Saturday, June 26, 2004


Blogging the Draft - My Fractured Thoughts

While the draft was playing live on TV, and the Hockeysfuture chat rooms were going crazy, I kept a running log on my thoughts from the Entry Draft. It's not nearly as witty as Bill "Sports Guy" Simmons' similar spiel with the NBA Draft, but I'm not being paid for this :)


Brian Burke:the only way to get players is to draft, trade or sign free agents
(Brilliant, Burkie. Where you really an A student at Harvard Law?)

Burke on Ovechkin: He�s got SKILL, SKILL, SKILL!
(Not just skill, but 3 times the skill!)

"Escapability" - Pierre McGuire's new addition to the English lexicon. Now how about "Puck Dumpability" and "Trapability"?

Burke: Why do they keep thanking the city of Raleigh?
(Thank you Burkie, someone needed to say it)

Cam Barker goes #3 to the Hawks. Now he sas that �oh &$&2� look on his face, as in
"Oh Man, I just got drafted by this godforsaken franchise. I can't wait until I'm old enough to drink"

The hometown Canes make a deal, trading the 8th and 59th picks for the 4th overall.

They pick Andrew Ladd, and he gets some mega cheers from the home crowd. I�m quite shocked he was picked this high�

McGuire just compared Ladd to Jim Sandlak(???). Oh man, that�s flattering�

McKenzie says the coyotes will go �off the board� at #5...and they get Gretzky to make the pick (to a huge standing pop)...and they take BLAKE WHEELER??!?!?
He's ranked 17th by CSS and 44th by ISS. Yeah, they reached all right.
Wheeler also has one more year of High School left. Damn, what was Gretzky tokin? Cactus joints?

Montoya #6 to the Ranger$. Peeps don�t seem to realize that this guy is a whole year older than Schwarz and the other prospects. In prospect terms, one year of development is really a bigger factor than you realize. A lot can happen in a year.

McGuire predicts: Al Montoya will not play for the New York Rangers
(Well, drafting by position is stupid Pierre, so it�s not a bad pick in that respect.)

#7 � Olesz�wow the crowd is dead silent. They must not have a clue who this guy is.

Note to Mike Keenan: Czechoslovakia doesn�t exist anymore

Nice shot of Jackets GM Doug MacLean spitting out his gum...

McKenzie calls Ladislav Smid ml. a Slovak!! But he apologizes right after the Ducks pick him #9 overall. Somebody please get McKenzie a pronounciation guide. Normally McKenzie is damn good, but today he is really off the mark on his analysis and pronounciations.

#10 � BORIS VALABIK to the Thrashees. Of course, McGuire puts in the obligatory Zdeno Chara reference. And then they show Valabik land a monster KO punch on some poor schmuck...The crowd give a big "OOOOOO" in response.

From HFChat: boris valabik once punched a hole in a cow just to see what was coming up the road!

#11 � Lauri Tukonen � The guy looks like a girl in the THN mag and looks like he should be on American Idol. Wow, we�re at #12 and still no Marek Schwarz.

#12 AJ Thelen � The Minnesota native to the Wild. This is a PR move for the Wild, but not a bad pick.

McGuire will be SHOCKED if they don�t take Marek Schwarz at #14, and says it would be a big mistake. So, they pick Devan Dubnyk!!! BAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Imagine an Oilers game 6 years from now
"And another goal through the five-hole!"

Typical Oilers drafting...

McKenzie quoting Milbury: "We won�t take a goalie and we won�t take a European"
So, of course they take a European in Nokelainen.

Milbury won�t even go up to the podium, probably afraid of being pelted by tomatoes.

So Burke says Nokelainen is a �safe� pick. Why is he a �safe� pick? Does he look both ways before crossing the street?

McGuire: If the Blues don�t take Schwarz, they are making a brutal mistake.
WOO!!! Finally !! Blues take Schwarz. A damn freakin� steal and I�m hoppy! If the Blues don�t toss Demitra aside, I can really jump on the Blues bandwagon again.

The stupid hicks boo the Habs for speaking French :). Then they take Kyle Chipchura, no relation to Simon Chipmunk.

Devils trade up for #20 � You know they smell blood. One prospect slipped and they moved up to pick him. Apart from Lance Ward, and maybe Adrien Foster, New Jersey has a great track record.
The chatroom and TSN are both guessing Travis Zajac, the BCHL product, which they do. I don�t think there has been a more predictable #20 overall pick in NHL history.

Wolski � The Polish-born winger is finally taken at #21. I wonder how much higher he would have gone if he wanted charged with assault from a fight at a party.

Burke keeps mentioning that all of these lower 1st round picks �have warts�. Burke, if you have a problem with your feet, please get some Compound W

Now San Jose and Dallas swap a bevy of picks�and San Jose picks #22 � Lukas Kaspar at #22 and McKenzie says "He�s got the hockey hair going". Damn right, Kaspar wins the award for the best hockey hair at this entry draft. Him and Handzus can battle for the best hockey hair in the NHL.

