The death of the Hamilton dream

James Mirtle has an excellent article on how the Predators are being railroaded to Kansas City rather than allowed to move to Hamilton.


Which four players most deserve to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame?
Glenn Anderson
Tom Barrasso
Ron Francis
Doug Gilmour
Phil Housely
Igor Larionov
Claude Lemieux
Al MacInnis
Mark Messier
Scott Stevens
Pavel Bure
pollcode.com free polls


Top FUNHL Prospects

With the NHL's ED now behind us its now possible to put a face on some of the top prospects that will be available at our upcoming prospect draft.

1. John Tavares-C OHL (Oshawa)

The Severed Heads have already indicated they are targeting the teen-age phenom, and why not? The sharpshooter lead the OHL in goalscoring as a 16 year old. The downside to him is two-fold, 1: unlike Crosby, Gretzky or Mario, Tavarres is not an elite playmaker, and 2: selecting him two years before his ED eligibility means his window of opportunity as a productive player will be short. Despite all that, the young gunslinger they compare to Mike Bossy is considered the class of this years PRD.

2. Patrick Kane-C Chi

Despite being undersized, the kid has both the wheels and the hands to excel at the next level. Will get every opportunity to play heavy minutes once he arrives as the Ch-Hawks are desperate to remake their offensive forwards, and Kane is being counted on to form the back-bone of the team along with Jonathon Toewes and Cam Barker.

3. Alexei Cherepanov-R NYR

Fortunately, we don't care if the kid back-checks, parties all night or displays a flagrant disregard for system hockey, his coaches, the English language or his team-mates. The kid brings offense to the table - lots of offense. Sold!

4. Sam Gagner-C Edm

A slick play-making pivot, a solid hockey pedigree and above average speed and hockey sense. The downside? He's in Edmonton, and his shot selection isn't awesome. Could evolve into a 30-55-85 guy with the right wingers.

5. Kyle Turris - C Phx

He's apparently got loads of offensive talent, yet he failed to be the top scorer in his league - despite playing a step down from Jr. He gets compared to everyone from Sakic to Heatley, but he's got to play in Phoenix - where talent goes to die. He will be interesting to watch as he is headed to a season of NCAA before turning pro. All in all, I'm intrigued enough to consider him a top 5 candidate, but I'm not sold him completely.

6. Van Riemsdyk-L Pha

He's a hockey player, the only question is whether he'll be Brad May or Keith Tkachuk. I'm betting somewhere in between. You absolutely have to be patient with this guy, because power-forwards always take more time.

7. Kris Letang - D Pit

An undersized puck-mover, he'll eventually replace Sergei Gonchar and join Ryan Whitney as the teams top powerplay tandem. Eventually.

8. Steve Stamkos - C OHL (Sarnia)

A Pat Lafontaine like speedster with hands, he's projected as next years top pick in the NHL ED. Is he worth the risk given that his bio reads suspiciously like that of Angelo (Alexandre Daigle) Esposito? Yes.

9. Carey Price - G Mtl

Carey is scarey good. Easily the top prospect goaltender available, and Montreal may well begin to hand him minutes as a means of assessing his readiness.

10. Mikael Backlund-C Cgy

He'll be a top prospect for two reasons - 1: despite being selected in the mid-20's he's actually really good! Backlund was considered one of the top prospects for this ED but was derailed by a knee injury - something he has apparently recovered from, and 2: he's in Calgary where we'll all have the chance to over-scout him, and fall in love with yet another Flame. All in all, he's a high skill player on a team that desperately craves high skill players. If his work-ethic is sound, he'll be groomed for immediate placement.

Non-Hockey Reporter's Take on the NHL Entry Draft

Hi Guys,

Stumbled upon this the other day and thought it was a hoot.



Entry Draft - Saturday, September 29, 2007

Well, its official - Richard, GM of the Lost Boys, and bob's AlterEgo Moriarty, GM of the Shadowmen have their booked their flights to attend this year's entry draft at Collin's.

bob is also going to try give gifts to each particular GM...surprise!

I thought I should confirm this with the league...though it was confirmed by Dan on an earlier post which disappeared [cam's apologies to dan] on that combined post...after the draft lottery.

