I picked up the TSN feed through NHL.com and I have to say they are overdoing the Crosby thing... I mean REALLY overdoing it and ignoring the rest of the talent in the draft. Crosby promos, Crosby lead ins, etc... I could not see this happening with the NFL draft if there was one super prospect. They still know how to promote the EVENT over the PLAYER.
Yes, Crosby is supposed to be great -- but be objective with the coverage.
I can't help but be puzzled why the NHL is bowing to the TV broadcast (it feels like they are molding everything around the broadcast instead of just doing the event and having TV report what happens.... Sorta like what the NFL does (and ESPN covers it marvelously).
Crosby goes #1... Half the TV's in Canada switch to another station....
Another note - I much more like the Hotel setting for the draft than the airy arena venues of recent.
Bob McKenzie tells the world that Crosby has a strong lower unit -- do I really need that picture in my head? :P
Two top ten picks end up in the "What the bloody hell...?" department. Pick #5 by Montreal (taking goaltender Casey Price.... And selection #8. San Jose traded up with Atlanta to select someone projected as a late 1st, early 2nd round pick (Devin Setaguchi)....
Thrashers move to #12 in the first round and pick up the #207 draft selection as well...
In a stunning move, the Ottawa Senators have drafted Chris Gratton circa 1993! No wait, that's Brian Lee, isn't it? Jeez, Lee looks like Grats did when he came out...
Thrashers trade down again....
Vancouver has moved to Manitoba, just so you Canadians know... NHL executives said so :P
The Sidney Crosby Consolation Prize to the Rangers is -- Marc Staal!
Division brethren Washington takes a player out of the top 30... It happens in every draft so I'm not too surprised - though those who actually follow junior hockey and collegiate hockey may be.
That's all the running commentary I can do for the time. I will be back later on to give some more thoughts
I'm having friends (who I am chatting with as the draft goes on) feed me some of the commentary that's been said during the draft. I already highlighted McKenzie's gross out. How about this one:
Bourret is "a mean, nasty fire hydrant on the ice".
Does anyone at all understand what that is supposed to mean? He sits there, he's metal, he doesn't do anything more times than not but has the ability to aid someone who's putting out a fire....?
I've already said how stupid "selection by committee" is in the NHL draft (it adds to the boredom and generates a false pomp-and-circumstance about the pick)... I firmly stand by those remarks. Though the draft is moving pretty swiftly, not enough focus is being given to the players as so much the executives doing the drafting.
The 'Turds have done a deal with the Flyers, selecting Kenndal McArdle. Philly moves to the #29 position in the draft....
With the trading down - and I don't know about the quality of their selection - right now the winners of this draft look like the Thrashers. They've obtained more picks, they've likely secured the player they wanted... They'll be able to stock up their system even more with thanks to their trade partners.
It's probably the language barrier for him (I'm trying to assume here to protect this guy in one way or another) but Nicklas Bergfors did NOT look like he wanted to be up on stage... Or maybe that was not wanting to be a New Jersey Devil? Who knows....
Calgary goes out of the top thirty, which seems to be a trend today, taking Matt Pellich... Stay at home defensiveman.
Washington trades for Colorado's pick and takes a Mamoth in D-man Joe Finley
Jeff O'Neill shipped to Toronto for a conditional 2006 pick
Tampa Bay is on the clock -- Jay Feaster get's his only exercise for the day! I have this feeling the Flyers actually took who TB was going to aim for -- comments by Feaster about going after Goal Scorers makes me believe that. The last two drafts the Lightning have gone D -- so forward progress is the likely decision, pardon the pun
Vladimir Mihalik 6'7" 220 lbs.
Oh My God, this guy is a bone crusher! -- TSN commentators...
I very much stand corrected on this pick. I thought for sure that the Lightning were to go offense here in an attempt to shore up the system depth at forward. There isn't an elite forward prospect that I know of in the US (and I don't even want to talk about the mythical Alexander Poulshin who is in Russia for the umpteenth year after being drafted by the Lightning).
Here's McKeen's scouting report on Vlad:
Scouting: a hulking mammoth on skates .. thanks to the progress this season is now an adequate skater for such a big body .. decent lateral movement and agility .. adequate acceleration and top-end speed, but his skating still needs further polishing .. decent balance .. tends to be too static at times .. has to stay back in his own end to not be out-skated on the transitional play .. leaves significant space between him and the opposing players .. solid positional play .. average puckhandling skills .. needs to develop softer hands .. should use his giant frame more to his advantage and punish the opposing players more often .. uses his stick in the battles along the boards rather than his body.. very good reach and massive wingspan .. limited passing skills .. plays a low risk game, but doesn't support the offense a lot, dishing off the puck rather than looking for a passing lane instead .. is now more courageous in joining the rush .. should fire his adequately accurate shot from the point more often .. possesses some impressive tools, but will need patience in his development.
And not to entirely plagerize Jes Golbez but here's his take on Vlad as well:
It won't be hard to miss this kid since he's a whopping 6'7" 220+lbs. Last summer, he looked like a big slug who couldn't skate well and wouldn't hit people. One year later, his good WJC18 performance showed us that he improved his conditioning, footwork, and mean streak. Mihalik should benefit from the smaller ice surface (ala Valabik) and he's the big 'home-run' swing type prospect. Unlike Boris Valabik and Kristian Kudroc, Mihalik won't be a first rounder. I'd expect Mihalik to go around the 4th or 5th round.
Jes, if you are out there -- Can you lend some commentary on the pick?
I won't be running further commentary on the draft -- Tampa Bay's next pick is #92 and I have already wasted a load of time online today. Interesting selections, terribly boring telecast... That says it all.