Live Draft Blog
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Friday, 06.26.2009 / 4:07 PM PT / Anaheim Ducks
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By Adam Brady
8:02 p.m. - And this bad boy is over! I know because Versus has now switched to "Sports Soup." Definitely time to get the hell out of here. Heck of a crazy day: Pronger's gone, Lupul's here, the Ducks end up with two first round picks, add a second round pick and I have developed a serious case of carpal tunnel. Brady out.
8:01 p.m. - With the last pick (thank goodness), the Pens take defenseman Simon Depres from Laval, Quebec.
7:58 p.m. - Reader John points out that the book 11 seconds is about the tragedy of Travis Roy becoming paralyzed 11 seconds in his first game with Boston University back in 1995. I didn't realize that. I do remember that his teammate on that team was Chris Drury.
7:57 p.m. - Bettman announces that the last pick of the first round goes to the Pittsburgh Penguins and the crowd cheers. I think they're ready to get the hell out of there. After all, it's 11 over there and Montreal has some of the best strip clubs in North America. So I've heard. I've never been there. No, I'm not bitter I didn't get to go to the draft this year. Why do you ask?
7:56 p.m. - Good God this thing has dragged. It was scheduled to run from 4 to 7 and we're well past that.
7:52 p.m. - Here are some of Palmieri's "favorites," according to NHL.com, along with my comments: Video game: NHL '09 (love it), Movie: American History X (deep), Website: facebook.com (remember, he's 18), Book: Eleven Seconds (never heard of it), Activity away from the rink: Golf (how will he ever fit in with hockey players?), Place to visit: The beach (good thing Edmonton didn't take him).
7:38 p.m. - Here's a quote from scout Gary Eggleston on Palmieri's release from the national team: "No one really knows what happened. As with a lot of other situations, rumors and innuendo happen in times like this and it's hard to pry the truth. I've given up asking people because it's kind of a fruitless effort. I do know that I don't think it will affect his draft standing and I don't think it should. Shame on the people who are drafting if it does because it would be silly to let something like this get in the way of his play on the ice."
7:34 p.m. - Ducks take center/right wing Kyle Palmieri of Montville, New Jersey and the USA Hockey National Team Development Program. Another New Jersey kid, after the Ducks did okay with the last one -- a guy named Bobby Ryan. Versus mentions that Kyle was kicked off the national team for "breaking a team rule." But, they add, "They have done an investigation to make sure it wasn't anything serious" and pretty much come to the conclusion that he and some other kids had girls up in their hotel room during a tournament when they shouldn't have. My kind of guy. He's headed to Notre Dame in the fall. I like it.
7:32 p.m. - Pierre Maguire mentions that Bob Murray "did a tremendous job on the fly" with the deals he made at the deadline. It's also mentioned that "they won the Cup in '07 and now they have Getzlaf, Perry and Ryan for the next 10 years." I just got chills.
7:32 p.m. - The Ducks are on the clock.
7:29 p.m. - Email from one of our Power Players: Can somebody please tell Burke to brush his hair?! Woof!
7:28 p.m. - I love how every time they show Brian Burke chatting with Dave Nonis (the Toronto Senior V.P of Hockey Operations who was briefly with the Ducks), Nonis doesn't say a word the whole time. He just kind of stares straight ahead and nods his head. Burke was just telling him how dumb it would have been to trade Luke Schenn.
7:22 p.m. - Boston is up next, then the Ducks.
7:20 p.m. - Yet another Swede taken, as Washington nabs Marcus Johannson, the seventh Swede taken in the draft, a new record.
7:18 p.m. - Brian Burke is shown chatting with Dave Nonis and Burkie looks pretty haggard, frankly. Hair messed up, eyes a little puffy.
7:13 p.m. - Vancouver GM, during an interview with Schroeder, is asked if he thinks the Sedin twins (both free agents) are going to be in the Canucks lineup in the fall. "I do," he says.
7:10 p.m. - I'm constantly amused by the graphic TSN puts up (with Versus using them) where they compare the picks to current and past NHL players. Schroeader gets COMPARABLE: STEVE YZERMAN. Okay guys. Not getting ahead of ourselves or anything.
7:08 p.m. - The Canucks take the surprising move of sending goalie and captain Roberto Luongo up to the stage. He gives a little welcome in French and then announces the Canucks take Jordan Schroeder. Finally that kid gets picked, as he was the fifth-ranked North American skater and fell to the 22nd pick. The fact that he's 5-8, 178 is probably the biggest (odd choice of words) reason. "Congratulations. Great stuff," you can hear Bettman say as Schroeder gets to the stage.
