Friday, June 22, 2007

Gentlemen...start your drafting!

And away we go!

Pre-Game, er, Draft...interesting look at the Blues operation on Versus. It has the feel of a documentary. Nice touch.

...and Jarmo Kekalainen (Director of Amateur Scouting for the Blues) runs a tight ship. A man with a plan and with the discipline, it seems, to work that plan. The Blues look like they have a pretty good prospect pool, too....

7:00...These kids are so wholesome, you want to spread them on a cracker.

7:07...Craig Leopold wants Jim Balsillie to go away. Next up..Kansas City??

7:16...let the show begin...

...ok, Gary, get on with it...

...any time now... this guy running for something?...

...and finally, Chicago is on the clock...

..."not afraid to go in the tall trees?"...Bob McKenzie is channeling Dan Rather.

Chicago picks...Patrick Kane. Well, that was suspenseful. Eklund sure had that one right....hee-yeah, right.

...geez, the kid carries himself like he's been in the league 15 years.

Philadelphia is on the clock....they pick...James Van Riemsdyk. USA, two for two.

...Wayne looks like he had bad sushi for lunch...

Phoenix is on the clock...they pick...oh, wait, the obligatory ovation for Gretzky...

...they pick...Kyle Turris.

...hey, where are all these trades?

...Bob McKenzie...Canada's answer to Mel Kiper.

Los Angeles is on the clock...they select...Thomas Hickey....whoa, Nellie. The Peerless had him going 14th. This makes Washington's pick even more interesting...the Czech, the Russian, the defenseman....or a trade?

McPhee and Kevin Lowe are talking...I coulda sworn I saw McPhee mouth the words, "all right?" Something's up, kids...

...ok, they're making their way to the stage....guess the trade fell through.

Washington is on the clock...Karl Alzner, after Sam Gagner probably came half way out of his chair when George said, "London Kn..."

Seems like it's not just the uniforms going back to the past; so is the pick. Back to the Western Hockey League.

Pierre likes the new duds..."they don't look like postal workers anymore..." Gee, thanks.

Edmonton is on the clock with the first of three picks in this round...they select...Sam Gagner.

The Versus guys think this is the Voracek pick...

Columbus is on the clock...they select...Jakub Voracek. The kid shakes hands like he's grabbing a beer out of the cooler....wham!

Hey, Rick...the playoffs are over, you can lose the beard. Or is that an "I'm not shaving until we make the playoffs beard?"

Nice look at Cherepanov wiping his eyes and having the Versus guys announce him as "plummeting through the draft." What's next, a phone call from Brady Quinn?

Boston is on the clock...Cam Neely joining the other suits to announce the pick...a nice touch. The Bruins select...Zach Hamill. Hmm...another reach...

TRADE....St. Louis trades #9 pick to San Jose for the #13 pick (Toronto's), #44, and 3rd in 2008.

San Jose is on the clock....they select...Logan Couture.

Florida is on the Clock...they select...Keaton Ellerby.

The Peerless thinks maybe they ought to sell tickets to the Doan-Ellerby Boxing Day hockey game.

Pierre is is "unconscionable" that Cherepanov is still on the board. "It's insanity." He also thinks the Sharks deal was a pre-emptive strike to keep Florida from taking Couture ahead of them.

Carolina is on the clock....they select...Brandon Sutter. My God....he was swallowed whole on stage by his jersey.

Montreal is on the clock...they select...Ryan McDonagh.

The plot is now "Angelo or Alexei?" Who goes first? And will someone stop refilling Bob McKenzie's coffee cup?? The man is wired...

John Davidson is striding to the stage like he's a bouncer about to abuse a drunk.

St. Louis is on the clock...Lars Eller. "The Great Dane"....groan. Geez, Bob.

13 picks in the trade.

Colorado is on the clock...they select...Kevin Shattenkirk.

Edmonton is up again...the Islanders' pick...they select...Alex Plante. Geez, he's a big kid. I thought he was going to step on Bettman and scrape him off the bottom of his shoe on the edge of the stage. He looks a little like Tree Lane from the Mystery, Alaska team.

TRADE...Anaheim trades the 16th pick to Minnesota for the 19th and 42nd. Angelo or could go here...

TSN is interviewing Cherepanov, who is taking matters as well in stride as one could expect.

Minnesota is up...they select...Colton Gillies. Bobby Mac doesn't seem wild about the pick, Dougie Mac less so...too much of an "us too" following along in Anaheim's wake looking for big guys.

New York Rangers are on the clock....they select...Alexei Cherepanov (finally). Nice fashion tie, just a t-shirt.

Dougie Mac really needs to get over Zherdev...