See you in September!


Toskala the Leaf

With Toskala now likely to see good action as a Leaf. Is there anyone interested in getting him as an RFA? I'd be interested in trading for more RFAs (though, I'm going to be picky about quality) or trading for picks.

Let me know.



Future FPs? and GMs to drop

Here is a list of perhaps >12 possibles...with no guarantees and in NO particular order

1. Lecavalier-C
2. Spezza-C
3. Kiprasoff-G
4. Zetterberg-L
5. Datsyuk-C
6. Rick Nash -L poach
7. Ryan Whitney -D poach
8. Gaborik-R [?inj risk]
9. Giguere-G
10 Lundqvist-G
11 Ollie Jokinen-C [esp. with Horton re-signed and Vokoun added]
12 Gonchar-D
13 Havlat-L [?inj risk]
14 McCabe-D [pts+TG]
15 Alfredsson-R
16 Briere-C
17 Savard-C
18 St. Louis-R

Which GMs will drop FPs?

Mike [bye to Naslund or Hejduk with pick #1-> say hello to the Kipper]?
Collin saying bye to Elias with pick #4 [esp with Gomez gone]?
Will Darrell swallow another year of Floppa Forsberg?
Bob saying bye to JovoCop -> DEFINTE BANTHA FODDER
Chris has the hate on for Sundin
Rob is "waiting for Godot" with whither Scott Neidermeyer retires or not


Cameron Live Blogs the NHL ED 2007!

Ok, it's only 4:00 and I already have some items to report:

- Tomas Vokoun has been traded from the Predators to the Panthers for a 1st and 2 2nd rnd picks next year. With the departure of Forsberg, Kariya, Hartnell, Timmonen and now Vokoun, the five best players on the Predators from last year are officially gonzo. They will be lucky to win 20 games next year. Next stop, Kitchener!

- Calgary deals for the overpriced Adrian Aucoin. He gives the Flames some depth and room to maneuver around the departures of Hamrlik or Stuart. He's too slow and expensive for my tastes, but the cost (Zyuzin and a minor-leaguer of no note) is not steep.

- Roberts and Recchi re-sign in Pittsburgh. So? On a more interesting note, Bob and I were talking last night and I think it very possible the Severed Heads will be making a bid on Ryan Whitney (6'4", 215lbs, 59 pts in 06-7) in the first round just so I can watch Dan's head throb like Michael Ironside's in the final battle of 'Scanners'.

- Oh yeah, and there is no way I'll be taking a goaltender at any point except after Dan completes his wraparound. No shock really, but I wanted Dan to have another reason to rue the fact he's got me at pick 11 going before and after him. We've played too much bridge together for him not to know I am going to finesse him all draft long. Cue 'evil laugh'!

- My top prospect choice John Tavarres (no mystery - he's why we traded for the top pick) is campaigning to be allowed to be drafted next year instead of the following year! Why? He misses the age cut-off by only five days, and his Mike Bossy like goalscoring ability has scouts drooling. The OHL made an exception for the gun-slinger, and the NHL may well follow suit.


- I just found out the Leafs have traded draft choices for Toskala - solid move. He'll stop them from burning out Raycroft and give Pogge a chance to develop.

They also picked up Mark Bell in the deal, which all in all, is a pretty decent 3rd liner for them.

The rumor of the team asking McCabe to waive his no-trade clause appear to be true. Don't be shocked if he doesn't return to the Islanders from whence he originally (lo those many years ago) came from.


- The TSN programming has finally kicked in, with a review of the trades etc. Personally, I'm a little horrified as it looks like they will be carrying on the tradition of interviewing the 18 yr old kids in what can only be described as excruciating television.

- Doug Wilson, GM of the Sharks, looks tanned, and relaxed - and is utterly unrecognizable from his days as a defenseman in Chicago where always he looked pale and intense to the point of berserker.

- Maguire just got his first face time. I'm waiting for him to explode in a hail of goo when a team like Edmonton drafts a soft European ahead of Colton Gillies. His explosive outrage makes the whole show worthwhile.

