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

Sunday, July 31, 2005

'Canes nab Jack Johnson, a shitload of other d-men

Today was a day that frustrated, or even pissed off many Carolina Hurricanes fans. In the NHL entry draft, we selected defensemen in the first two rounds, made a trade with Columbus to acquire yet another dman, and we "traded" Jeff O'Neill to the dreaded Maple Leafs. I'll start from the beginning.

The Mighty Ducks of Ahaheim¹ started off by making what I thought was a shocking move. They used the second overall pick to select RW Bobby Ryan, a guy most analysts had projected to go fourth. As far as I know, every hockey analyst, every serious fan, every casual fan, even my grandmother who doesn't know the difference between a one-timer and a Buick, thought that the Ducks would take defenseman Jack Johnson. As an aside, I might has well get the "joke" out of the way.
No, not the surfer dude/feel-good folk-rocker Jack Johnson. The hockey player.
He was the consensus "second best player in the draft". The other teams with early picks (and more specifically, the Canes) had been planning their strategy about which of the wonderful forwards they would select.
The pre-draft assumptions were that the Canes would take Gilbert Brule or Benoit Pouliot with the third pick, the Wild would take Ryan with the fourth and Les Habitants would take whoever was still available out of Brule or Pouloit.

When Anaheim threw a Duck wrench in the plan, I was shocked and surprised. With Johnson still available, it seemed a no-brainer. The best available player, and it addresses one of our needs. Although I'm pleased with it, many of the Caniac faithful over on the message boards voiced their opinion that they would have rather gotten a forward to address our offensive needs. I'm thinking that the Canes have some very specific plans for obtaining some well established, name brand goal-scorers in the free agency market.

The Wild picked Pouliot. No surprise there. Really, there were few big surprises in terms of when players were selected, although a few heads were shook in disapproval when the Habs chose Goaltender Carey Price with the fifth overall selection. Everyone and their dog was expecting them to go with one of the remaining blue-chip forwards.

Late in the first round came the announcement that the Canes had dealt Jeff O'Neill to the Maple Leafs for a conditional pick in the 2006 draft. There was already a lot of talk in Caniac Nation about letting O go. He's been unhappy with the Canes for a couple of seasons now, and getting in trouble off the ice pissed off a lot of fans and presumably the owners. He was to be a restricted free agent, and it was a well circulated rumor that we were not going to qualify him, and he had already expressed the desire to play in TO. Although there are many Canes fans who don't like giving up a potential 30 goal scorer for a fourth round pick, I like the move. We weren't going to qualify him anyway. He would have been picked up, and we'd have gotten zero compensation for it. A shrewd move by Canes higher-ups. Actually, from a humanitarian standpoint, this is an awesome deal. Jeff gets to leave a town where he wasn't really that happy (and wasn't playing to his potential), gets to play for a team he's always dreamed of playing for, and he gets to be much much closer to his parents. As you may recall, Jeff lost his brother to a fatal car crash last week. For a number of reasons, this is a good deal for Jeff. I wish him luck with the new start he's been offered.

In the second round, we selected another d-man whose name is in all likelihood, not even worth mentioning since we won't see him for a couple of years at the least. Caniacs started to get restless.

Later in the day came another trade involving the Canes. We gave up one of our fourth round picks to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a 2006 fourth round pick and Defenseman Derrick Walser. I'd never heard of him, and I wasn't surprised when I found out that he's a young d-man with limited NHL experience and an offensive upside. Seems to be par for the course. However, I was pleased to find out that he's an excellent power-play guy. That's one of our biggest weaknesses. I'm glad to see that they're addressing a pressing need by getting a lot of young talented d-men, but a little offense would be nice too.

Looking forward to the free agency period, there should be a crapload of talented stars available. Some of them at cheap prices. I'm certain that the Canes have a plan, and it's probably a very specific plan. Unlike some of my peers, I'm not going to question the moves we've made so far. I haven't heard much on the rumor treadmill about what those plans are, but one of the names that's been thrown around a lot is Jason Allison. I really hope that he ends up here (question marks and all). There's a ton of other big-time offensive guys out there, but I can't really think right now.

