Life is Full of Surprises

Amazing. That just about sums it up.

Panthers win lottery, will select #1

The Florida Panthers now own the No. 1 pick in the 2003 NHL entry draft. Florida won Monday’s NHL draft lottery, moving from the No. 4 slot to No. 1. Carolina, which based on its last place finish overall, moves to the No. 2 pick while the Pittsburgh Penguins move from No. 2 to No. 3 and Columbus moves from No. 3 to No. 4.

The rest of the draft order remains unchanged from the regular-season finish of the clubs.

TSN.ca

This is the second year in a row that Florida has won the lottery and moved up. Florida had a combined 24.9% odds of wining, because of their trade with Columbus to swap picks. There isn’t really a run-away #1 pick this year, with Zhederev, Stall, Michalik, and Horton all #1 material. Horton is probably who the Panthers would select, as they are in need of a PF. Some wonder if Dudly will even keep the pick, or move it like he did last year. All I know; Dudly is brilliant!

NHL on Thin Ice?

I find this article quite interesting, and we’ll finally be able to see how good Commissioner Gary Bettman is.

Predators are gone if CBA not agreeable to owner

In an interview on WWTN, owner Craig Leipold stated that the Nashville Predators will not be able to function unless the new CBA addresses the needs of smaller market teams. This is the most direct statement he has made that things are going poorly for the team. Nashville currently has the lowest attendance in the NHL, and the Corporate/individual season ticket base ratio stands at 35/65 – opposite of most other professional team ratios. The team is teetering on the edge, and unless the team solidly makes the playoffs next year, the team will fold or move.

Playoff Predictions

Now that the matchups are set, I am gonna lay down my predictions for this years playoffs…..feel free to make your own as well, that’s the fun part!

Red Lights and Bad Blood-Nucks v.s. Notes preview

Joel Quineville called it “One of the best regular season games of all time” when the Canucks hosted the Blues in a 4-4 tie nearly a month ago. It’s hard to believe one of these high powered offenses will be gone by the 2nd round, get ready for war! Western conference style.

Those Las Vegas Odds…….

Well, I was curious at what some of “those” thinkers out that way thought the odds of the teams that have clinched their spots would be right now. I did some digging and saw what they were.

Here they would be:(this is according to the site that pops up here on the HTR board)

Detroit: 13-5

Colorado: 4-1

Dallas: 9-2

Ottawa: 9-2

New Jersey: 5-1

Vancouver: 8-1

Philly: 10-1

St. Louis: 12-1

Toronto: 13-1

Tampa Bay: 20-1

Washington: 25-1

NY Islanders: 34-1

Anaheim: 40-1

Minnesota: 40-1

Boston: 50-1

Edomonton: 60-1

I don’t see Colorado ahead of Dallas though. One other site had Dallas & Colorado with the same odds of 5.5-1.

Fedorov, club call off negotiations

BY HELENE ST. JAMES

FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

Negotiations to keep potential unrestricted free agent Sergei Fedorov in a Red Wings uniform have been adjourned until the end of the playoffs.

Super Mario to Retire?

TheFourthPeriod.com states that Mario Lemieux may retire after his post-game comments.

And the winner is…

With less than a week of regular season I think it’s time to say who will win the different NHL awards. So here are who I predict will win these different awards with others who might have a shot.

Lightning vs. Capitals

With under a week to play in the NHL season, there’s only one playoff match up set. The Tampa Bay Lightning will play the Washington Capitals. The only question is who will win the division and be the 3 seed, and who will be the 6th seed. So i thought i would post a preview of the series.

Forsberg Planning To Return To Sweden?

DENVER POST: Terry Frei reports a Swedish newspaper is claiming Colorado Avalanche forward Peter Forsberg won’t be returning to the club when his contract expires at the end of this season, and is rumoured to have begun talks with his Swedish hometown team, MoDo, about returning to play for them as early as next season. Kent Forsberg, Peter’s father and the man who handles MoDo’s player contracts, said his club has not begun to talk to any Swedish NHL’ers yet, as they haven’t finished their NHL season and such actions would be considered tampering. When questioned, Peter Forsberg denied the story, noting he wasn’t quoted in it and claimed it was made up by a reporter who took his father’s words out of context. Still, Frei notes that Forsberg has said he’d like to finish his playing career back in Sweden, and suggested the winger may only play another season or two in the NHL if the league can avoid a work stoppage at the end of next season. The reporter also noted that other Swedish NHL’ers, including Markus Naslund, have hinted they’d like to finish their playing careers back in their home country, although some, like Detroit defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom, have used that as a negotiating ploy to land a sweeter contract.

The Future of the Flight-less Birds

I’ve been delaying writing this submission for some time now, but after watching the Penguin’s game last night against the Flyers, I realized it was time.

US College Hockey: Ever-Growing Force in Player Development?

While browsing around ESPN.com I ran across this article on the signings of two Michigan State hockey players to play professionally (somewhere).

And that got me to thinking — it seems a LOT more NHL players are coming out of the US collegiate ranks nowadays. Is the level that much better than it used to be, or are they just being scouted better? What gives? Or are we just noticing it more now? And is US Collegiate hockey in the same danger as NCAA Hoops and football are?

A Clear Case of Heresy

Okay – There hasn’t been anything new posted for a day and a half. Yesterday some of the more creative among us were so bored we went into a movie quote frenzy, which I have been told happens on here from time to time (sorry, Mikster).

The Sounds Of Silence

Okay – the playoffs are fast-approaching, and those of us fortunate enough to be blessed with a talented team to root for are poised on the brink of becoming raving lunatics (you will notice no difference in my case).

I feel this must be said.

This is about me posting Lucky13′s article (“U.S. vs. Canada…who cares?”): I feel I need to clear a few things up.

Hemsky The Next Kurri?

Who else but Ales Hemsky on the Edmonton Oilers plays similar to Jarri Kurri? Who else in the NHL, for that matter, plays like Kurri did? I’m thinking maybe 2 or 3 players. Ales Hemsky, a shoe-in for rookie of the month, has 15 points so far this month, with 2 more games to go in March. This kid has only 28 points this year in 55 games. Odds are, about 25 of those points were highlight reel plays. It’s funny, because you can tell which rookies have adapted the best. How? Simple, look in years past a the players who have won rookie of the month in the final month of the season, they’re the ones that adapted the best, and they’re the ones that became great players.

Philosophical Questions inspired by the Avs – Kings

Hello, class. please answer the following questions as quickly and honestly as you can. I know they were inspired by a game that was essentially meaningless, but that’s a good time to let a twisted imagination (such as mine – and yours – I see what you’re doing – put that down and pay attention) run amok and unfettered. Here goes:

U.S vs. Canada…who cares?

A long time ago someone drew this imaginary line in the dirt. If you live on one side of the line, your brother gets to go play in a sandbox in Iraq and beat up the other kids that play there and if you live on the other side of the line, you can pay ridiculous taxes and boo other National Anthems.