(Picture of Pierre Maguire shortly after the Islanders selected Robert Nilsson over Zach Parise. C'ept in real life there was more spit.)


- Rumour offered by Darren Dreger - Luc Bourdon to Phx for the #3 pick so the Canucks can select Kyle Turris. Wow - that would be SWEET.

4:45 baseball highlights. Holy crap, Roger Clemmons is still alive. Who knew?

4:49 short pause to grab a Corona and some strawberry/mango pie. Mmmm pie.

4:52 highlights of Canada getting completely hosed by the refs at the Gold Cup (?) of Soccer in their match with the USA. Somewhere in Germany Corey is screaming in rage.

Man, Soccer is painfully dull in even when it is just the highlights. Maybe there are 18 year old hockey players being interviewed on another channel...


- Finally some more hockey, Tyler Arnason has re-upped with Colorado. Yawn. Has their ever been a less exciting 3rd line centre? Unless you count his off-ice issues with strippers, being threatened by his coaches and a general bar-fly nature, he's completely colourless as a hockey player.


- Amid gooey stories about proud parents and pimply kids going to the draft (sniff) are images of Brandon Sutter with his dad Brent walking into the draft together. Once Brandon adds 10-20lbs of muscle on that frame he'll be an imposing force. With so many question marks at the top of the draft, getting an oversized Sutter kid like Brandon by trading down would be a great move for any GM.

5:07 - !!! BREAKING NEWS Nashville owner Leipold has advised the NHL in writing that he does not want the NHL to consider Balsillie as an owner for the Nashville Predators. The Hamilton Predator dream is over.

5:08 - Bob MacKenzie calls Patrick Kane will be the top pick to Chicago. God has spoken.

5:09 - Kyle Turris meets Steve Yzerman. Once upon a time, Stevie Y was passed over for first spot in an NHL entry draft so an American team could take an American born player named Brian Lawton. I believe 'doctrine of eternal recurrence' is what Nietzsche called it.

5:16 - Bettman shows up at the podium and the boos begin even before he opens his mouth. Has any league ever had a commissioner more despised? Nevertheless, he says all the right things about Columbus - which, all things considered, has been a success story - especially in comparison to Nashville.

5:21 - Patrick Kane (as expected) goes to Chicago. Dale Tallon gave a speech about how Chicago had never had the top overall pick before today. Any comparisons between the Wolves and Blackhawk are purely coincidental ;-), but without a doubt, I would rather have Rob running my team than Bill Wirtz.

And the first flawed pick of a deeply flawed draft is now done! Then again, how flawed can a 62 goal scorer be, even if he's only 5'9"? That's three inches taller than Theoren Fleury was - and he turned out Ok.

5:26 - TSN put up a list of the US born players who have gone first overall, and there are some real duds...Lawton, Berard, DiPietro, oh my.

5:27 Philadelphia takes VanRiemsdyk - which also makes sense. He's big, strong, and can score. Prototypical Flyer material. Will bookend with RJ Umberger. Twice people have compared him to Rick Nash - but the other name I heard that makes a lot more sense is John LeClair.

5:34 - Standing ovation from the Columbus crowd for Gretzky. Sweet.

5:35 - Kyle Turris is taken by the Coyotes. Sorry kid. He does get bonus points for having a moderately hot Mom. I suspect he just dropped no fewer than five spots in our prospect draft (and as much as a full round) by landing in Phoenix. Will spend at least one more year in College.

5:37 - Bob has joined me on the phone to participate!

5:38 - Bob swears that Vokoun's presence in Florida lifts them into a playoff spot. His argument is solid, Vokoun will win them three more games, and that would be enough to get them in.

5:41 - LA takes...Thomas Hickey?!?!? According to God (Bob Mackenzie) at least one other team had him rated in the top 5. Still, this spells, R-E-A-C-H. Doug MacLean is 'shocked'.

5:44 - Dean Lombardi is interviewed about the pic and looks like a young Christopher Walken with a bad perm and a Dr. Strange white forelock.

