they actually play for the team. So this name, is just a name for 2, 3, maybe 4 years.

On Rangers Report, here's a quote from the newly drafted Ranger:

“I’m just on cloud nine,” Kreider said. “I’ve been told it’s the greatest city in the world. I’ve never been there but I’m looking forward to it. I have a lot of friends who are Rangers fans.”

The official report on on him.

As for the embarassing moment bit, thinking his team was down a man when they were really 4-on-4; if that's the case, he'll fit in really well with this team.

I jest, I jest. ;)

*And wouldn't it have been nice to have seen him interviewed, like Del Zotto was last year? Understandably though, the world stopped when the Canadiens picked a French-Canadien player. Priorities people. :)

*Carter Ashton - well-spoken, down-to-earth kid from Saskatoon - dropped to #29 and was scooped up by Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay got some niiicee players today.

*Chicken Parm Ray Ferraro said he'd most certainly cry if his son, Landon, got drafted in the 1st round. Will he cry when his son, presumably, gets drafted tomorrow? And you didn't think there was enough mystery in the draft? Hmmm.

Lastly, I'd just like to take a second to say that I thank all that is wonderful about hockey that we, three years in, are still blessed with having TSN footage of this event.

Now that the Awards show is Americanized and we were tortured (rant coming on one of the dog days of summer) with the American footage of the Stanley Cup Final, it is just nice to enjoy the days like Trade Deadline Day, Draft Day, and Free Agent Frenzy Day when we in the States are given the opportunity to see the excellent coverage that those in Canada enjoy every day.

Hockey = Life.

Night all...

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