NHL Cancels Most Anticipated Player Draft In Sport's History

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/2005/03/24/971217-cp.html

Man, I didn’t see this one coming. The NHL, claiming an unwillingness to block out hotel rooms in Ottawa despite having a $300,000,000 war chest of funds, said that they will cancel this year’s entry draft.

This puts the idea of landing the highly hyped Sid Crosby on hold and perhaps more pressure on the NHLPA to make a deal. Although if fear of ruining the game was to be a motivator for the NHLPA, they could have signed on to a better deal this winter.

Don’t think for a second that the owners haven’t been discussing what to do with Crosby, Brule and the other kids in this draft for many months now. With no season this year, there is going to have to be a new system that the owners agree on in order to determining the order a team picks in the draft whenever that draft may be. Bettman could really use Sid Crosby in a major American market like LA, Detroit or New York as to resuscitate the TV interest in the game. As much as Leafs and Habs fans will be outraged, Crosby would help the game best if he can get Americans watching it on TV in record numbers.

I would guess there is going to be some sort of random system chosen such as the NBA style ping pong balls and the a reverse order where whoever gets the number one pick goes at the end of the second round. In the event the owners are thinking about an impasse and redrafting all the players (including the kids) there is an interesting new question – where would you take Crosby? No. 1 overall? Not me but perhaps I am crazy. I would look to Iginla or Lecaviler before Crosby because they are young and proven. Crosby wouldn’t be too far behind on my list however.

Who would you pick first in an overall draft with prospects and players to rebuild your team? What will happen with the draft and the CBA?

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