5:48 - Washington's new uniforms look WAY better than last years (very old school Capitals) Karl Alzner will look good wearing it, and given the offense that Washington has with Semin, Ovechkin and Backstrom, a D-man was necessary. For Alzner to still be around is excellent news for the Caps. In a reversal of Turris' situation, Alzner will probably move up the prospect draft lists by landing on such a loaded club.

5:51 - Pierre Maguire is still ice-calm. We need to change this.

5:53 - Oliers select Sam Gagner. Solid fit, but for a team that lacks goal scorers to get another play-maker, it could be troubling. Solid top 5 prospect pick for our prospect draft because of his talent level and the lack of competition among Oiler forwards for ice-time. Voracek may have reminded the Oiler brass a little too much of Ales Hemsky - and one under-achieving play-making winger with bad English is probably enough.

6:00 - Jennifer Hedger needs to tone down the bright red lipstick. And seeing her with a pearl necklace makes me feel dirty.

6:02 - Everybody - me, Bob, God, Doug Maclean, everybody, correctly calls Voracek for the Blue Jackets. Yawn. At the very least he'll feed Rick Nash the puck in the slot.

6:05 - Hate the new Blue Jacket uniforms. Hate them. On the flip side, Voracek's dad has a mustache like Polish Labour leader Lech Walesa. Rick Nash is caught on camera sporting a scraggly mountain man beard. Fine facial hair all-around.

6:08 - Cam Neely is introduced to make the pick for Boston. I can feel my pulse race! Zach Hamill, the player selected, is the antithesis of Cam Neely, being only 5'11 - though he is a BC native like Comox boy Neely. Alexei Cherepanov's free-fall is now accelerating.

6:14 - San Jose trades up to get the #9 pick for #13 and #44 and a pick next year. Whoo hoo, a trade! A real trade! (well, almost real, its for a top 10 pick). The Sharks do this to take Logan Couture - SWEET! Severed Heads GM reportedly does cartwheels at the thought Couture will end up with Thornton and Co, and gives an 'in your face' to the Great Whites GM who scooped Esposito ahead of the Heads forcing the Couture pick on them.

6:23 Florida's pick of Keaton Ellerby knocks both Esposito and Cherepanov out of the Top 10. Unbelievable. The story about how the Doan/Ellerby Boxing Day hockey game plays out is one of the best insights offered on the day. Ellerby's dad has arms like tree-trunks, and if Keaton grows into his frame the same way, he'll be a beast.

6:25 - Maguire shows some spark defending Cherepanov, 'complete insanity he hasn't been picked yet'. If he slips a few more, we can look forward to a burst vein or two.

6:29 - Brandon Sutter will be a Hurricane. Grinder or goalscorer? Doesn't matter - he's all hockey player. Not a great prospect pick for the FUNHL as he could easily end up on a third line for years.

6:34 - Ryan Mcdonagh to Montreal. The Cherepanov and Esposito despair deepens. That said, Mcdonagh is what the doctor ordered, a puck rushing defenseman with good blood-lines. Still, passing on Esposito here could make for some awesome motivation for the kid moving forward ala Denis Savard getting passed over to land in Chicago.

6:39 - Lars Eller to St Louis. A pencil thin DANE just got picked ahead of both Esposito and Cherepanov. Wow. I've now seen everything.

6:41 The vein in Maguire's forehead is now bulging and throbbing viciously, he could pop. His skin colour is bright red. It's nice to know there are things you can still count on in this world.

6:44 Captain Shattenkirk lands with Colorado. Another offensive defenseman from the USNDP. A solid call, who should be able to fill out a top four spot in a few years. Above average prospect now that he is in Colorado.

6:45 - Esposito is close to tears every time the camera pans over to him. Cherepanov has someone with him who looks like a Russian garden gnome, and both he and the garden gnome look like they have inadvertently swallowed bugs.

6:49 - Edmonton goes for hulking Hitman defenseman Alex Plante. If someone had told me that both Esposito and Cherepanov would fall below a one-dimensional defensive defenseman who lacks mobility and a thin Danish skill winger I'd have laughed at them until I passed out. It's now officially the bizzaro draft.

I didn't think it was possible that Logan Couture would go ahead of either of them, and he's now 6 picks ahead of both!

