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NHL Draft 2007 ... Part 2 of 2.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Notice:
With the NHL Entry Draft now over, and me being in desperate need of a more relaxed few weeks after the past several, I'm going to be scaling back Army of the Ohio posts to a M/W/F format instead of the full weekday format. Right about now, a break is looking real nice, and soon enough I'm going to be preparing to move in to my new place sometime in either mid/late-July to early August.

Besides, even with the free agent market on the horizon, I don't foresee too much to talk about on a near-daily basis that I couldn't touch on every other day instead. But if anything rather dramatic does happen on those off-days, I'll do my best to post.

With that out of the way, on to the conclusion of the draft!

---------------------

Saturday (full day): Let me preface the recap of Saturday's events by saying that the league should consider starting the draft around noon, and not at 10 am in the morning. Now given, I am sure that both Columbus and the NHL never, ever expected such a turnout for the first day, let alone the larger-than-expected turnout for the second day, so it's understandable that they presumed it best to just kick things off early, and get on out of Nationwide Arena before 3 pm in the afternoon. Still, for many people, a start just an hour or two later might've been appreciated.

Despite the turnout, the 2nd day was still modest and definitely a ton more low-key than the first, as teams had only a couple of minutes each time to make their draft picks. I was actually surprised that the final pick happened sometime around 2:30 pm; it seemed as though everything just went by so fast.

During the day, I actually ran in to a few people in particular. Besides seeing The Acid Queen, Sarah, Tapeleg, and Truth Serum one more time each, I also bumped in to a writer for ESPN the Magazine, who I spent some time talking with and feeling out for his opinion on the pick of Jakub Voracek as the Jackets' first round pick. I also ended up bumping in to Columbus' third pick (their additional 2nd round pick) Will Weber, who definitely seemed like a pretty cool guy. I know that he is taking part in the developmental camp down at the Dispatch Ice Haus this week with the likes of Jackets' prospects and players Marc Methot, Gilbert Brule, Derrick Brassard, and Adam Pineault. If you have the time and are around the Columbus area, head on down and check things out; the camp lasts from Tuesday to Saturday.

The rest of Saturday was somewhat uneventful; I took a glance at the trophy display, but just couldn't get too enthusiastic at any of them outside of the Stanley Cup. True, they're all very shiny, very pretty, and very big ... but they just aren't the Cup, which I spent a good few minutes just admiring.

I'm going to cut things off here. To be honest, I'm sort of preoccupied with a couple of things involving school preparation as well as a bit of an inventory check prior to boxing things up in my place over the next few weeks. Before I do go, though, the newest news from the Jackets' via The Columbus Dispatch ...

Jackets don't qualify Aaron Johnson
It really puts just how much this organization is looking to change in to perspective, when you see that Aaron Johnson isn't given a qualifying offer. Under Doug MacLean, we had been under the impression that A.J. would definitely be getting a qualifying offer. Under Scott Howson, we're seeing a completely different direction taken, with Johnson being shown the door to free agency.

Johnson just didn't live up to expectations, and they were unrealistic ones, at that. The contract that he and his agent managed to get out of GMDM is probably what ended up burying him, as it meant that a qualifying offer just wouldn't be fair to the Blue Jackets after seeing A.J.'s play this past season.

During one of the more injury-laden periods in January, Johnson found himself beginning to play some wing position on the 4th line, instead of just defense. This could very well have been a sign of things to come, as Ken Hitchcock may've been grasping at straws to find a place to put Johnson that would work for the player, for the team, and possibly even make Johnson more of a use for them the rest of the season and possibly the next.

Meanwhile, Howson did extended qualifying offers to Alex Svitov and O.K. Tollefsen, which was almost to be expected considering their play last season. It's true, I dogged on Hitchcock's decision to try and put Svitov up on the top line during the season, in large part because it was at the same time that Geoff Platt had that hot hand and even hotter stick. But regardless of that, Svitov has still made some great strides, reviving a career in the NHL that was on the brink before he was shipped from Tampa Bay a couple of years ago (thanks, Drew).

We'll see where things go from there. I'm out 'til Friday. I hope to have a modest player analysis of the Jackets' draft picks by then.






Labels: , ,

1 Comments:
  • At 9:25 AM, Anonymous Drew said…

    Just to clarify, Svitov came to the Columbus organization in the Sydor trade. Modin came with Norrena in the Denis trade.

    Glad to hear you're getting a second to relax!

     
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