Ottawa Senators get an absolute STEAL in Andrej Meszaros God damn, Slovakia owns Ottawa: Chara, Hossa, Meszaros...yet I can�t get myself to be a Sens fan.

Now they take a headshot of Robbie Schremp, and the poor kid look likes he want to cry.

Calgary Flames have Tod Button make their selection. Great, the spectre of Craig Button lives on. They take Chris Chucko, who seems like perfect bust material for me.

Burke: He�s a project

Translation, he�s got no real hockey skills and he�ll be a bust.

Another headshot of Schremp, he looks like a sad puppy. But then the Oilers take sympathy on the poor kid and take him at #25.

McGuire: I hope he doesn�t end up like Jason Bonsignore.


Canucks up next, and I predict that they will take David Bolland, a 2-way center from the OHL. (BORING!)

Burke: They will go with a project type pick.

Oh god, watch them blow it again.

Well, thankfully no Bolland, but they pick goaltender Cory Schneider. I really did not want the Canucks to spend a first round pick on a 2nd tier goaltender. He played at a blue-blood high school and faced a low level of competition. He�s also ranked #7 in North America for goalies, but played very well at the Under-18�s. Not the worst pick. We�ll see where it goes. ISS ranks him #3 among North America goalies.

Still, it�s better than Devan Dubnyk :)

Burke: [Kiril] "Koltsov has more skill than Jovanovski"

OK Burkie...

Wow, Marc Fistric, who I profiled earlier, gets taken in the first round!! The Dallas Stars take him 28th overall. Fistric is big, good defensively, and strong, but he was slipping on most everybody�s list.

Burke: He�s tougher than a night in jail
(and Burke would know this???)

Wow, I never thought he�d get in the first round. I�m pleasantly shocked!

Last pick of the first round, Andy Rogers, a 6�5� defenseman who weights about 120 pounds and had about 5 points last year. Basically, a big waste of a pick on a tall guy. Lovely.

Well, it�s off to watch the Netherlands beat on Sweden at Euro 2004.

Not the most interesting draft, but it seemed to go fast.

the st louis view.

first of all, Pavol Demitra, the 2-3 million dollar second line forward who was "hoppy" to be in St. Louis was well respected. Yea, he could't check. Yea his defense made him a liablity at center, and yea he routinely disappeared when the real season began. Pavol Demitra the 7 million dollar first line forward with the exact same problems is being shown the door. Hating a city or team for making a change in their outlook of players based on increased responsiblity without increaded results is a mistake. Hell i'd take a stab at nedved int he blue note again as the 3rd line center at third line money. and I'm sure there are an entire leage of players who are universally valable ata 2 million dollar 3rd liner who are unemployed as an 8 million dollar first liner.

paying the 3rd liners first line money is a hugh mistake.

but the Blues are making a lot of them these days. Pleau trades a defenseman that can outskate paul coffey and is a personal pleau 1st round pick for a goaltender that is sub .500 in the ahl. Ok. the golatender is a more developed prospect and also a first round pick. and yea the d-man has a brain that seems to have been to school at "the mike danton institute for thinking yourself out of hockey fast". BUT...

the trade was too early. made almost assurdedly because the scouts and draft team played some d&d and rolled 4d20 and found no tender in their draft future, but a few more d-men were.

low and behold! these crafty demigods of the rpg/simulation world prove the dice wrong, and Pleau has no real recourse but to draft a first round goalie.

THEN he has to go out and trade for a starting goalie.

Pleau has aquired 3 g-man in 3 days and has a team that will snap its playoff run set to take the ice.

Brutal work.

Demitra's departure (as a walk) will be bemoaned as well as bad timing. Did demitra have value once? Almost certianly. he is STILL a scoring forward when partnered with the apprioriate players (last season Demitra need kt, and together they were both great in the regular season. HOWEVER when kt was suspended, demitra disappeared, and once again BOTH of the blues money forwards vanished in round one vs a team they could have taken.)

The blues however are not gun shy with still aquiring eruos, their scouting is headed by a eruo of note, and their drafts often follow predicable paterns that do not avoid euros/russians/ etc.

However the blues have had no true lasting succes with a eruo player since Jorgen made his mark as a wimpy scoring forward (ala demitra). Its russian defenseman experiement appears to be temporaraly over as Sasha is likely never to return, and Demitra will now be show the door without the Blues being able to trade him, even for a 5th rounder. conditional or not.

on the other hand, it is always more interesting to view a team under pressure to win on any night than to watch a dynomo play the regualr season liek it was a warm up. personally i suggest strapping on the seat belt and high def the blues and watching jackman and backman grow up before your eyes.
"...Then they take Kyle Chipchura, no relation to Simon Chipmunk."

that is solid gold!
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