Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Bob Hunter at the Columbus-Dispatch,
The naysayers who said that Columbus would never be a hockey town should have been there. The city will always be known for football first, but last night provided further proof that if the Blue Jackets ever win, this place will go nuts.
Nationwide Arena was full for the first round of the draft. Full. That rarely happens anywhere, even in places where hockey is a clear No. 1. And the fans were into it.
When Blue Jackets owner John H. McConnell was introduced, he was greeted by a thunderous ovation. He tried to start talking twice and had to stop because the cheering wouldn’t stop. Then, when he thanked “the fans, who have stuck with us through thick and thin, mostly thin,” he drew another roar.
Walking around the media area of the Draft yesterday, I saw an awful amount of folks tuned into Spector’s Rumor site. Lyle I am sure is working his tail off right about now.
I can add a little Detroit talk too, Bertuzzi is looking for a longer contract and may get it from a few teams, one probably NOT being the Wings. Hasek $$$ keeps getting tweaked and Wings are hoping Schneider will take a home team discount.
I left Columbus about 7:30am this morning, and now typing from my desktop at the Kompound.
Just a quick update now, the salary cap talk last night was it should be right around $50.5M.
Some of the GMs are hoping for a home team discount to sign some of their own UFAs.
The NHL Draft was like a huge conference. Numerous break out sessions for different team departments. People gathered here and their, chatting in private and I must have seen Lou Lamoriello in about five of those different chats.
More on my experience at the Draft in a bit.
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
The NHL reported that there were 10 Americans drafted in the first round, tying a record set in 2006, but Brandon Sutter - who is listed as having been born in Red Deer, Alberta, said in his interview scrum that he was actually born in New York, when his dad played for the Islanders. That would actually make it a record 11 American first-rounders on a nice night for American hockey, which began when Patrick Kane and James vanRiemsdyk were chosen first and second overall.
more… (plus more odds and ends from day 1)
Draft order below is subject to changes (for instance, Florida just exercised its option to take Tampa’s #47 pick). The 2nd-7th rounds of the Draft start at 10am EDT and can be watched on the NHL Network (Canada) or on NHL.com’s live stream online.
From the Columbus Dispatch:
Saturday’s Draft Order
31. Buffalo (from PHI)
33. Vancouver (from L.A.)
From Patrick Maloney via Slam!,
This weekend marks a decade since Thornton—one of the best hockey players in the world—was drafted first overall by a rebuilding Boston Bruins franchise in search of a saviour. On his bedroom wall back then was the iconic photo of Bobby Orr flying through the air after netting the 1970 Stanley Cup-winning goal for the Bruins.
Things to come, perhaps.
But now, the image may be just a reminder of Thornton’s rough luck in Boston and the team’s inability to reach the heights so many thought possible that June day in 1997.
From Kevin Paul Dupont at the Boston Globe,
Cherepanov, a dynamic Russian right winger, sat in the stands until the Rangers selected him 17th overall, roughly 6-12 slots lower than anyone imagined. As the picks ticked off, there sat the 18-year-old Cherepanov, an interpreter at his side.
By the 10th selection, two picks after the Bruins selected Hamill, TSN commentator Pierre McGuire acted as if he were ready to launch an international investigation.
“This is unconscionable and insane,” exclaimed the excitable McGuire. “It’s complete insanity that he hasn’t been picked yet.” And after the No. 13 pick, when the Blues chose the Denmark-born Lars Eller over Cherepanov, Maguire chimed in again over what he labeled a “bizarro pick.”
continued… (*more on Cherepanov, plus looking at the Bruins)
From the CP via Globe & Mail:
First-round picks in Friday’s NHL draft:
1. Chicago, Patrick Kane, RW, London (OHL)
2. Philadelphia, James vanRiemsdyk, LW, U.S. U-18
3. Phoenix, Kyle Turris, C, Burnaby (BCHL)
From Rusty Miller of the JG-TC,
Oh, Canada! For the first time, Americans were taken with the top two picks in the NHL draft.
First, the Chicago Blackhawks, trying to rebuild a once-proud franchise after four consecutive losing seasons, selected Buffalo, N.Y., native Patrick Kane with the No. 1 pick Friday night. Then the Philadelphia Flyers picked left wing James vanRiemsdyk, a member of the U.S. National Team Development Program from Middletown, N.J.
“It’s good to have the No. 1 and No. 2 picks,” said Kane, a 5-foot-9, 160-pound right wing who had 62 goals and 83 assists in 58 games last year for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. “It’s unbelievable. It’s good to see the Americans start coming into the league.”
The first round of the draft is getting ready to start. KK won’t be updating with every pick, but you can watch the action live on TSN, Versus or online at NHL.com streaming online. (You can even see it blogged live online. update: also being blogged here)
Any other stories will be updated as normal, depending on how long I stay sober. (Kidding, Paul, honest!)
Good luck to everyone’s favorite teams.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org