Unlike some of my more polished and well-financed colleagues in the media, I decided to capture the true blogger spirit in covering the 2007 NHL Draft the only way I knew how: taking an 11-hour ride on a Greyhound bus that left Washington, D.C. at 1 a.m. (Yes, I am that cheap.) Among the highlights:
- The homeless man that intercepted me at Union Station in D.C. and proceeded to "escort" me the half mile to the bus station. I learned he was from Jersey, he had a cousin with a pink jeep (because he wanted to "drive like a pimp") and he ran interference when a trannie hooker with Michael Spinks's chin tried to proposition me; he earned $2.75 in quarters for the effort
- The janitor at said bus station mopped the floor with what appeared to be Mr. Clean: Urine-Scented.
- The crazy old woman in the front seat of the bus who had no internal monologue, kept hounding the driver for going too fast and was actually shaving her head with a disposable razor during the trip.
Now that I'm in Columbus, there's already a trade that's gone down. TSN.ca confirms the buzz here that the Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired goaltender Vesa Toskala and winger Mark Bell from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a conditional first round pick, a second-round pick in 2007 and a 2009 fourth-round pick. The first-rounder is protected: The Sharks can use it tonight, or move it to 2008; if the Leafs have a top 10 pick in 2008, the pick moves to 2009.
Some quick thoughts about the draft, a few hours before the festivities begin:
All indications are that Patrick Kane will go No. 1, whether or not the Blackhawks keep the pick or deal it. That ruins a really interesting storyline should he slip to the Flyers at No. 2: Kane's uniform number honors his year of birth, which is 1988. Would the Flyers ever allow a highly touted rookie, or anyone for that matter, to rock to the black and orange wearing No. 88 again?
Zurich-born OHL defensive prospect Yannick Weber's nickname is "Swiss Guy." Awesome.
Finally, sound the porn star name alarm: One of the top goaltending prospects in the draft is the WHL's Tyson Sexsmith. In fact, his nickname is "Sexy." Let's see how long that lasts in a professional room...