¹ We, the staff of red and black hockey, are of the opinion that it's only a matter of time before the Ducks take a page out of their baseball playing bothers' book. We think that they'll want to be called "The Los Angeles Ducks of Anaheim". For the record, we still refuse to call the Angels by that rediculous name. They are still the Anaheim Angels to us.

Friday, July 29, 2005

'Canes acquire Commodore

Today, the Carolina Hurricanes acquired Mike Commodore from the Calgary Flames. The draft pick Carolina is giving up (3rd round, 69th overall) was actually Atlanta's pick, but it was acquired in a draft-day trade at the 2004 NHL entry draft.

I think it'll be good. The Flames weren't really using him that much, and the Canes have some D roster spots open. Mike "C-64" Commodore (at least I hope he'll have that nickname) is a tough guy, not known to have much if any offensive prowess, but is a fairly solid D-man who might fit in on the second pairing. Either way, he'll find more ice time than he did in Calgary.

With Calgary, and with the Lowell Lock Monsters of the AHL, he always wore the number 2, which has traditionally been worn by Glen Wesley in Carolina. Wesley hasn't been signed yet, and is a free agent, but I'm sure the Canes will retain him. This means Mikey will have to don a different number. Could he? Would he?

I hope:

Just for shits and giggles.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

they've broken out the crack pipes in st. louis.

Yesterday, the St. Louis Blues surprised me by flashing their team logo-emblazoned crack pipes.

They already had 14 players under contract for $24.566 million, including Keith Tkachuck ($7.6 M) and Doug Weight($5.7 M). The club has vowed not to buy out either of these guys. Nothing wrong with that. These are both point-a-night type of players. I might argue that Tkachuk is a little overpriced at $7.6 M, but that's not the point. Actually, I'd argue that he's way overpriced, but I digress. Weight, though starting to get old, is worth every penny. Still almost a point-a-night guy, he brings a lot more to that to the ice. His leadership abilities and his character make his teammates much better.

Here's where the crack comes in.

They announced yesterday that they've made a qualifying offer to RFA Chris Pronger for $7.22 million. Don't get me wrong. Pronger is an outstanding player. One of the best defensemen in a long time. Not only is he a brilliant defenseman, but he's got really good offensive skills as well. He won the Norris Trophy in 1999-2000, and was runner-up to Niedermayer in 2003-04. I think it's absurd that Niedermayer won an arbitration for a $7 million contract, so of course I'll think it's crack-headed for Pronger to get $7.22. Keep in mind that the maximum allowable salary with a $39 million cap will be $7.8 million. I don't know. I just don't like it.

Anyway, if they keep him, their salary obligations will be $31.786 million for 15 players. To fill out their 24-man roster, they'd only have $7.214 million left for 9 players. That comes to a little over $800k per player. The league minimum is $400k. This doesn't seem like a good situation for them.

Of course, there's rumors going around about an intent to trade. The one that I've heard is that they want to trade him to Altanta. For what, I don't know. They may also have something up their sleeve. Since they qualified him, that means they would be the recipient of draft considerations if another team outbids. My question there is who the hell is going to pay more than $7.22 million? He's a great player, and I think all 30 squads would absolutely love to have him, but not at that price. Same thing with Niedermayer. That's just too damn spendy. Actually, whether he's worth $7.22 million or not isn't the real issue. If you've got room under the cap, then it's a worthwhile price to pay. If you don't, it isn't. The real issue here is that they're not watching the cap.

The Blues have, in a crack-induced haze, spent themselves into a proverbial corner. They may have a plan to get out, but right now it looks bad.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

schedule out!

NHL.com just released the 2005-06 schedule. Skate over there to check out your favorite team's schedule.

