Friday, June 26, 2009

NHL draft = hope

The NHL draft this year will be like any other year - not that exciting. Just like the NBA draft was the other day. It'll be months before fans get a chance to see their picks in action (at the least) and years before they see their picks in action (most likely).

BUT there's plenty of reason for there to be hope and speculation and an opportunity to let your imagination explore the possibilities, instead of just watching another grueling season, game by game. Especially interesting is letting your imagination flop around with all of the trade speculation. In the years since the salary cap, it's been difficult to make major trades with expensive franchise players, but it seems that right now, there are enough free agents and salary cap space that there could be some exciting moves before the beginning of the draft this evening.

Right now there is a reported offer from Boston where they'd send the highly offensive Phil Kessel (a great player) to Toronto for Tomas Kaberle (a multiple all-star defenseman) and the seventh overall pick (worth a lot). To me, I'd say not a chance. Kaberle is too great a talent for too reasonable a price, first off. Second, the team continues to require solid defense (which they don't have now, let alone after they trade away their top D) - and Burke (I have to guess) wants to use the 7th pick in a package to move up in the draft (not to hand to some other team he competes with in his own division).

So that's my guess - I'd be totally shocked to see Burke agree to this move, especially after how vehement he's been for a high asking price.

Regardless, the deadline is this evening, which means the pressure to make deals, and big deals, is high right now. But it'll all be about acquiring high draft picks - not about acquiring big name players (like Heatley).

ALTHOUGH basketball had some huge players moved around to big teams last evening, where Shaq was moved to Cleveland with Lebron James and Vince Carter heading to Orlando to help out Dwight Howard (or however you spell his name). Those are serious. MAYBE the NHL will follow suit and we'll see some major moves during the draft tonight?

This is what makes things exciting, anticipation, imagination, hope. Bring on the draft.

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