51 to go.
On Friday night, I managed to complete the first item on my list of things I’ve always wanted to do. I attended the NHL draft here in Ottawa, which was #11 on my list.
It was lots of fun thanks to trades (although that meant my favourite team, the Montreal Canadiens, never got to choose). We also gave Wayne Gretzky the loudest and longest ovation of the night.
Steve Stamkos was selected first overall. Hopefully, he becomes a superstar so we can one day say “I was there when he was drafted.” But Stamkos shook hands with three rows and about 40 people before making it to the podium. Next time, you can wait until after, eh Stamkos?
EDIT: The other great thing about the night was the fans’ reaction to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Lots of booing every time they were even shown on the scoreboard, but it was crazy when they got up to announce their pick.
Montreal traded their pick to Calgary for Alex Tanguay, which is okay. They have a guy who can get 80 points a season, help out the other players, and fits in well. He’ll probably replace Michael Ryder on the team.
Toronto also gave Montreal rights to talk to Mats Sundin. I think it would be great if Montreal could land Sundin before July 1. All of a sudden, they would have three potential scoring lines. They’d have Koivu, Higgins, Sundin, Tanguay, Kovalev, Plekanec, and the Kostitsyn brothers: That’s eight scoring threats for the top three lines. They would then have four good role players for the rest of the lineup. Look for Latendresses to benefit greatly from all this. I think they would put him on the third line with two of those players, which should help his stock greatly.