April 7, 2008

NHL Draft Lottery Live Blog

For only the second time in league history, the NHL Draft Lottery is being televised and here at Casa de Leahy, I've got the NHL Network on to catch all the action and analysis. I'm actually pretty sure I haven't changed the channel once on my television from the NHL Network since it hooked up with Direct TV back in October.

ESPN who?

7:55pm: TSN's James Duthie introduces us to the real stars of tonight, the ping-ping balls inside the NHL's New York office.

7:56pm Opening montage with clips of Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin with the theme "Everything changes". Mike Milbury and Bob McKenzie in the house tonight.

7:59pm: Bob McKenzie says he'd be shocked if Stamkos was not selected first overall. James Duthie let's us know this is the earliest the Draft lottery has taken place. Definitely has to do with television and I think with two days off between the regular-season and playoffs, this is a great way for the league to keep hockey in the news and to hold over fans until Wednesday night.

8:01pm: NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly explains how the lottery will work, noting they have a lottery machine. What else do they use this for the rest of the year? Steven Stamkos is via satellite.

8:02pm: Mike Bossy (Islanders), Al MacInnis (Blues), Peter Mahovolich (Thrashers), Luc Robitaille (Kings), and Dave Andreychuck (Lightning) are in studio representing the bottom five teams that have a chance to win the lottery and first overall pick.

8:07pm: A commercial for NHL.com's "The Hockey Show", which will debut Wednesday.

8:10pm: Bob McKenzie calls the upcoming draft a deep one. Some other names to look for this June in Ottawa: Zach Bogosian, Nikita Filatov, Luke Schenn, Mikkael Boedker, Colin Wilson, Tyler Myers (a 6'7 defenseman, hello mini Chara), and Cody Hodgson.

8:13pm: Steven Stamkos live from Sarnia is interviewed.

8:14pm: The lottery has already been chosen and Bill Daly is here to announce the draft order.

8:15pm: #5 pick will be the NY Islanders. Long Island groans. Mike Bossy doesn't look happy.

8:15pm: #4 pick is St. Louis. They've got some work to do after a disappointing year.

8:16pm: #3 pick is Atlanta. First time ever at #3. Now it's down to LA and Tampa. Bill Daly will announce who won the lottery.

8:16pm: The #1 pick goes to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Dave Andreychuk looks happy and tanner than he did earlier. Steven Stamkos could be headed to the Sunshine State.

8:17pm: Andreychuk is very excited and it's a nice boost for Lightning fans who are just four years removed from a Stanley Cup.

8:18pm: Stamkos says he's ready to make the jump to the NHL. I would think he'd have a good chance of making any of the teams in the top five next season. He would be a pleasant addition to lineups in need of a spark. Many scouts have compared Stamkos to Steve Yzerman. Nothing wrong with that.

8:21pm: The various hockey clips spliced into one "play" is definitely my favorite NHL commercial

8:23pm: Milbury describes his emotions about winning and losing the lottery. Rick DiPietro was his choice when the Islanders won the lottery. When the Islanders lost, "Mad Mike" make the infamous Alexei Yashin deal in 2001.

8:30pm: The rest of the top 14 draft order is as follows:
6. Columbus
7. Toronto
8. Phoenix
9. Nashville (from Florida)
10. Vancouver
11. Chicago
12. Anaheim (from Edmonton)
13. Buffalo
14. Carolina

8:39pm: Not too bad of a broadcast. I don't understand why they can't just show the ping-pong balls being selected one by one. Doing it in the league offices beforehand and announcing the results gives fuel to those who says some draft lotteries are rigged.

Besides that, I like the fact that the Lottery was broadcast. Having the NHL Network, Versus, and TSN broadcast it is another plus for hockey fans dying for more programming.

8:41pm: That's all for me. Congrats to Tampa for winning and hopefully this is the first step in their turnaround.
Ballhype: hype it up!

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