2009 NHL Entry Draft:
- It has been five years since a hockey player born and bred in Massachusetts was taken in the first round of NHL draft, but it’s a good bet that the streak won’t last.
- Under new management, the Wild say they will be geographically blind when it comes to acquiring future talent, meaning the team will seek the best players regardless of origin. The Wild’s cupboard is bare, but Chuck Fletcher intends to rectify that by stocking up on draft picks in exchange for “assets.”
- Islanders general manager Garth Snow knows exactly what he plans to do with the No. 1 overall pick. But the rest of the world will just have to keep guessing whether it will be John Tavares, Victor Hedman or Matt Duchene until Friday night in Montreal.
- Even without the Dany Heatley saga unfolding, this would be a special week in the NHL.
- In the 2004 NHL draft, the Rangers had the No. 19 overall pick and selected forward Lauri Korpikoski, who made the team out of camp last fall. Next weekend in Montreal, the Rangers again have the 19th pick, but at the draft table, members of their front office will be keeping their eyes peeled and cell phones ready in case they can move up.
- A relaxed, almost blase attitude might appear faked coming from other top NHL prospects. But when Ryan O’Reilly said, “It’s just the draft. It’s doesn’t mean anything,” he seemed on the level.
- No curve balls are expected from the pitchers throwing out the first three names at the NHL draft.
- Brothers Geoff, Andrew and Justin Molson had submitted a bid for the 24-time Stanley Cup champions earlier this month. The Canadiens didn’t disclose terms of the agreement in a news release. Gary Bettman believes ownership of the Montreal Canadiens by the Molson family will be good for the team’s fans.
- There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. The NHL’s Winter Classic was a brilliant marketing idea from the very beginning: a picturesque snow globe scene featuring meaningful hockey with a historic stadium set as the backdrop.
- When the Detroit Red Wings fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins at home in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, was their loss a temporary slip or a sign of increasing vulnerability? The Blues have been closing the gap on Detroit.
- If you are the Pittsburgh Penguins, it’s easy to pick out the high point in the Penguins’ 2008-09 season.
- As you might have heard, the Penguins are Stanley Cup champions. Unfortunately, they won’t have long to savor the moment.
- Besides the four individual trophies they won at NHL Awards Night, the Bruins savored another victory last week, but it’s one that might end up hurting them on the ice.
- Former New Jersey Devils coach Brent Sutter is expected to be introduced as the Calgary Flames’ head coach as early as Monday. With his cellphone going unanswered and his inbox full, one could only wonder yesterday what Brent Sutter was up to.
- Kris Letang‘s quest for the Stanley Cup started the day he drew his first breath. “My mom put a picture of it in my crib when I was born,” the Penguins’ defenseman said, only half-jokingly.
- Say this for the Flyers: They have spent nearly 40 years with an odd philosophy. Now they are about to skate around with it like a trophy … they should pardon the image.
- The Rangers could be presented with the chance to acquire Heatley this week. We’re told that though the team is not on the winger’s list of preferred options, he likely would not block a trade to New York.
- There was more discussion about the NHL’s drug testing policy Saturday, the second day of meetings by the league’s players association, but there were no developments.
- It’s not clear exactly what he’ll be doing, but iconic U.S. defenseman Chris Chelios will be part of the American Olympic hockey effort at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, in February.
- When pro hockey returns to Toledo in October, the new Walleye team will revive a classic rivalry with an old International Hockey League foe.
- Most of the Iowa Chops’ front office staff has been laid off, an official for the American Hockey League team confirmed.
- For the second season in a row the ECHL was the only professional hockey league represented in the Top 10 venues as chosen by fans.
- Tough guy Aaron Downey isn’t sure what lies ahead for him in hockey after spending most of the season on a one-year, two-way contract with the Grand Rapids Griffins.