I called home this afternoon to see if my family had any plans for next Monday. Turns out I may have to go to Toronto.
As announced today, the NHL is going to take its Draft Lottery show and make it a bigger deal with a slick TV presentation by TSN and also carried by VERSUS and the NHL Network. TSN is asking the GMs from each of the top (or is it bottom?) 5 seeds in the lottery to come to their Toronto studio for the show.
Time will tell if the Islanders "clinch" the 4th or 5th spot. They could also end up 6th before lottery time. The top 5 seeds have a chance at the number one selection in the draft in June.
(This could be the part where I get all PR-ish and say Steve Stamkos is not necessarily the prize, but rest assured any team that gets the No. 1 pick will take him. That said, the teams picking 2 to at least 7 are going to go home with wonderful young players).
For the Draft Lottery big-budget spectacular, I have a feeling the big guns at the League de National Hockey are going to make a push to "convince" the teams to cooperate and send their GMs to Toronto.
I understand the league's stance: this is a big night for the game. I can also see the LA Kings' stance: if Dean Lombardi flies all the way to Toronto, only to lose the top pick, boy would that stink.
On behalf of Garth, I have asked TSN for first-class airfare, a hotel suite, dinner at Harbor 60 and a written apology for any of the network's shots at our team.
That's not too much to ask for complete cooperation, eh?
As I told my wife Catherine, I should know our plans by Friday.