There's a ton of talk on the Canes board about what we should do with the third overall pick. I won't get into all of that right now, as I am short on time. However, the highlights are that we'd love to have defenseman Jack Johnson. I don't think he'll be available, and there's a bevy of forwards who lots of teams are droolng over. I think I'd prefer to see Gilbert "Creme" Brule . You can see how TSN Canada rates them all by reading this capsule.
Good news is that the new schedule will focus on generating geographical rivalries. More inter-division games, less traveling overall. Here's how the new schedules will be made:
Each club will play eight games against each of its four division rivals (32 total).
Each club will play four games against each of the 10 non-division clubs in its conference (40 total).
Each club will play 10 inter-conference games, hosting one game each against all five clubs from a designated division and traveling for one game each against all five clubs from a different division. For the 2005-06 season, Northeast Division clubs will host the Pacific Division and visit the Northwest; Atlantic Division clubs will host the Northwest and visit the Central; and Southeast Division clubs will host the Central and visit the Pacific. Division vs. division assignments will rotate annually.
This means that the Canes won't be visiting Nashville. Sorry, Doug. And we won't be hosting the Avs, which is what I was hoping.
We will be playing host to the Caps, Thrashers, Lightning and Panthers 4 times (the old system would have been 3). 4 times I get to see Ovechkin! 4 times I get to see Kovalchuk! 4 times I get to see Martin St. Louis! We'll still host the Pens twice (Crosby two times!).
I guess I like it alright, but it means that there's five teams you won't get to see at all every year. I liked the idea of seeing every team at least once. I understand the idea of trying to generate division rivalries, though.
Oh well, I'm just happy that we're back in business.