The following was originally posted here in 2004. I still find it to be my thought on the draft. After watching last night's
mockery event, there are probably more things worth pointing out that I hate about the NHL draft
I continue to hate how the NHL Draft is conducted.
The big board behind the main stage for example... The fact every f'n executive for a team shows up when a player is selected... The fact that the cities keep changing and the response from the crowd is fickle -at best - at times.
I'm not saying over-hype the draft like the NFL but I do believe that the league needs to move forward with regards to how they conduct the draft and stop having such a low-quality operation. They could either stop making the draft a spectacle (which would be bad for the league and would anger a lot of people) or they could start solidifying the event with something that isn't caked with "tradition" (the big board "tradition", the revolving cities "tradition", etc).
For example: move the draft to one place and have it there year after year. I'm not going to suggest New York, however. Probably Toronto at a theater-like location instead of an arena. Or perchance Chicago -- which hosts a storied past for their franchise if not a current intensity of interest for hockey. Fans of hockey will turn out in any event at either location...
Start making the draft about the players and not about the executives making the selections! There is not enough clips about players and there is not enough information on team needs being talked about by those covering the draft.
And as for that billboard/big board that lists all the picks? "Mr. Commissioner -- Tear this board down!" ;)
OK, 2007 thoughts:
Do we really need 20+ speeches being made thanking the host city and getting a cheap pop from the crowd when their home town is mentioned? Shouldn't Gary Bettman be focusing on the state of the game instead of how wonderful a city is and a franchise in particular is when he's speaking? Shouldn't there be some type of continuity -- such as a limited amount of time between picks? And while we are at it, shouldn't podiums look like podiums instead of like cups of iced coffee?
The entire event is antiquated and vaudeville-like. It doesn't feel like a pro sports league is conducting this event.