6:56 p.m. - The Ducks had the next pick, which they picked up in the trade with Philly. After it's announced the Ducks are on the clock, Versus shows Bob Murray at the team table and he's kind of staring off into space and not talking to anybody. And then we find out why. The Ducks traded that pick to Columbus for picks 26 and 37. Guess the Ducks feel like they can get who they want at 26 and now they have a second round pick when they didn't before. Remember, they had given it away when they got Brian Sutherby from Washington.
6:53 p.m. - Bettman says, "We have a trade" and then disappoints the crowd by saying Calgary has traded its 20th pick to New Jersey for the Devils' 23rd and 84th.
6:44 p.m. - The Rangers acknowledge Alexei Cherepanov, the kid they took first in 2007 who died after collapsing on the bench during a game in the KHL. They then take center Chris Kreider of Maryland, the first American taken in the draft.
6:34 - Versus mentions that the fans in Montreal waited in line to get into the building starting at noon today (the thing started at 7 p.m. their time). We've got a nice hockey market out here, but we can't possibly compare to that. The Canadiens are next and they take Louis Leblanc, the 13th-ranked North American skater. The crowd loves it since Leblanc is a hometown boy, a Frenchy from Montreal. He's also on his way to Harvard next fall. Every mother in Montreal hopes her daughter marries Louis Leblanc. Huge cheer and then chants of "Loooooouuuuuu" from the crowd after the selection. Maybe in addition to the cheers, those fans can give him a cheeseburger. He's rail thin at 6-0, 169.
6:32 p.m. - Don't forget the Ducks also have the 21st pick in the first round after the Pronger/Lupul trade.
6:30 p.m. - We've got a ton on Ducks draft pick Peter Holland if you click here.
6:14 p.m. - The Ducks are on the clock, with Bob Murray, David McNab and Randy Carlyle on the stage. Versus points out that of the last five first round picks, only Bobby Ryan is on their roster. Director of Amateur Scounting Martin Madden announces the Ducks take Peter Holland, a center from Guelph of the Ontario Hockey League. He's a 6-2, 185-pound center, a position the Ducks need, but he won't be ready to fill that spot yet. He had 28 goals and 39 assists in 68 games last year and apparently has a collection of miniature Zambonis from all 30 teams. Interesting.
6:08 p.m. - Every time a pick is made, the Ducks logo is in the background on the big board as the 15th pick. But they use the Ducks word logo rather than the Ducks "D," so it's very small. Not pleased.
6:02 p.m. - Zack Kassian, a winger from Windsor, Ontario, goes to the Sabres at 13. Some mock drafts had the Ducks taking him. That doesn't look like it's going to happen now.
6:01 - Here's the Joffrey Lupul conference call.
5:56 p.m. - Chris Duthie on Versus has Chris Pronger on the phone reacting to the trade and Duthie asks if he's the missing piece in Philly. "I'm hoping that's the case and I'm looking forward to it." Pronger is asked if he talked to Scott Niedermayer today and he said they exchanged texts this morning and then he got a call in the afternoon from Scotty saying he was coming back. "He said he hoped I'd be around, but I think we all know the answer to that one," Pronger said. I can tell you this, Pronger DID NOT want to be traded. I feel for the guy, since he apparently liked it here so much, but that's the life of the pro athlete.
5:53 p.m. - Back from the call, which I'll post in just a second. The Islanders traded up to select Calvin DeHaan, which gets a surprised reaction from Pierre Maguire on Versus. DeHaan was ranked 23rd among North American skaters.
5:45 p.m. - Lupes just gave a rave review for Sbisa, calling him a future "No. 1 defenseman."
5:42 p.m. - Lupul is doing this conference call from his summer (now permanent) home in Newport Beach. Think he's stoked?
5:33 p.m. - The Oilers drag about a dozen execs, plus some kid in an Edmonton jersey, to the stage to announce their next pick. GM Steve Tambellini says they are "extremely proud" to select Magnus Paajarvi-Svenson, who when he gets to the NHL will set a new league record for longest name. The Swede (big surprise with that name) was the second-ranked Euro skater in the draft and word is he's a few years away from being ready for the NHL. Heck, so are most of the Oilers. He'll fit in perfectly.
5:29 p.m. - The Sens take Jared Cowan from Saskatoon and Murray gives him a look that says, "I actually wanted Kadri." He's a 6-5, 200-pound defenseman. He's a monster already and he just turned 18.
5:26 p.m. - I'll be turning my attention away from the draft to be part of a conference call with Joffrey Lupul (who I'm hearing is thrilled) in a little bit.
5:20 p.m. - The Stars take Scott Glennie (nickname, I'm assuming, "Glennie") from Oakville, Ontario and the second player from the Brandon Wheat Kings taken in the first eight picks.
5:17 - Dallas picks next and the Versus guy announces that they haven't picked this high since they took Ric Jackman fifth overall in 1996. Why does that make me laugh so hard?
