by Patrick Hoffman on 06/29/09 at 06:24 PM ET
A few months ago, we did a nice little e-mail interview with Scotty “Wazz” of the Faceoff Hockey Show and The Strangest One of all hockey blog. We’re back at it again as Scotty talks to us about this past weekend’s NHL Entry Draft, what the atmosphere was like, opinions on some of the picks and best and worst of the draft.
Continue below to check out what Scotty had to say.
PH: Prior to the draft actually starting, what was the atmosphere in the Bell Center like? What were the rumblings about Tavares, Hedman and Duchene?
SW: Well, there was a lot of talk of the Isles pulling a swerve and picking Matt Duchene, which was compounded by Greg Logan from Newsday saying the Avs had confirmed the Isles would pick Duchene. Though, Garth Snow made the tension that much higher when he made a dramatic pause before saying Tavares’s name.
PH: Just how much will Tavares impact the Islanders franchise? Will he come in and be effective right away (goals, assists, points, etc.) or do you think he’ll start out much like Steven Stamkos did?
SW: First and foremost, Tavares will probably be the instant face of the franchise. I think that’s why he was picked, to create a buzz around him and give the franchise some press. In comparison to Stamkos, I think that Tavares has it easier without much around him. He’s going to be looked at to be the man there and probably will come through.
PH: How much better did the Lightning get once they drafted Hedman? Which current blueliner would you compare him to?
SW: Well, Hedman gives them a defenseman who’s actually worth it. They get someone who can be strong in every aspect of the game and can create offense, as well as playing shut-down defense. I think it’s not unusual to say he’s a Chris Pronger-esque kind of player, but he has the offensive and skating ability of Nicklas Lidstrom.
PH: Tell us your thoughts on the Pronger deal. Does Pronger deserve the bad wrap he gets?
SW: What a segue. His on-ice demeanor gets his bad wrap, because of the fact of the way he plays, but I think he’s a leader. He’ll make that team a little stronger and maybe give their goaltending a little help, who ever decides to be in net.
PH: As a Calgary resident, how do you feel about Jay Bouwmeester?
SW: Jay Bouwmeester is a guy who can bring a lot to the team, but seems to need constant motivation to get going. He can be a streaky starter, but if he’s around guys who can get him going - he’ll benefit. However, the idea of him not signing with the Flames and then going to Edmonton has me buckling down for a bigger war in the Battle of Alberta.
PH: Which team do you think had the best draft?
SW: That’s something that will show in time, like five years down the road—of course. The Islanders did rather well, especially their first round pick, the Sabres I think could show over time had a great draft with Zach Kassian and Connor Knapp. Also, long term, the Thrashers will be a team that could be rewarded over the years.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.