The Canes will be on the road for opening night October 5, but our home opener will be Friday October 7 against Sidney Crosby and the Penguins. I can't wait!

We've also got our traditional home New Year's Eve game, which has been against the Rangers for like three years in a row, but will be against Les Habitants

I see a few times where we play the same team in back-to-back games. Twice with the Thrashers, actually. Here are the back-to-back games

Rangers November 17 (away) and 19 (home)
Thrashers November 27 (home) and 29 (away)
Islanders January 6 (home) and 7 (away)
Thrashers January 26 (away) and 28 (home)

and the one that mystifies me:
Panthers March 11, 12 (both away).
Seems a little unfair, I think.

and the one that absolutely blows my mind:
Capitals April 3 (home), 5 (away) and 7 (away)
Three consecutive matchups with the Caps in a five day span including two in a row at the MCI Center. Unreal! Actually, during an eight game stretch spanning March 25 to April 7 (14 days) we play the Caps five times. Granted, three of them are in our building, but the last two are in theirs.

If the race in the Southeast Division is close, that will be a critical stretch of games for both squads.

Anyway, October 5 can't get here soon enough. Check out the countdown above!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Miro Satan

There's been a lot of talk over the past 24-36 hours about which teams are going to protect whom and who's going to be bought out and all that stuff. So far, nothing really shocking.

Red Wings having to buy out Hatcher and McCarty? Yeah. We figured that much.

Flyers buy out LeClair and Amonte ? Yep. These guys are both beginning to wind down their great careers, and don't have as much to offer.

Kings re-sign Luc Robitaille? They'd have to be on crack not to. Even at 39, that dude can still flat out play.

Avs vowing to honor the contracts of Joe Sakic and Rob Blake ? Again, you'd have to be on crack not to retain these guys. They're the core of that team.

We're waiting to see more buyouts by the Redwings and to see how many players (presumably Holik and Kasparaitis at the very least) will be bought out by the Rangers. There's still some question as to how the Rangers and Caps are going to handle the Jagr 8 million dollar question. Will the Caps follow their tradition and trade 2004 top pick Alexander Ovechkin for an inferior player? We'll see.

Here's the thing that came out of the clear blue sky, and I'm surprised people aren't talking about it all that much. The Sabres are now saying that it isn't likely that they'll make a qualifying offer to Miroslav Satan . He's presently an RFA, and they're pretty much saying they won't put up a fight when other teams bid on him. That's just sheer insanity if you ask me. He'd be a very solid first liner on anyone's squad and, frankly, would be a steal at $4 million. In the new offense-friendly NHL, a 50+ goal season would not be out of the question. He's got speed, size, an amazing shot, and is among the best on the powerplay. I can't wait to see where he ends up. He's one of my favorite non-Canes players, so it would be fantastic to see him wearing a different shade of red and black. The Canes are actually in a situation where they'll be in terrific shape vis-a-vis the cap, so they should make a serious offer on him. We could really use a guy like that. We're seriously lacking at the LW position, and adding another RW wouldn't solve that, but we currently don't have anyone who could come close to scoring 50 goals. It's only 4 million dollars. Of course they may (and probably will) re-sign him for the express purpose of trading him. I'm not real up-to-date on the needs of the Sabres, but they should get lots of offers.
The Buffalo Sabres have got to be on crack.

Scott Niedermayer? I don't even know where to begin with this guy. He won a salary arbitration in 2004, making him a 7 million dollar man. In the new NHL, that's an incredible burden for a team to bear, so the Devils are doing the right thing by not re-signing him. He'll find himself in the free agent market, but he probably won't find a lot of offers.

It looks as if Adrian Aucoin is going to stay in Long Island after all, which saddens me, but that's okay. If we can get Jason Allison , that would be fantastic, but I'm actually daydreaming a little more about Miro Satan now. A first line like Vasicek/Brind'Amour/Satan would be good to have.

