A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

game on!

I decided that I was writing too many posts about hockey on my other blog. I started that blog to write mainly about music and movies and stuff like that, but lately it's been all hockey. I thought, rather than bore my non-hockey watching readers with drivel, I'll return that one to its original form. I need a different avenue for my hockey ramblings, and this is it.

I'm excited for the draft lottery, which will be held July 21, which is the same day they're expected to announce that the new Collective Bargaining Agreement has been ratified by the NHLPA. Of course the team who wins the lottery won't need any deliberation in the matter. They'll choose the young phenom Sidney Crosby. There's some talk that he and his father will do his impression of Eli and Archie Manning if Toronto should get that first pick. The Next One's old man is a life-long fan of Les Habitants, was drafted by (but never played for) them, and couldn't bear to see his son play for the dreaded Maple Leafs. This is merely a rumor circulating around the message boards, so I can't find any reliable source for this, but one of those posters had this quotation:
"When you like Montreal, the one team you don't like is the blue and white...He'd go to Toronto, but I can tell you, he wouldn't be happy about it." -- Troy Crosby, Sidney's father and a former Montreal Canadiens draft pick (240th overall in 1984) told Slam Sports in an interview."

I find it strange that these young men (Manning and Crosby) are going to make millions of dollars no matter where they go, and they're letting their daddies dictate whether they accept or reject offers from teams based on their own personal reasons. I think the major sports leagues should tell the parents to respectfully stay out of it. And Eli Manning was old enough to say "You know what, dad? I can handle this", but he didn't. I have to remember that although he's a damned supernova-in waiting, Crosby is still a kid. He may still require some parental guidance, but Troy is being kind of silly. I know team loyalties run deep. And in Canada they run deeper than I could ever imagine. But this just seems so damned silly.

People all over the place are saying it would be bad for the sport if he ends up going to a team in a non-traditional or small market. I say just the opposite. If he ends up going to any team in the south, or to Phoenix, it would be great. By and large, the teams in smaller and non-traditional hockey markets have poorer attendance and sell less attire than their counterparts. What better way to boost attendance and sweater sales in cities that really need it than to have this guy?

We can all talk about it till we're blue in the face. The next two days will be really exciting. The CBA ratification, followed by the lottery, followed a week later by the draft. Then there'll be some announcement about some rules modifications, and the schedule will be posted. I'm really anxious to get back to the games.


Reid said...

I can't imagine he'll have any problem with going to Toronto. I'm sure there have been athletes before who haven't been thrilled about going to a team because of some long-standing rivalry, but I would imagine they get over it pretty quickly. Even is Crosby "isn't happy" about playing with the Maple Leafs, he'll get over it pretty fast.

I can see the point about it being better for Crosby to go to a team with more history, but it's not that it'll be "good for the game", but it'll be good for the NHL. Yes, it would give more attention to that team, but if he ends up being a classic player on a classic team, that's the thing that ends up bringing more people to the sport in general, not just the team. It's kind of hard for those of us who aren't really into hockey to get too excited about teams like the Coyotes or the Panthers. It may have been great for Tampa Bay to win the SC, but, for those of us who aren't that into the NHL, there's absolutely no exciting story in it.

According to Archie Manning, it was Eli's choice to not go to San Diego. I'm sure that Archie had some influence, but he "let" his other son go to a terrible team. Apparently, they had some concerns with the Chargers organization, which, even they're completely wrong, is a pretty reasonable concern to have.

Davis Helms said...

Well, if you're into conspiracies, which I'm not, Crosby will be selected by the Rangers with the first pick overall. That'll put him in the biggest market, and be the most help to the NHL. I'd be fine with him going to NY, if it's a fair lottery win. I think it would help the league. I don't hate the Rangers as much as some, but I'd much rather see him sporting the sightless eye on his chest. That would be good for the 'Canes.

I can't wait for the next few weeks. When the smoke clears the NHL will look completely different. Will Gary Roberts be back with the 'Canes? What about Jason Allison? When will we get to see Andrew Ladd? I love this stuff. The draft is said to be deep this year too. Even those who lose out on Crosby will have some great players to choose from. I'm so glad hockey's back.


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