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Blue Jackets Links

Schedules unchanged, and draft picks going East.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Word comes from a variety of media outlets that the NHL schedule will, in fact, not be changing for the coming year. In the end, it looks like Gary Bettman decided to ride the fence and be noncommittal to either side of the issue, in effect giving power brokers in the league such as Devils' General Manager Lou Lamoriello what they wanted by exerting their influence: less travel to save themselves time and money.

Talk about selfish. This isn't what the fans want, and the league has known this for quite some time. And the issue about Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin only making the full rounds through the Western Conference over the span of three seasons is just part of it, too; it's about seeing other teams. Even if the schedule had reverted to the pre-lockout format, I would have been content. Why? Because at the least I could catch games the Blue Jackets' played away on the television, and see teams I am not used to seeing play my team one way or another.

Anyway, that's just part of the issue. Curiosity struck me this evening as I watched the All Star red carpet festivities over NHL.com while they streamed them, and I went to good ol' Wikipedia to see if my sudden inquiry as to the NHL draft was true. The inquiry, you ask? Just how many first round draft picks has the Eastern Conference had as of late, anyway?

It's not pretty, if you're a Westerner.

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21 years, 4 picks. Less than a quarter of the top draft picks in rather recent history have gone to the Western Conference.

Now no one in particular is to blame for this, really. It's just a product of each conference's skill level, as well as the teams in each one. Even so, it causes one to quirk a brow in mild irritation at the balance of top picks (or unbalance) between the conferences. True ... trades, realignment and team relocation, as well as other variables can be factored in. But the fact of the matter is that the East, for the most part, has been able to get its hands on most every top pick for who knows how long.

And considering that the Philadelphia Flyers are a whole 11 points behind the next worst team (who happens to be Los Angeles in the West), it doesn't look like this pattern is about to change, if the draft lottery doesn't change anything.

Ah well. What can you do, right? In the end, this only happens to have become an issue because of the fact that the two most electrical players in the sport right now are both in the East. And at this rate, it may continue to be an issue as more top picks get snatched up by an Eastern Conference whose lower rung teams are just flat out pathetic.

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1 Comments:
  • At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Drew said…

    Expand your view to the top 4 or 5 in each draft and see what you get.

     
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