If you happen to not be an avid hockey fan, the name Satan is pronounced Shuh-tan, by the way.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

the Pens and the schedule

I was kind of relieved when I found out that Pittsburgh had won the draft lottery. All those conspiracy theories about the Rangers were put to rest. Although Pittsburgh is by no means a "small" city, it is 22nd in terms of population in the United States alone. For the record, there are 14 hockey teams in those other 21 metropolitan areas. Without having the particular data, I believe that Toronto and Montréal are also bigger than Pittsburgh, which puts them around 16th most populous NHL market. Blah blah blah. They are, though, a team with a lot of tradition, and a team that could really use a superstar other than the aging SuperMario. It'll be good for them to have Crosby, and good for hockey. Their attendance has been lagging, their level of play has been lagging, and they really need a new rink. If they can re-build the franchise, centered around the kid, maybe they can generate enough excitement to get themselves a new rink built. Aside from the Nassau Coliseum (home of the Islanders), the Pens have to have the shittiest rink in all of hockey.

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.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Finally! (and with a new logo)

Check out the new logo!

After a couple of long weeks of speculation and discussion about the new CBA, and after so many theorists suggested a "nay" vote, the biggest hurdle has been cleared.

I was actually really surprised to see that nearly 90% of the players voted in favor of the new CBA. I was confident it would pass, but I didn't expect the support to be so overwhelming. Today's Board of Governors meeting will be merely a formality, and we will be officially open for business. Then all the dust will begin to fly.

If you live in Canada, you can tune in to TSN for live covearage of the NHL press conference at 3:00 pm EST followed by the lottery at 4:00 pm EST. If you live in the US, (or anywhere else for that matter), you can visit NHL.com, which will be streaming both events live.

I will have the misfortune of being nowhere near a TV or a computer at 4:00, so I'll have to use my cell phone's web browser to get the news.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

draft lottery and sad news

The first bit of news I got this morning was this story about the tragic death of Canes' RW Jeff O'Neill's brother. I don't know what to say. I've said some really negative, even mean things about Jeff before. His play is lackluster, he's out of shape, he's a drunken clown, and in many different ways I've said that I don't want to see him in a Hurricanes sweater ever again. As much as I don't like the guy, he doesn't deserve, nobody deserves, to lose his brother in a tragic accident like that. My thoughts will be with him as he deals with this terrible ordeal. Maybe Jeff will be able to get himself back in shape and dedicate his season to the memory of his brother. He's already said that he doesn't expect to see a qualifying sheet from the Hurricanes and that if he had his druthers, he'd play in Toronto. Of course Jeff will be spending some serious time with his family over the next few weeks and months. If I'm not mistaken, they live near Toronto. If he decides to stay there near his family, that transition would be really easy for him and the Leafs. Whatever he does, I wish him the best.

According to some talk I've been hearing on the Canes message boards, there's a chance that the draft lottery will be a "reverse draft", in which Buffalo, the Rangers, the Penguins and the Blue Jackets will each have ONE ball (instead of three). The Ducks, Flames, Thrashers, Canes, Blackhawks, Oilers, Kings, Wild, Preds and Coyotes would each have TWO balls. The other sixteen teams will have THREE (instead of one) balls. In the system we've been hearing about for a week or so, the worst teams (three ball) had a 6.25% chance at the FIRST pick, the two ball teams had a 4.17% chance, and the one ball teams had a 2.08% chance. In this new "reverse draft", they'd actually be drawing balls to see who gets the LAST pick, and work their way from 30 to 1. So the 16 teams with 3 balls each have a 4.17% chance of the LAST pick. 2-ball teams have a 2.78% chance and the worst teams have a 1.39% chance.

I don't know how I feel about this. I'm pretty sure that I don't like it. I think the three ball system is dumb. Especially since the system is based on three years of playoffs and four years of draft position. There should be more balls. The really cruddy teams should have, say, five balls while the Detroits and the Torontos of the world should have one. I'm not even sure if I agree that every team should have a chance at the #1 pick.

