As everyone knows by now the NHL Draft will be held beginning at 12 noon on Saturday in a hotel ballroom in Ottawa.
It's bizarre simply because they aren't holding it in a huge arena like they usually do. But you know, a lot of these drafts are held in conference halls and the like. The NFL and NBA don't hold their drafts in big arenas, as far as I can tell. The NBA Draft is only a couple of rounds long anyway, and takes place at midweek in a big conference room. And the NFL Draft takes place in New York every year in some big conference hall or hotel or somewhere like that. I think what we're going to see this weekend is something similar to what the NFL already does. A lot of aspiring NFL players and NFL agents don't even go up to the draft in New York. Instead they listen in by conference call to the proceedings with their agents at home. Only the really big college hotshots go up to New York to put on their NFL jerseys. That's what I expect to see from the NHL this year, so I expect it will still look like a real draft. Even though it's a scaled-down effort (only seven rounds) it should still be a huge weekend for the general managers and agents, and of course the players selected.
The story right now is that the Anaheim Mighty Ducks may not hold onto the number two pick. That team already has a ton of young talent and they wouldn't mind trading their pick for some good veteran talent. So look out for some interesting action.
HNIC SIGNS HUGHSON
Did you hear that Hockey Night in Canada made a deal of their own? They have signed Jim Hughson to do play-by-play for them and I expect he will be doing the West Coast games, especially ones involving his team the Canucks.