5:12 p.m. - Flashback to the mic'd conversation between Burkie and Murray, in which Burkie says, "We're taking Kadri. Is that the kid you wanted?" Murray sadly says, "Yep." Burkie responds, "Well, we're gonna take him" and walks away.
5:09 - Burkie steps to the stage and gets hardily booed. They didn't have him when he was in Anaheim. He says, "The Toronto Maple Leafs ..." then pauses for a good 10 seconds so as to not talk over the boos. Very polite of him. He announced the Leafs take Nazem Kadri of the London Knights. He's ranked 15th among North American skaters. A bit of a surprise.
5:09 - Brian Burke and Ottawa GM Bryan Murray are shown having some serious discussions. But nothing comes out of it.
5:05 p.m. - Nazem Kadri is featured in a video package and says, "I think there is a fine line between confidence and cockiness." You know, people say that to me all the time.
5:04 p.m. - Oliver Ekman-Larsson is taken by the Phoenix Coyotes and his mother immediately Googles "houses in Hamilton, Ontario." The Versus commentator compares Ekman-Larsson to Nicklas Lidstrom. Just stop it right now.
5:03 p.m. - Phoenix exec thanks Buffalo Wild Wings for hosting the draft party back home. Yeah, that needed to be said.
5:02 p.m. - Bettman announced "We have a trade to announce" and the crowd goes wild. Then he announces that Columbus and the Islanders traded picks. It gets a lot quieter.
4:56 p.m. - The Kings take Brayden Schenn, whose brother Luke also went in the top 5, last year to Toronto. Schenn played for the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL last year and absolutely killed it. Brian Burke is shown right after the pick not looking happy. He wanted Brayden to join Luke on his team.
4:55 p.m. - Dean Lombardi gives a talk about newly inducted Hall of Famer and Kings exec Luc Robitaille that is translated into French by a guy standing next to him. This draft could take five hours.
4:54 p.m. - The Kings are on the clock. Let's see if they find a way to screw this up.
4:48 p.m. - Atlanta takes Evander Kane, who looks no more than 13 years old. He's young enough to be named after Evander Holyfield apparently. I feel about 80 right now.
4:47 p.m. - Sorry, been away for awhile trying to deal with this Pronger-Lupul trade. Again, I'm thinking it's a good deal for the Ducks since they were bound to lose Pronger anyway and they got a ton in return.
4:38 p.m. - Colorado starts its rebuild by taking centerman Matt Duchesne. Think he ever got made fun of with that name? I'm wondering what his nickname is. By the way, that's Newell Brown's nephew.
4:35 - Bettman officially announced the deal, which apparently has Anaheim prospect Ryan Dingle also going to the Flyers. Pronger and Dingle to Philly for Lupul, Sbisa, two firsts and a conditional third (2010 or 2011).
4:35 p.m. - Brian Burke is mic'd up by Versus. Absolutely shocking that the attention-shy Burkie would agree to this.
4:30 p.m. - Lightning exec says after drafting Hedman, "as a lot of people know, our struggles last season started on our back end." What woman hasn't thought that about herself at one point in her life?
4:28 p.m. - The Lightning take d-man Victor Hedman of Sweden, who some thought might go No. 1 to the Islanders. He's tall, and next to Bettman on that stage he looks about 7-foot-4. Pierre Maguire points out that Lightning now have Hedman, Stamkos and Lecavalier, but says "for now" after the latter. Yeah, that might not last too long.
4:25 - More to the point, here is what is reported on Versus: Pronger to Philly for Lupul, Italian defenseman Luca Sbisa (their first-round pick last year), Philly's first round pick this year and their first round pick next year.
4:20 - Just got an email saying that Pronger is going to Philly for Joffrey Lupul, two first-round picks, a prospect and another conditional pick. As much as we love Pronger, this is absolutely huge. More on that later.
4:17 p.m. - Islanders exec Mario Saraceno gives a little talk in French (I took Spanish in high school, so I have no idea what he's saying.) He introduces GM Garth Snow, who thanks Montreal for the hospitality and acknowledges the 10,000 fans at the draft party. See, this is why this thing takes three hours. He finally announces the Islanders select John Tavares, which is not only the right pick, but the one that will sell the most tickets.
4:13 p.m. - Commissioner Bettman is welcomed to the podium and is roundly booed. He says in French, "Thanks for the warm welcome." Smug and sarcastic, as usual. He mentions that no team has won more Cups than their 24. Doesn't mention they haven't won one in 16 years.
4:09 p.m. - A shot of the unbelievably crowded draft party for the New York Islanders fans, as Pierre Maguire says the Islanders should take John Tavares. Why does the draft party draw way more fans than their actual games?
4:02 p.m. - Darren Dreger of TSN is one of the first on the screen as Versus starts its coverage and reports that the Ducks are trading Chris Pronger to Philadelphia. I haven't heard anything here yet, but we'll keep you posted.