Saturday, June 26, 2010

First Round Friday: Shock and Dull

If there's nothing else to sum up the first round of the NHL Entry Draft this week, it was uneventful. For a lot of people, no one knew what was going to happen, which definitely showed in the selections after the first two picks. Even with a lack of trades, the almost four hour first round didn't provide too much electric in the crowd. If nothing else,the move of Keith Ballard to Vancouver for Steve Bernier and Michael Grabner was the highlight of an otherwise uneventful trade situation. Some bulletpoints to point out from the first day.

-The soundtrack for the Anaheim Ducks is probably going to be "Feel Good Inc." as they were able to steal not only Cam Fowler at the 12th pick, but traded for the 29th pick and took Long Beach native Emerson Etem, all of this with the haze of Scott Niedermayer's retirement still looming over-top of him. If nothing else, the Ducks should use their dropping stock for motivation in their development and maybe show some teams what they missed out on. Of course, you have to have the right players for that (read: not Angelo Esposito), but I think the mentality of these guy will fit perfectly for the vengeance angle.

-For a Draft that was suppose to be defense-heavy, only two were picked in the top-10 and eight in the first round overall. While it's a heavy debate that defensemen usually take more time to develop their game (always a case-by-case, see Doughty, Drew); the ability to have these players rights should hold more value than what some people think. If you could have someone like Cam Fowler in your system and then track his development, you have two years in order to decide if he was worth the high pick or not. Odds are, he is-- but still-- it's better to have them and not need them than to let them go by the wayside.

- If there was any doubt about hockey development in the US, the 11 players picked that were developed in the US really show how well the country is developing wanted players. Sure, the fact they haven't played a NHL game yet makes it a tad presumptuous in terms of saying that USA Hockey is getting better-- it's a good sign that they have brought them to this point and have been able to give them the chances to move onto the next level. Sure, there's some places that might not be as strong in others, but the US is a big country population-wise and you'll have a few misses here and there.

-You've got to love taking shots at an old team, especially after retirement. According to who you listen to and how you take things, that's what Mark Tinordi did when he questioned the Washington Capitals fanbase after his son Jerred was picked by the Montreal Canadiens 22nd overall. Elder Tinordi said that with them living in Millersville, Maryland (about 40minute from the old Capital Centre); Jerred didn't know about fan support and will learn it when he gets to Montreal. It's one thing to pump-up the fanbase in Montreal (like they need it), but it's another thing to knock down an organization that actually enjoyed your play during your tenure there. To each their own though and Mark will think what he thinks, but it's in bad taste to take a shot like that during the best time in your kins life.

-To say the crowd in LA was somewhat dormant would be an understatement. While some of the picks got more fanfare than others; the overall feeling of the Los Angeles crowd was stagnant. Granted, the crowds was very mixed between every kind of support, mostly with Edmonton supports, who came down in droves to see the Taylor Hall pick. Granted, the Kings pick and the selections of hometown boys Beau Bennett (20th, Pittsburgh) and Etem (29th, Anaheim) got the loudest roar; the fans were very reserved and underwhelming coming off the energy of Montreal a year prior. Granted, there's probably nothing that would match the Montreal electricity, but you'd hoped they try. Minnesota should be interesting, mostly because it'll be the US equivalent of Montreal for support.

That's all I have, because I've got nothing. In any case, we'll be doing our show, which will be coming to a YouTube near you-- probably before any shows get updated prior to that. We know, we know-- got it loud and clear.

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