In an effort to increase the Draft Lottery’s stature as a major event, the NHL is asking the general managers of the five clubs with a chance to get the first overall pick to be in Toronto on April 14.
Now, instead of former stars such as Mike Bossy and Dave Andreychuk standing in for their franchises, the made-for-TV event will feature GMs such as the Islanders’ Garth Snow and Tampa Bay’s Brian Lawton. The reaction shots should be priceless.
There was some last-minute talk about bringing in the managers last year for the Stamkos-Doughty sweepstakes, but some begged off, citing scouting obligations. It was resolved back then that future lotteries could be mandatory for the GMs, so they shouldn’t make any plans.
The Islanders, Colorado and Tampa Bay are locks to be in the “top” 5, while the final two positions have yet to be decided. The NHL has not confirmed their plans to feature the general managers in the dramatic production, but league and broadcast sources tell Point Blank a plan is in motion.
Excellent idea by the NHL. Fans deserve to see the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat on a GM’s face – while they’re feeling the same.
Gilroy Bidding Intense: Ken Campbell of The Hockey News has a good story on Tyler Bozak and Matt Gilroy. Ken says Gilroy could make $3 million a year and his agent is asking for most of it in a signing bonus. I believe the number will be closer to $2 mill. Either way, that’s a gamble. If Matt decides to take that dough to play in a pressure-cooker like Toronto, you’d really have to respect his guts.
Point Blank on TV Pre-Game Show: Barring getting bumped, or a tennis match, I will join C.J. Papa on tonight’s MSG Plus pre-game show sometime after 6:30. We’ll take a look at some of the Islanders’ top prospects in the junior and college ranks. The plan for now is to zero in on the top 4, plus name a Most Improved and Biggest Wild Card. Regular readers of this blog should be able to name most of the 6 selections.
“NY Hockey This Week”: Co-hosted by Don La Greca and I, our show on 1050 ESPN can be heard on Sunday from 4:30 – 5:30 pm.