April 2, 2008

NHL Draft Lottery to be Televised

From the NHL:

" NEW YORK/TORONTO – The National Hockey League Draft Drawing, a weighted system to determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, will take place Monday, April 7, at 8 p.m. ET at the NHL’s New York City office.

The League, in cooperation with TSN, further announced that the results of the Draft Drawing will be televised live by TSN in Canada; VERSUS in the U.S.; and NHL Network in the U.S. and Canada. Furthermore, the results will be streamed live on NHL.com and TSN.ca and broadcast live on XM Satellite Radio. It will be only the second time the Draft Drawing results will be televised live, and the first time since 2005, when the Pittsburgh Penguins won the right to select first overall and drafted Sidney Crosby.

The 30-minute, live program – titled “Scotiabank NHL Draft Lottery” – will begin at 8 p.m. ET and will originate from the NHL on TSN studios in Toronto. TSN’s James Duthie will host the program, with Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie and analyst Mike Milbury."

This is fantastic news for hockey fans and a reason to applaud the NHL for providing fans another incentive to get the NHL Network. I was very interested to see what type of programming the NHL Network would have once it arrived in the US back in October. With the amount of events that occur after the regular-season ends (World Championships, NHL Lottery, NHL Draft, opening day of free agency, and training camp), fans with the NHL Network should hope the league uses their channel to bring fans year-round coverage of all things hockey.

UPDATE: Looks like the NHL is going to imitate the NBA with their draft lottery presentation. Signature players (retired), not the teams' general managers will be attendance in Toronto. With many ex-players now working for organizations, expect guys like Mike Bossy, Dave Andreychuk, Al MacInnis, and Luc Robitaille to possibly be in attendance.

Ballhype: hype it up!

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