Monday, July 18, 2005

The NHL is still dumb

After 300+ days of a lockout, the NHL finally reached a deal, but it appears that they still haven't gotten any smarter. According to Al Strachan (link is dead) and backed up by TSN, the NHL draft lottery will not be televised. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. You guys take away hockey for an entire season, and then right off the bat you have an opportunity to get fans of every NHL team excited about the game again and you're not going to take it? Do you have any idea what the ratings for that telecast would be in Toronto? Granted, Joe Fan in Raleigh probably doesn't care all that much, even though if you care about hockey at all you have to have heard the name Sidney Crosby, but it's a good opportunity to get a lot of fans excited again.

As a Wings fan, I know that it's just over a 2% chance that the Wings will get Crosby, but I also know that there's a very good chance (I'm not doing the math but I figure it to be about 30%) that they'll end up with at least a top 10 pick. Even if the Wings don't get Crosby though, I really want to see who will get him. Even if you don't show the lottery drawing itself live, at least do what the NBA does and pull out the envelopes one by one. I want them to start at 30 and reveal the team. I want to be holding my breath every single envelope, hoping that the Winged Wheel won't show up for a few more picks. I want to exhale and cheer when I see an Avs logo in the 30th spot. According to the articles I've read, the networks have been begging the NHL to show it and the league said no.

Wait, what dude? You're actually going to TURN DOWN free, positive publicity? You're going to turn down a chance to be on national television? Ugh. They've got a great chance to get people excited about hockey again and they're going to pass it up. I'm not going to dive into the conspiracy theories as much as the article on TSN does. I'm just pissed more than anything because draft lotteries are FUN. Especially when there's a prize as big as Sidney Crosby out there.


According to this post on Red Wings Central, Art Regner said that McCarty, Hatcher, and Whitney are going to be bought out. Hatcher and Whitney are no brainers. Ray Whitney should be the first player in the league to be bought out. Hatcher makes too much money to keep, especially when we could use his cap space to maybe re-sign Mathieu Schneider (who was Detroit's best dman in 2004, not Lidstrom). Plus, with the new rules opening up the neutral zone, Hatcher is going to be exposed even more. I don't think he's as bad as he looked last year. Those ACL injuries are tough to come back from, especially in the same season. But he's not going to be nearly as effective a player under the new rules as Schneider. I'd lover to see him back. That'd give us Lidstrom, Schneider and Kronwall who can make breakout passes. I think Kronwall is going to just be a stud with the new rules. He impressed me when he was up last year. As for McCarty, I'd hate to see the guy go. He might be getting toward the tail end, but man it'd be tough to see him in a different jersey. That might be a buyout they have to make though, as you could probably get a pretty solid player for the 1.5 million in cap space (or so) that they'd free up with Mac gone.

The Free Press reported that Dmitri Bykov might be coming back from Russia. He played on Detroit's blueline a couple seasons ago and actually did pretty well. He was an overager that we drafted (If I'm not mistaken) and didn't look out of place at all as a rookie. I was sorry he went back to Russia. I'd definitely be a fan of him coming back though.

In the near future I'll make a post as to if I was Ken Holland what I would do with the team. This offseason is gonna get good. Apparently EJ Hradek (so take this with a grain of salt) reported that the draft is going to be July 30. And Jack Johnson will likely become Michigan's highest drafted player ever, beating out Aaron Ward. Yes, that Aaron Ward. Can't wait.

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