In addition to the rumor about the "reverse draft lottery", I heard some talk about the draft order reversing in even numbered rounds, making a snake. Just like we all do in our fantasy football and baseball drafts. I don't think that's a good idea, either. It might work out just fine for amateurs like you and me, and in a 12 team league, but I don't know that it would work out in the real world.

Has anyone else heard these rumors? Thoughts?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

alexander ovechkin

Just got news that Alexander Ovechkin has declared that he is opting out of his contract with Avangard Omsk, a Russian team. This makes him the sole property of the Capitals. Incidentally, the ink on that contract with Omsk hadn't even dried yet, as it was signed on July 8, 2005.

This should make Caps fans very happy, but I'm not sure what his role will be. He'll turn 20 in September, but I think you have to be 20 going on 21 to play in the AHL. His age may or may not preclude him from playing for their affiliate in Portland. At any rate, the Caps are really lean, and need the help. They've only got four players currently under contract, so they've got a lot of work to to in the FA market. This should ease some of the pain.

Although he had a less than stellar season 27 points in 37 games) for the Moscow Dynamo, it was still "good" by anyone's account. He'll likely be an immediate impact player on a team that needs a shot in the arm.

If the Rangers "win" the lottery and Sid Crosby, they'll probably suit him up right away. And if the Caps suit up Ovechkin, the #1 picks from the last two drafts will be in the Eastern conference, giving me plenty of opporunities to see these young phenoms. Not to mention Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh --the #1 pick of 2003), and Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta -- the #1 pick of the 2001 draft). I actually think Fleury still has a lot to prove, but he shows signs of greatness. He needs to learn not to play the puck, though. Hopefully the league will make that change for this season, as I've been hoping for many years now. I hate to see netminders handling the puck because I think it disturbs the flow of the game. In Fleury's case, he makes some poor decisions that result in the other team scoring a goal. Kovalchuk, though. Man, that dude is a joy to watch.

In any case, the excitement is about to start. In 48 hours or so.

free agency

The NHL has the most complex system of free agency in professional sports. It makes my head hurt thinking about it, and trying to figure out all the infinite scenarios. I can't possibly explain it, but here's a primer on the different levels of free agency. Although I couldn't find much about it, here's an article that makes the NBA free agency system seem quite simple. The NFL system seems slightly more complex, but not as brain-rattling. The only thing I could find about baseball is that a player automatically becomes an unrestricted FA after six seasons. There must be more to it than that, but that's all I could find.

The reason I'm thinking and writing about this is that there's only something like 300 NHL players who actually have contracts right now. Until the CBA is officially ratified, nobody can talk to anybody about contracts. According to the NHLPA, there are exactly 288 players under contract, leaving roughly 500 players in some form of free agency. That means there's a whole lot of work to be done. Most clubs will try to retain their restricted FAs, but teams like Detroit, the Rangers, the Leafs will have to shed some of their big contracts to fit under the newly imposed cap. This will send some more name brand players into the open market.

As the teams scramble to re-sign their RFAs, allow some of them to walk, and try to pick up UFAs, there's going to be a lot of smoke and dust. That's gonna be the fun part. When all of that settles, the new NHL should be very exciting.
Heck, just having the ice back in the arenas is exciting enough.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

justin williams

I've been doing a lot of tooling around on the Hurricanes message boards lately. Today, somebody posted a question because they used the internet hockey database, but didn't use it well. They asked if Hurricanes winger Justin Williams had gone back to school during the lockout. Apparently, the database has a record of a dude named Justin Williams who is a winger for the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. It's obviously a different guy. The NCAA wouldn't permit a professional athlete to compete on the college level.

A tiny bit of research found some pretty bizarre results. Both the UMD Justin Williams and the Carolina Hurricanes Justin Williams have the exact same birthdate. October 4, 1981. I'm not making this up. Check the links to their profiles.