6:53 - Anaheim trades their pick #16 to Minnesota for #19 and #42. In other words, Anaheim didn't want either of the two guys rated in the top 10 that fell to them at 16. I'm now so stunned, it's incomprehensible. Turns out that Cherepanov's garden gnome isn't a relative, he's the kids translator. If he were a few inches shorter he'd be the spitting image of Barry Trotz with no neck, and that thick across the chest build that comes from drinking vodka.

6:56 Minnesota moved up to take Colton Gillies. A massive, bruising crash and bang forward with zero offensive upside. Future checking winger. So the Wild MOVE UP to take a solid checker, rather than a game-breaking winger or offensive pivot. If Maguire isn't apoplectic by now, I soon will be.

The good news? The Rangers could add Cherepanov or Esposito to play with Jagr, and Calgary now has a shot at the other one. Unbelievable.

6:58 -Jennifer Hedger's lipstick doesn't look as freakishly coloured as before. Bob suggests she's been kissing someone. I know in my heart that this cannot be true.

7:01 - Cherepanov to the Rangers! Finally! Could be sick if he comes over early enough to play with his hero. Did they dream this was possible at the start of the draft? Likely not. Holy Cow!

7:05 "I will be more than happy to play with Jaromir Jagr" Cherepanov's translator declares on behalf of his charge to Darren Dreger in the obligatory painful post selection interview.

7:06 Calgary trades #18 for #24 and #70 with St Louis. Bye bye Esposito as a Flame. Now I feel sick.

7:09 - St Louis takes Ian Cole-D USNDP. Another blue-line rusher from the US. Yawn. Esposito is now actually green. The last time I saw someone turn that colour it was after imbibing a double digit number of shots at the U of C bar.

7:10 Maguire talks about how Sather went four times to Russia to see Cherepanov play. The evil one is walking on cloud nine right now.

7:12 - After dropping from 16 to 19 Burke takes a kid from PEI, Logan MacMillan to play for the Ducks. Reminds Doug MacLean of Sami Pahlsson.

7:16 - Beer run!

7:20 - Esposito has landed - in Pittsburgh!!! Angelo, your pain was worth it. Your linemates are now, Crosby, Malkin, and Staal. Ridiculous. Simply ridiculous. If I was doing cartwheels when Couture landed in San Jose, Dan will be doing backflips and handstands to find Esposito in Pittsburgh.

Doug calls Bob to find out what is going on and has this pithy comment: "Malkin is now expendable". As if.

7:25 - Edmonton takes Riley Nash after trading up with Phoenix to get their pick for #30 and #36. Eh. Having passed on Esposito twice, I have zero faith in the Edmonton braintrust.

7:31 - Montreal goes off the board to winger Pacioretty, a LW with decent speed and grit. Yawn. Where is Mayorov going to land? (Now that the obvious story lines are settled with Esposito and Cherepanov finding excellent clubs to play for). What kind of a kid is Pacioretty? He models his game after Jed Ortmeyer. Worst. Answer. Ever.

7:34 - God is now speaking about Jim Balsillie, "Craig Leipold has asked the NHL to cease doing due dilligence on the deal, until Balsillie gets a binding agreement in place". In other words, the DEAL IS STILL ON!

7:36 - Jonathon Blum, a puckrushing D-man (and another US born player) is taken by Nashville. Apparently he lost his twin sister in a house fire, his mother survived a cancer scare and all while he was a teen-ager. Could be a character kid with lots of offensive upside. All in all a very nice pick (and a Vancouver Giant - someone I've scouted in person). A 'Kris Russell pick' according to MacLean.

7:39 - David Poile denies doing the job of 'gutting the franchise'. Of course he would. He does acknowledge that he is under instructions to have a 'low payroll'. On a side note, Poile has the worst dye job at the draft. Who is he kidding?

7:43 - Calgary picks (finally) and takes Swedish winger Mikael Backlund. Considered a steal this late (though he is recovering from a knee injury), he has Alex Steen like ability. Could be a solid 2nd liner. Could be Niklas Sundlbad. I know who I'm hoping who turns out like.

