Thursday, June 26, 2008

The NHL Draft

Now updated with photos. My transfer program still isn't working, but my sister stopped into town on her way to Costa Rica with her card reader, so I was able to get all the images off my camera. (6/28)

So I'm thoroughly behind on blogging because I was out of town, then busy, and then, finally, exhausted. I went to take a little nap between getting home from work and watching So You Think You Can Dance last night and instead I was out for the night by about 6:30. I live such an exciting life. Also, I would like to note that I would have pictures with this post but my photo transfer program isn't working. If I get it figured out, I'll add the pictures in later.

That said, it actually has been a busy few weeks. This past weekend I went up to Ottawa to attend the NHL Draft. Because if you were a hockey fan with minimal interest in any players below the NHL level it would make perfect sense to go watch crusty old people draft 18-year-old kids most of whom will never play in the NHL, right? It's safe to say I was skeptical about the entertainment value inherent in this thing. In fact I had a vivid picture of myself as one of the listeners trying to kill herself in Airplane. Still getting a chance to meet Alix of The Humming Giraffe, Pookie and Schnookie of Interchangeable Parts, Patty of Penalty Killing, and Heather B. of Top Shelf outweighed the potential boredom of the actual event, so off I went. Of course I'm writing about it days after the fact so everything has already been covered by actual hockey bloggers and I'm just repeating what other people have said, but I figure that's OK because being original has never been a hallmark of this blog.

And as it turns out, the NHL draft isn't nearly as boring as I thought it would be. Hurrah! Bettman was vaguely charming while being booed and is, of course, hilariously short, which is extra-obvious in person when tall hockey people are constantly walking past him. Also amusing is that the people running the show regularly spoke to the GMs as though they were unruly children. I suspect that's probably necessary. The first day we were way up in the 300s and could see only well enough to notice when our GMs were on the phone or away from their seat. Although that didn't stop us from attempting long-distance body-language reading. The draft doesn't exactly move quickly in the first round but between the GM watching, looking up players in the Hockey News draft preview I'd picked up, and chatting with each other and the Ottawa fan sitting next to us, we kept ourselves busy and entertained.
(The arena emptied out pretty drastically after Ottawa made their pick.)

Special entertainment props need to go to the Islanders for trading down not once, but twice, and the Devils for deciding that if the Islanders could do that than they could too, thank you very much. Also to John Carlson for handing his coat to Gary Bettman as though Bettman were the doorman. The Sabres did their bit by drafting a giant with their early first round pick. They later returned to their usual midget drafting with their late first round pick. I have nothing but admiration for Regier's apparent commitment to on-ice physical comedy. Seriously, all I want in life right now is to someday see Tyler Myers on the ice with Nathan Gerbe on a regular basis.

The second day of the draft was . . . less interesting. Mainly because with a few exceptions I didn't know who anyone was. But those exceptions we're totally fun. We got to see Alix's cousin drafted and we also got to see a kid Schnookie had run into on the elevator the previous night drafted. And, because we were allowed to sit in the 100s on the 2nd day, we were able to see everything much more closely.
(Regier makes a trade on the second day.)
We could even see the Sabres watching video of prospects before making their selections. We didn't stay for the whole draft, but we stuck it out through the 5th round, which seems pretty good to me.

And of course the off ice stuff--girly drinks, delicious food, and a hockey card games--was a blast. The card game, courtesy of Pookie and Schnookie, was particularly fun for me not only because I love games but because the cards are totally hilarious. Just look at that goalie (he was waived rather quickly). The very best part of the trip, though, was that everyone was just as fun in person as they are online.

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