Very strange.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Sidney Crosby, Jason Allison and more

I started to write this in the comments section as a response to Davis' comment, but it was getting a bit long, so I'll just make a new post.

I have, indeed heard the rumors the the League is going to fix the lottery so that a major market team gets Crosby. I'm not really into conspiracy theories, but I have heard a lot of talk. Most of the talk is that the Rangers will "win" the lottery. Actually, I wouldn't be so object to that. They're a major market team with a really recognizable brand name, who is in desperate need of help. They're a horrible team with a huge payroll, and something has to give. In 2003-04, they had a payroll of $77 million, second only to Detroit's $77.8 million. For five years running, they've had the highest, or among the top four payrolls. During that time, they have failed to make the playoffs each year. To be honest, I don't know what the problem is. There's some good talent there, but they don't do well. From what I've read, they only have 6 players under contract, and that those contracts will amount to something like $24 million after the rollback. Interestingly, things could be much worse for them. They're only having to pay for half of Jaromir Jagr, who is still getting paychecks from the Crapitals, as part of their deal. Bobby Holik and Darius Kasparaitis are both under huge contracts, but are rumored to be candidates for buy-out. What does this mean? The Rangers could conceivably buy out everyone's contract and start with a clean slate. Is this fair to Rangers fans? Absolutely not! However, they'll be in dire shape if they don't do something.

Incidentally, I still don't understand the Jagr-for-Anson Carter trade. New York Gave up Carter, who can be fantastic, but whose star hadn't shone in over a season, in exchange for Jagr, a fantastic player who will give you a point a night. That in itself seems like New York gets the better end. But here's the gravy -- The Crapitals agreed also to pay half of Jagr's $8 million salary. Now, ¿Dondé Anson Carter? He was traded to the Kings for Jared Aulin . Who?? Exactly. So, in the end, the Crapitals gave up one of the premiere players in the game for some schmuck. Granted, he's a schmuck who had a 108 point season (!) in some Junior Hockey league, but he's still a schmuck.

Back to the point -- the Rangers may have a completely clean slate if they buy out the aforementioned players. Frankly, that's what they need to do. The natives might not like it, but they are gonna have to. Oh, they should probably keep Mike Dunham, and they should sign Shady 80. They'll have their goaltending all shored up, but start all over with the skaters.

As far as Jason Allison, I've heard A LOT of talk about him coming to Carolina. He's now had two full seasons to get over his post-concussion stuff. He's said to be 100% now, and if that's the case, he can easily be a point-a-night type player, which is exactly what the Canes need. There's also a lot of talk about Adrian Aucoin, who is a huge fan of Canes coach Peter Laviolette. With Sean Hill gone, we need another solid defenseman. Especially one who is so gifted at the offensive aspect of the game. He had 44 points and was a plus 29 (!!!) for the Islanders in 2003-04. There's also talk about Marty Gelinas coming back. I would love that, and we really need some left wingers. I, too, have heard the Gary Roberts rumors. That would be great to have him back. Again, we need left wingers. And Roberts happens to be excellent at the defensive aspect of the game as well.
I've also heard a little bit of talk about trying to bring Bates Battaglia back. To be honest, I really hope not. I don't like that guy.
We've got (I believe) only 7 guys under contract, and although we really need to focus on getting some of the fellas re-signed, we've got a bunch of open roster spaces. For us, and for a lot of other teams, it should be very exciting to watch the pieces fall into place.

Of all the rumors about players coming to Carolina, the only ones that I think are serious possibilities are Allison and Aucoin. Although I'd love to see those other guys as well, these two will be fantastic additions.

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.


Red And Black Hockey is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Carolina Hurricanes Hockey Club, the National Hockey League or any of its other member clubs. The opinions expressed herein are entirely those of RBH. Any comments made are the opinion of the commenter, and not necessarily that of RBH.
Whenever possible, RBH uses its own photography. Any incidental use of copyrighted material including photography, logos or other brand markings will not interfere with the owner's profits.