For those who decided to skip last night's festivities, the 2nd official NHL All-Star Player Draft came and went as smoothly as possible. The two-hour event had plenty of memorable moments and when the dust had settled, the rosters were set. On paper, it seems like Chara and Lupul had the better luck in the draft with securing high talent early on. However, lest we forget, this game really doesn't matter and anything could happen:
Forwards: Lupul (TOR), Datsyuk (DET), Malkin (PIT), Hossa (CHI), Perry (ANA), Kessel (TOR), Kane (CHI), Iginla (CGY), Gaborik (NYR), Eberle (EDM), Seguin (BOS), Benn (DAL)
Defense: Chara (BOS), Timonen (PHI), Suter (NSH), Campbell (CHI), Phaneuf (TOR), Wideman (WSH)
Goalies: Thomas (BOS), Price (MTL), Howard (DET)
Rookies: Adam (BUF), Diaz (MTL), Greening (OTT), Hodgson (VAN), Johansen (CBJ), Landeskog (COL)
Forwards: Alfredsson (OTT), Spezza (OTT), Giroux (PHI), Stamkos (TBL), D. Sedin (VAN), Michalek (OTT), H. Sedin (VAN), Neal (PIT), Tavares (NYI), Hartnell (PHI), Pominville (BUF), Couture (SJS)
Defense: Karlsson (OTT), Letang (PIT), Weber (NSH), Girardi (NYR), Yandle (PHX), Edler (VAN)
Goalies: Lundqvist (NYR), Quick (LAK), Elliot (STL)
Rookies: Couturier (PHI), Faulk (CAR), Hagelin (NYR), Johnson (MIN), Read (PHI), Smith (NSH)
Overall, I think the NHL can deem the second NHL All-Star draft a success. All the players participating kept things loose and did their best to enjoy the moment. But like in any cliché interview, there is plenty of work still left to do for future drafts. By my count, there were a few winners and losers that came out of the event:
Not only did Chara manage to snag the first pick in the draft, but he also used his first two picks to load up his team with two of the best stars in the entire pool. Pavel Datsyuk and Evgeni Malkin have a chance to turn heads come Sunday. And in a unlike captain fashion, Chara made his assistant captain do most of the work while he greeted some familiar faces in Hossa, Thomas, and Seguin. Sometimes, all you need to do is hug it out.
If you believe in some of the folklore, then Logan Couture is going to have a monster season next year. After being picked last in the 2011 All-Star Draft, Phil Kessel is having a career year this year. Expect Couture to do the same, as he will become the new face of the Sharks franchise. (Side note: He handled being picked last quite well).
The pending Nashville UFA defenseman finally had a chance to step into the spotlight after plenty of seasons behind teammate Shea Weber. This weekend will be a prime opportunity for the media to pump up the hype train on Suter. Some whispers in Nashville suggest that Suter is the better defenseman of the Weber-Suter combo. The question remains - will he be available at the trade deadline?
Future Hair Care Sponsors
A lot of the times, NHL fans don't get to see the players without their helmets. During the draft, we saw that there were plenty of stars that prefer to let their hair grow out. Between Karlsson, Letang, Stamkos, Benn, Hartnell, and Lundqvist you would think hair care companies are going to jump for an advertising spot next year. They have plenty of players to pick from if they'd like a spokesman.
Lupul / Hartnell
While it would be easy to separate the two given the fact that Lupul let the constant booing get to him and the media suggesting Hartnell could get picked last, it wasn't until this morning that the two made this list as one. Puck Daddy shared an interesting story in which the two shared a toilet during a TV timeout. I won't get into the details of it all but the story alone is worth a facepalm.
Mr. Couture! Please step down to receive the keys to a brand new…. Crosstour?!? Really? Out of every model you decided to give a hockey player a Crosstour? If you really consider yourself the official vehicle of the NHL, it would be the perfect time to bolster heavy-duty vehicles like the Pilot, Ridgeline, and maybe even the CR-V. One look at the Crosstour and Couture was thinking which family member he could quickly give the vehicle away to. Do have data that suggests the NHL fan demographic is going to learn towards purchasing a Crosstour? I doubt you do.
It isn't anything personal, but there was absolutely no reason for sharing breaking tweets or trending topics. If the media wants to get behind the scenes content out there, fine - but mixing social media in on the television side of the draft was an absolute failure. Until we have the option of adding tweets to our television, both parties should be kept separate. #LetsMakeBoomATrendingTopic
By the end of the night, some of the fans in the stands were worthy of getting kicked out. We understand that Ottawa hates the Leafs but did you really have to bring up Wade Belak's name? The shouting started out being humorous ("Where's Ovechkin?") to something I wish I could've muted. Is it too late to fly in fans from Raleigh?
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