With all this talk of the NHL and the NHLPA being on the precipice of signing a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, I've been thinking a lot about hockey. Of course, as I mentioned, the biggest thing that will happen when play resumes is that the highly regarded Sidney Crosby will be the new property of one very lucky team. And all 30 teams have an equal chance to get him. If you don't follow hockey, it's sort of hard to make an analogy to another prodigal athlete. It's not like the 2003 NBA draft when LeBron James was the obvious first pick, because it's bigger than that, but that's about as close as I can come. People don't casually say that a player is "like Gretzky". To do so would be asinine. However, this player is getting those comparisons, even from the Great One himself.
Anyway, I got to thinking about that lottery for the draft. There has never been a more anticipated draft, and this one happens to have some mystery shrouding who will have the rights to the first pick. I was thinking that if there was any justice in the world, a team like Columbus or the Crapitals or Pittsburgh would get him. These are teams that have been struggling for some time and need a lot of help. OF COURSE I would prefer that the 'Canes get him. After that, I'd like to see him go to an Eastern Conference team so I will see him play. After that, and in a less selfish way, I'd like to see him go to any one of the teams that is struggling. Especially the teams with poor attendance like the ones I've already mentioned plus the Islanders and the Preds. Of course the Islanders and the Penguins desperately need to build new rinks, but that's another story.
If you bring Crosby, they will come. All those who say they don't wanna go to hockey games anymore will still go to see this kid.
I was thinking this morning, though, about how there's a lot of teams that already have a ton of talent who have an equal chance to get him. It would seem awfully unfair if a team like, say, the RedWings gets him. They already have a roster full of aging superstars. Actually, they may not be able to sign him because he wouldn't meet their minimum age requirement of 38 years. He's still got 20 years to go before he'd be allowed to lace them up in Hockeytown. Kidding aside, I'd hate to see any team with a stacked roster get the added boost.
I spoke with me season ticket rep today about next season. I had to find out what the deal is with the seat assignments. Normally, they let us pick out the exact seat that we want to sit in. Since we didn't play, they just put me in the same seat I had picked out for last year. Anyway, PJ told me that he's heard a bunch of conspiracy theories about how the NHL was gonna rig the lottery to put Crosby in a major market. I don't know, but that doesn't make sense. The major markets do well with attendance and merchandising and whatnot. Just by sheer volume, they have to. If the League had its own interests in mind, AND they really wanted to rig the lottery, it seems like they would send him to a smaller market. Attendance would rise, people would buy a shitload of "CROSBY" sweaters, and there would be an overall heightened interest in the sport. In a large picture kind of way, but even more so for the small market team. And what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Although a team like Toronto or Detroit wouldn't see an increase in attendance (they already average over 100% capacity), the small market and "non-traditional" markets would benefit tremendously from having the kid.
I'm rambling again. I just don't think that the League would be so dastardly as to rig the lottery. I would certainly hope not, anyway.