7:45 - Mike (I have no soul) Keenan is interviewed. Asked what he brings to the table "playoff experience". Sutter gives the best answer of the day when asked about why they wanted Backlund "I like the Swedes" - high comedy all round.

7:47 - David Nonis makes his way to the draft podium and goes off the board to take Patrick White a centre from Tri-City. ISS had him 23. TSN had him 46th. He was ranked #60 by THN, so he looks like a reach. Needs at least another year of development, and will be at University next year in Minnesota. Yet another American (8 so far, but still shy of the 10 last year). Apparently 'intensity' is his middle-name. Nonis has a television demeanour ideal for radio. Nobody has looked more nervous than Nonis today, including the kids.

7:52 - St Louis (finally) takes David Perron - a guy many teams had in the top 10 based on his offensive ability. Lead rookies in the Q in scoring. Ripped up the league with his skill, but the knock on him is that he looks like a fluke with only one season under his belt. Wears white skates because his favourite player is Alexei Kovalev. Uh oh. Bob says that could make him 'problematic'.

7:56 - Columbus boos Steve Yzerman. Awesome. He stays up there long enough to draft Brendan Smith, a D-man from St Michaels. Best described as 'raw'. Sounds like a safe defenseman pick for a team that can always use another defenseman in the system. Will join Kyle Turris and Ryan McDonagh at the University of Wisconsin.

7:59 - Maguire LOVES this pick based on his world class skating ability. He also likes what St Louis has done with Lars Eller, Ian Cole, and Perron. Despite the fact that two of those guys were picked ahead of Cherepanov who would have been a terrific fit in St Louis.

All in all today, we've had Gretzky, Neely and Yzerman all walk across the podium. Which in their day would have not been too shabby a line. Not too shabby at all.

8:01 - Bryan Deasley (an ex-Calgary Flame draft pick bust) is John Tavarres' agent, and he admits that they are trying to get Tavarres an early entry into the next NHL ED. Colour me happy despite the whole Esposito to Pittsburgh thing.

8:02 - Washington trades #28 to San Jose for #41 and a pick next year. SJ came in without a pick and will leave the draft with two, including Logan Couture.

"How'd you get fired?" - Mackenzie to MacLean after MacLean regaled them with a story about how they got a 2nd and a 3rd from Doug Wilson for a 2nd a few years back, and chose Mason, an OHL goalie of the year with the extra pick. MacLean artfully ducked from answering the question.

SJ uses the pick to draft a beast of a defender in Nathan Petrecki, someone ranked a lot higher. US born player #9 from the draft. As he is handed his jersey and hat, he towers over the rest of the people on the podium. Unlike some of the years past, there aren't as many redwoods in this one - a sign of the changing times. Three years ago several of the defenseman taken were well over 6'3" and weighing in at a quarter of a tonne. Now, we have slim puckrushers known for their speed rather than their strength (see Hickey to LA). That said, Petrecki is a throwback to those days when meat-bombs were the norm.

8:10 - Ottawa takes a kid in Jim O'Brien that can play either D or the wing, and who apparently didn't get the ice-time sufficient to make a solid set of stats at either position. Definitely a projection based on being the youngest player in Division I. Bryan Murray lisps his way through the interview, sparing everybody the embarrassment of being the worst interview of the day.

8:14 Phoenix closes out the first round by taking Nick Ross from the Regina Pats. A Scott Stevens fan, Ross also lists Chuck Lidell of the UFC as one of his heroes. Loves to hit, and is probably a Denis Gauthier type of D-man.

Bob ranks the big winners as;

1. Pittsburgh getting Esposito
2. Rangers getting Cherepanov
3. Chicago getting Kane
4. SJ getting Couture and Petrecki
5. Minnesota getting Gillies
6. Washington for landing Alzner

Me, I rank the big winners as;

1. The Great Whites (Esposito)
2. The Severed Heads (Couture a Shark at pick 9, Cherepanov playing with Jagr)

All bets are off on the rest...

And with that, we are out! Thanks you've been a great audience - hope to see you here again soon!


Trading up ED Picks

I decided to make this a new post. How about this as a solution.

