Sunday, June 25, 2006

Vancouver Backdraft

I won't get into my awful, AWFUL picks yet, but I will say that I suck and I won't make it anywhere in this business. However, something where I was a little more accurate, the trophies.

I was actually 6 out of 8 in the Trophies Count that I predicted back in May. Thronton, Ovechkin, and Kiprusoff being my slam dunks. The odd thing was how much Ovechkin won by. Of the 129 first place votes, Ovechkin got 124, with four going to Crosby and one to Lundqvist. Also, Ovechkin was the first rookie to be named to the NHL's First All-Star Team since Ed Belfour did it in 1991. Add that to picking for the Caps and getting to be the cover boy for EA's NHL07, it was a pretty big weekend for Ovechkin.


I'm sure like all of you, the trades were pretty astonishing. Especially when the Kings announced they traded Pavol Demitra for Patrick O'Sullivan and a pick which turned out to be Trevor Lewis in the end. I'm sure it translated over TV, but the shock of that made people scratch their heads in the stands in on the media row.

The Luongo trade brought much delight to the eyes of Canucks fans, but I was more interested in the statements by the fans who were overly joyed to see Bertuzzi leave town. This is a guy who was defended by these same people for about two years now. Oh, how times change.

The Alex Tanguay/Jordan Leopold trade was an interesting one, mainly for the timing. Many people thought the trade announcement would have been the Hurricanes trading Jack Johnson for the second overall pick, but it was not the case. The Flames addressed their scoring issues and used their defensive depth to get out of a jam. As well, the Avs get a young, solid stay-at-home defenseman in return. With a lack of an AHL affiliate, it hurts the Avs development process.

Don't even get me started on why the Leafs would trade for Andrew Raycroft, especially for Tuukka Rask.


I know, I went three for 30 out of my Mock Draft, but I never said I was an expert. When you look at the first round, it seemed that all the picks were depth moves, which is a nice way to say they were completely off the board.

For instance, Trevor Lewis was probably an early second round pick, but he got swapped up by the Kings at 17th. Not saying it was a bad move, but somewhat head-scratching, especially when there were plenty of great players still out there. Also, three picks beforehand, the Canucks took Michael Grabner with the 14th pick. Whether it's because they thought he wouldn't be around the next pick or if they truly wanted him-- it was just odd.

The Caps went out of the blue to take Semen Varlamov, who was dominant in Russia's third division, but with Leland Irving still out there and closer to home, it raised some eyebrows. Then there's Matthew Corrente, who at a 5'11 defenseman only adds to New Jersey's "Mighty Mouse" Brigade.

All in all, it was great to see these kids' reactions when they got picked and went to the media room. Leland Irving couldn't get the smile off his face for the whole time, which was a thrill to see.

On top of all that, the fans were great. It was good to see most of them stay through the Canucks pick and the first round. Most of the time, when the host team picks, the exodus begins. As well, the fans from Everett, Washington who came to cheer on their kids when they got picked (Irving, Peter Mueller, Ondrej Fiala, and Brady Calla) sent chills up my spine. It was a great show and set the bar from Columbus in '07.

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