Thoughts and observations from draft weekend that can't be gathered together under a unifying theme or snappy acronym, dammit:
Â• The atmosphere inside and outside Nationwide Arena Friday night should be a real source of pride for the locals, as well as a lesson for those Canadians who cling to the erroneous belief that hockey can prosper solely in frosty northern climates.
Fans in the arena were as enthusiastic as any I've seen assembled for the draft. And I can't believe I'm about to type this, but the crowd's ovation for Blue Jackets owner John H. McConnell before his pre-draft welcome speech bordered on touching.
At that point, anyone in the stands who hailed from Boston or Chicago could have been forgiven for believing they were hallucinating.
Â• My esteemed colleague Ken Campbell had it exactly right in his pre-draft column when he predicted an anti-climactic ending to what was rumored to be a trade-filled weekend.
The lesson: rumors, fun as they may be, should always be regarded with a healthy skepticism. Yes, even the ones that come from my esteemed sources.
Â• That the NHL has come a long way in making itself more media-friendly is a fact that can't be disputed. However, the league's inability to provide reliable WiFi service during the first round of the draft had more than a few reporters and editors cursing a blue streak.
Â• In case you missed it, the Lightning selected Swiss prospect Luca Cunti 75th overall Saturday.
In related news, several headline writers for Tampa Bay newspapers were admitted to hospital, suffering from unending fits of laughter.
Â• How do you go about flirting with a young customs official, anyway? There's a fine, dangerous line between cutesy banter and body cavity search Â– and quite frankly, that's a line I fear to walk.
<<...as well as a lesson for those Canadians who cling to the erroneous belief that hockey can prosper solely in frosty northern climates.>> Ummm... Columbus is frosty and chilly! At least it is to for all of us Canadians living on the coastal mainland of BC and Vancouver Island. Last I checked, I didin't see a lot of Canadians saying hockey can't survive in BC's Lower Mainland, especially with three first rounders coming from that area this year. Best regards, - Don Taylor
Adam, As a transplanted Bostonian in Columbus i always appreciate the love we show JMac especially given the lack of on-ice success thus far. Of course, having ten years in Washington, DC between Boston and Columbus and still being a fan of all three teams, i understand too well that just having the owner care doesn't necessarily help. Anyhoo, hope you had a good time in Ohio and come back for a game this season. It is an equally good time.