Between the period of slot selection and the ED draft start two GMs can exchange picks inside of a round. IE first for first or second for a second. And only for the first two rounds. This trade has to be done prior to the ED draft starting so that it does not interfere with the draft itself.

League credibility is protected by everybody still having a pick in each round. This does allow those wanting to maximize the chances on getting a solid FP by being able to trade up from the mid rounds or move up in the second round if doing a daring Double FP Swap.

EG Do to the unexpected possibility of Neidermeyers retirement my late first round pick would not garnish me a significant FP. While I am pursuing some FP trades it would be somewhat easier to provide some additional asset to be able to move up half a dozen places.



I thought I’d move this out of the giant discussion below.

Proposed Rule Change for Draft Lottery.

Our current draft lottery system gives 12 chips to last place, 11 chips to first place and one less chip to each team in descending order (so 11th place gets 1 chip.) These all go into the bag. As each team is selected from the bag, the GM gets to select when they draft.

I believe the system tries to reward GMs for putting effort into their teams, even when the Predator cup is out of view, since more chips in the bag means better odds of getting a choice draft position. The high reward for last place means that the herbivore winner is unlikely to be a repeat ‘winner’ year after year: with almost 1/6 chips in the bag, they should get a good draft position. But, the system is ham-fisted: last place aside, it rewards how a GM placed, rather than how well they did compared to other teams scores, no matter if the difference is 0.4 or 400 points.

For example, there is a point-spread of more than 200 points between first and fourth places this year, compared to a point-spread of a little less than 30 points between 11th and eighth. The current system rewards, in both cases, the higher placing team with only three more chips. This becomes particularly distressing in the bottom half of the pool, where eighth place has four times as many chips in the bag as 11th.

My proposed “25-points” formula (to distinguish from Cameron’s “Crown-Royal” formula) is this:

The total score of the last place team at the end of the season is assigned a value of 1 chip. For every 25 points of difference between a teams final score and this value, an extra chip is added to the bag for that team (remainder points are discarded). The last place team is given a number of chips in the bags equal to the top team’s plus 1.

Then, all these chips go into the bag. As each team is selected from the bag, the GM gets to select when they draft.

This past year would have generated the following results, and the percentage they represent of being chosen first (in brackets what the old formula provided instead.)

Highlanders: 12 Chips (11 Chips)
Bladerunners: 8 (10)
Great Whites: 5 (9)
Shadowmen: 4 (8)
Knights Templar: 3 (7)
Wolves: 3 (6)
Personal Vendetta: 3 (5)
Ramapithicenes: 2 (4)
Severed Heads: 2 (3)
Lost Boys: 2 (2)
Scourge: 2 (1)
Edge: 13 (12)

The inherent fairness and unfairness of the FUNHL Lottery

NOTE: Given the amount of commentary this post has generated I have moved it back to the top of the Blog. Also, given that Dan's post of the draft order was a repeat of the lengthier one I posted, I have deleted the duplication (sorry Dan). To get the full value of this post, click the header link so you can review the comments section where all the action is taking place. Send your hate-mail to me directly.

A couple of GMs have noted that the lottery isn't an equitable affair, and they make some decent points (see the comments from Rob and Chris).

The fact is we deliberately built the system to discourage teams from tanking in order to improve their lot for next year, so part of what they are experiencing is the short end of that stick. That said, we have created a situation where if you finish low year after year, your chances of having an elite pick are slim - making it that much harder for you to finish any higher.

In an effort to ensure that the worst teams weren't perpetual losers, we eventually built an exception in for the league's Herbivore winner, giving them the highest chance of finishing first so they wouldn't be perpetually left at the bottom of the pool.

(Before we feel too terrible for the Scourge, keep in mind that the previous management of the team had three years in a row with picks in the top three and managed to screw the pooch each and every time. I know that will be cold comfort to current mgt, but when the Wolves GM complains about never getting an elite pick, one of the teams that always had one was the Dogs/Scourge.)

Anyway - here are some thoughts;

Option 1: We move the lottery back to a straight 1 in 12 chance for all teams. That way, no incentive to tank, and everyone has an equal shot at the top spot. The more I think about this, the more I like it.