TRADE...Calgary trades the #18 to St. Louis for the 24th and the 70th. The Peerless has to think this is the Esposito pick...

St. Louis is on the clock....they select...Ian Cole. Well, that's an interesting pick -- he wasn't in the top-100 in The Hockey News.

Pierre is on a mission...or maybe he wants to be Cherepanov's agent...

Anaheim is on the clock...they select...Logan MacMillan. And hey...Brian Burke smiled. The Peerless thought he didn't have teeth.

Pittsburgh is up...they select...Angelo Esposito. That's a "best player available" pick, but they are turning into the Flyers. All centers, no wings.

Bobby Mac is like the Rain Man with his ability to spout these anecdotes...

TRADE...Phoenix trades the 21st to Edmonton for #30 and #36.

Edmonton is up....again....they select...Riley Nash.

Montreal is up...they select...Max Pacioretty.

The air seems to be going out of the balloon pretty fast in this draft. Seems really quiet in the arena.

Bobby Mac revising and extending his remarks on the Leopold-Balsillie situation. If Balsillie wants to enter into a binding agreement, Leopold will listen.

Nashville is up....they pick...Jonathon Blum.

TSN is interviewing David Poile, who is being the good soldier. He has to admit that he has to ice a "low payroll" team. The Preds will be in Nashville for 2007-2008, but was somewhat non-committal about thereafter, noting the attendance threshold factor. If body english means anything, his demeanor was "well, it is what it is."

Calgary is up and selects...Mikael Backlund. The TSN boys seem to think this kid will never have to play for Mike Keenan....good bet.

Vancouver is at the podium.....they select...Patrick White.

St. Louis is up again...they pick...David Perron. Bobby Mac notes that he wears white skates.

Detroit is up....Stevie Y making the pick...Brendan Smith.

Pierre likes what St. Louis has done...."they're building a juggernaut in the midwest."

TRADE...Washington trades the 28th pick for the 41st in this draft and a 2nd in 2008.

Trading a first for two seconds? One of them next year? Maybe the Caps are confident of their guy being at 41.

San Jose is up...they take Nick Petrecki.

Ottawa is up...they select...Jim O'Brien.

And now, we're at an end....Phoenix is up...they pick Nick Ross.

And there it is, your 2007 draft first round class. Ten years from now, who will be all stars, and who will be also rans? That's part of the fun of nights like this, the looking ahead.

Clearance Sale...Everything Must Go

The Nashville Hamilton Predators have traded goaltender Tomas Vokoun to the Florida Panthers for a first-round pick and two second-round picks.

Predators GM David Poile was quoted as saying...

"We saw Chris Mason emerge as a No. 1 goaltender in 2006-07 and with full confidence in Chris and Pekka Rinne, we felt as if we could make this move. Mason won 24 games for us this past season, starting 21 in a row at one point, and finished with the second-highest save percentage in the NHL. In addition, this trade will help restock our organizational assets and affords our team more payroll flexibility."
Vokoun earned $2.28 million last year, Mason $1.25 million. Vokoun was signed to a four-year contract extension last September; Mason is a UFA after next season. If our math is right, Rinne's entry level deal expires after this coming season.

The fire sale continues. Last one out, lock up the rink.

It's Official

The Caps are going back to their past.

As Tarik El-Bashir reports in this morning's Washington Post, the Capitals will unveil a red-white-and-blue color scheme in their new jersey at this evening's draft party at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

The Peerless is sure the fans will be seeing red, as it were, and there will be a lot of marketing crap spewed in support of the new duds.

Frankly, The Peerless sees all that as just so much piffle. It's a shirt. A very expensive shirt, no doubt, but a shirt nonetheless. There are a couple of points in the story worthy of comment though . . .

The Capitals' new look, which has been under development in conjunction with athletic apparel company Reebok for nearly three years, puts a modern touch on the star-laden, red, white and blue uniform the team wore from 1974 until 1995.

Three years? Three years?

"It's important to have equity in a color scheme," [Capitals' chief marketing officer Tim] McDermott said. "Look at the Green Bay Packers -- they own green and yellow. We want fans walking around wearing our stuff. It raises our brand awareness and that helps us create more fans."
What Green Bay owns is three Super Bowl trophies among their 12 NFL championships (including being the only NFL team to win three consecutively) and the legend of Vince Lombardi.

Until The Peerless sees the new sweater in 3-D, he'll reserve judgment. But really, is it that important (as in, is it worth getting one's blue shorts in a twist over?)? It won't be a sweater with nearly the attention-grabbing character of a Montreal or a Detroit jersey, but then again, those jerseys are long associated with winning traditions.

Clothes don't make the man in this instance. The men who wear the sweater -- and the degree to which they succeed on the ice -- make the clothes.