Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Five: Looking Ahead

Since I'm very close to having theme days everyday, like so much radio morning zoo; I might as well bookend the work week with a gimmick. Of course, we'll see how this goes and if it's well liked; keep it moving. In any case, the Friday Five was an old "survey" that seemed to take LiveJournal by storm in the early 00's. May as well do something like that in the early '10s and see if it has legs.

The premise-- five questions are asked and answered. Simple concept, simple idea, simple blogger. It's all pretty much current events for the questioning, though if something interesting jump into the fray; we'll go from there.

1. How many of the top-5 drafted at the 2010 Draft will actually play past 10 games this year??

Last year, we had four of the five top picks play all season, with Brayden Schenn playing only one game in an emergency role. 2008 had all but Alex Pietrangelo play past ten games, while Pietrangelo was sent back to junior last year, too. With this class, I can see Taylor Hall sticking and maybe Tyler Seguin, but after that-- I don't know how quick the other three will go. Erik Gudbranson has the size, but I don't know if Florida will rush him into the line-up for a year; with the Portland duo of Ryan Johansen and Nino Niederreiter being wild cards-- especially as they play for teams who could intermingle a young player into the line-up and get them to develop with the other youngsters and grow with the team. However, a solid pick-- I'd go with three of the five, Johansen and Gudbranson staying in juniors.

2. Staying with rookies, who's going to take the Calder Trophy race by storm??

If you believe in the "Sean-O Rookie Theorem," then none of the top candidates will even get a whiff at the Calder and a second-half surprise player will swoop in and get the hardware. Plus, it's actually a solid year for rookies, especially those who played in the late games last year and during the playoffs-- particularly PK Subban and John Carlson. That said, it's going to take a lot for Taylor Hall NOT to win the Calder. The kid is a dynamic player that the Oilers are building around and is a two-time Memorial Cup MVP. He's a stud and should be making a solid impact to the Oilers roster.

3. There's at least five outdoor games slated this year, with Canadian juniors (two WHL and one AJHL) and the two NHL games. How long before the gimmick goes stale??

While there's no truth to the rumor that Henry Winkler will be at the AJHL game to jump over Joe Thornton, it is getting a little too out of hand. I know people say that it's a great idea and always sells; but at the same time-- it's diluted. This was originally there for a nice appeal game every once a while, then turned into an annual thing-- which is fine, it's a bit special. But when everyone is going to the cash cow, the utter is bound to get chaffed and not produce anymore milk.

4. Where's the best location for the next outdoor game being announced this year??

Sure, it's jumped the shark, but I love you can tell. The next game HAS TO BE the ECHL announcing that the Idaho Steelheads will play on the SmurfTurf of Boise State. That's like two gimmicks-in-one, which will be gimmick overload for me and I will have to make the journey there to see such a thing. At this point, why won't the ECHL do this-- it'd be fantastic. Though, you can bet the AHL and ECHL will jump on it like the Sugar Hill Gang soon enough.

5. With camps coming up, who is the biggest guy on the bubble right now with their team and in limbo between the NHL and AHL....or lower??

Obviously, you have the guys like Jonathan Cheechoo and Marcus Nilson getting try-out invites; they're definitely on the bubble in terms of staying into hockey. However, guys who are under contract; you have to wonder if Angelo Esposito can come back from a run of bad luck to crack the Thrashers roster, especially with them loading up on the Blackhawks cast-offs. Also, you have to believe that Fabian Brunnstrom of the Dallas Stars could looking at going between Dallas and Cedar Park, Texas if he doesn't have a good camp. After all the hype, Brunnstrom has fallen short after his first 10 game explosion with the Stars. Could be down to Cheechoo and Brunnstrom, which will be an interesting battle.

So, that's it for the Friday Five this week and we'll see what kind of reception it gets. If you have some questions for the F5, as the kids are calling it, email me at with your questions and we'll see if we can work it in here and again.

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