Yeah, so after dissing the NHL draft the other day, I went ahead an watched it on Friday night anyway. Well, not the whole thing, but at least the first 20 picks or so.
In case you missed it, the Avalanche drafted Kevin Shattenkirk in the first round and a bunch of other guys I've never heard of. I'm certainly not the guy to evaluate draft picks (just ask Thomas) and other bloggers have already have some good commentary on Shattenkirk and the draft - Dear Lord Stanley, Jori at Avs Prospects and Shane at Avs Talk. I will say one thing, though: the Avalanche organization sure seems committed to the John-Michael Liles prototype. While many fans are calling for the Avs to git bigger and meaner on defense, JF Giguere and friends are sticking with the smaller, offensive-minded players. In other words, might want to hold off on buying that Scott Hannan Avalanche jersey. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing a bit more balance - offensive and defensive blueliners.
Overall, I enjoyed the draft coverage...with the obvious execption of Pierre "Chereponov Lover" McGuire. The only way I can listen to McGuire is to picture his non-stop yelling rants as if they were coming from Louis in Ghostbusters. "Hey guys, I'm here at the awesome draft party oh, hi Rick Nash from Brampton Ontario who played for the London Knights, how's the guacomole dip? Wait, I'm locked out of my own apartment and I don't have my keys, and I want to get in there so I can let everyone know that I hang out with hockey players. Let me in, guys. It's not funny any more. Guys! Guuuuyyyyyyys!"
And Doug MacLean? Doug, it was nice to hear you candor about Nikolai Zherdev...for the first hour or so. After that, I got a bit weary of him working the Zherdev-got-me-fired angle in every commentary. It wasn't quite as bad as hearing McGuire push Chereponov on us at every turn, but it was close.
While I'm ranting...Gary Bettman? Obviously, I think you are the NHL anti-christ...but that's not important right now. What I don't understand is why you insist on speaking at these things when you know a good percentage of the fans are going to boo you. Justified or not (want to guess where I stand?), you know it's going to happen. And, every time you get that smug little "yeah-I-knew-that-was-coming-you-pissants-now-get-the-hell-out-of-my-yard" look on your face. Ok, you win. You aren't bothered or surprised by the booing. Super. But, it still makes the NHL look ridiculous to have its commissioner booed like that. Next time, send someone else with ties to the NHL - someone the fans actually like. Send Messier. Send Yzerman. Hell, send Ulf Samuelsson (he can talk, right?). It doesn't really matter, as long as it isn't you.