Monday, June 22, 2009

Playing Possum With Their Pick

By all accounts, John Tavares will most likely go #1 Overall. He seems to be the best player on the board, with the hype in full effect to help him out. Everyone seems to believe that he's the guy to go after since the Islanders need a big boost in order to get them out of the dregs of the NHL standings. But they aren't going all out by saying they'll pick-up Tavares, even insisting that they may go with the Swede Victor Hedman. Of course, the wily Matt Duchence has been mentioned as a darkhorse candidate for this #1 overall spot.

But is that such a horrible idea to keep people guessing?? Especially with the knowledge that a team like the Tampa Bay Lightning need a player like Victor Hedman on their blue line to maybe turn the corner. Plus, what will the ripple effect be if Duchence or Hedman goes before Tavares, how many strategies change, how many teams start to phone up the Bolts to see what they want for their second overall pick?? Does that make the second overall pick the most valuable in this whole draft??

Good on Garth Snow and Charles Wang for keeping their ideas close to their chest and making other teams work out scenarios in their head and working out what to do and what to offer in different situations. To be honest, how could you go wrong with any pick out there?? Tavares a total package that has been talked about for the past three years going in this positions, Hedman is a man-child who has the size and ability to step in tomorrow and head-up the defensive corp, and Duchence is an underrated player who has the skill set and all-around play that could make him beneficial to the future of an organization. Many speculate that Duchence could be picked because the Isles like what they see in him and think he could be more willing to play in Long Island than the other two.

If you're playing the odds, the Islanders would be best going with Hedman, as there hasn't been a big defensive bust since the Bruins picked Gord Kluzak in 1982 as their 1st overall pick. Of course, Kluzak's injuries were his downfall and he holds the distinction for playing the least amount of games for a 1st overall pick pre-2000 with 299 games played. Though, it seems that the defenseman spot is due for a downfall, you wonder if picked-- would the Swede be in line for a disaster, much like Kluzak who was a big, hulking defenseman (like Hedman) when he was picked. Well, it's going to have to happen first for us to get a true gauge.

Yet you have to like the secrecy, the tight-lipped portion of it all and keep it all in house until it's time. You can't really see a downside to it, because it keeps people guessing, keeps people on their toes, keeps the kids wonder and worry in anticipation. It's not a boring sure thing, which is nice at times-- but to keep the media and fans on their toes is an act of showmanship by the Isles and they could use all the attention they could get at this point.

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