Option 2: We make the lottery slightly more weighted in favour of non-playoff teams (i.e. non Challenge Cup playoff teams). In this we have two other sub options;

A - weight the draft slightly to favour non-playoff teams by rank - ie. the better your team did the better the chances of getting a top pick (so long as you aren't in the top 4), or;

B - weight the draft to favour the losers by rank - ie. the worse you did the better your chances of getting a top pick.

Option 3: something else.

The problem with option 2.B. is that tanking to improve your lot for the following season is back in play - at least as much as it is in the NBA where the Celtics flushed their season down the toilet trying to get a top 2 pick (only to get handed #5 - sweet justice).

That all said, there are more than one way to skin a cat when it comes to replacing an FP, and we should consider them before we go so far as to change the current lottery rules, because as much as I feel for the Scourge (and Wolves) in landing a late pick there are several options to consider:

- Trading for an FP

This is the route that the Lost Boys went when they dealt Sakic for Richards. They got roughly the same caliber of offense but with an additional 10 years or service.

- Trading for an RFA who is FP worthy

If you can't trade for an FP my preferred methodology is to draft an FP from ones own roster when that player is still under a protected contract. I did this with RFA Heatley (after trading to get him), and I plan to do so again with RFA Malkin. If you are a full blown genius at the prospect draft (ala the Edge) you draft a prospect, slowly mature him on your roster and then Franchise him when the time is right. I, however, am not such a genius, so I am forced to deal for someone elses' prospects before I give them a franchise player contract (and in the case of Heatley, I had to deal for him with a DUI and possible vehicular homicide charge pending as well as trade several top prospects to get him). Bob's recent trade with Brian is another example - the aquisition of Eric Staal gives the Shadowmen a top tier pivot to build around (not that he will).

- Rolling the dice with pick 9.

Here's a shortlist of possible FPs from this years draft: Lecavalier, Spezza, Kiprusoff, Gonchar, Zetterberg, Alfreddson, Giguere, Gaborik, Datsyuk, Jokinen, and if you are a gambling man who enjoys 'fear my wingspan' power forwards like I do, I'd be gunning for Rick Nash.

Personally, I'd be way more comfortable with any of these guys than I would be with the aging Sundin. Is it worthwhile ditching Sundin to take one of them? That's your call. Let me add, that some GMS (ok, just Bob) have rolled the dice with picks from the third round or worse on Franchise players, so it is not only not impossible to do well at the nine spot, you could end up doing VERY well.



1. Kane
2. VanRiemsdyk
3. Turris
4. Alzner
5. Cherepanov
6. Voracek
7. Gagner
9. Sutter
10. Ellerby

Ouch. Logan Couture, nowhere to be found in the top 10.

So much for drafting prepubescents.

Well Add Anaheim to list of Cup winners who miss playoffs

With the impending retirement of Selanne and the probable departure of Giguere the Ducks look wounded. However now it appears that Scott N will retire as well.

Save the Predators! (For Hamilton!)

It seems at least one fan in Nashville thinks they can save the team. Personally, I think he's deluded in the extreme. Without new ownership, the team couldn't afford to sign Timmonen or Hartnell (both now gone), and definitely won't re-sign Forsberg or Kariya.

Worse, the case that the lockout season somehow 'doesn't count' towards determining whether or not the team reached 14,000 in season ticket sales is not just wrong it's completely bogus.

The Predators have five straight seasons of not hitting that attendance mark - let's repeat that, five straight seasons. One more will only seal the deal completely.

So with all apologies to the Predator superfan and his website (and seriously buddy, do something about that colour scheme - my eyes are freaking hemorrhaging after one visit), this team is done like dinner in the Nashville market. It's OVER.

The only problem? While it makes sense to burn it to the ground in order to get out from under the costs associated with a losing proposition in Nashville, the team has to be careful it doesn't destroy the team completely, or else Hamilton will be faced with what amounts to an expansion team.

That said, they'd still be better than the Leafs!

Here are some articles discussing the fate of the Predators:

James Mirtle


FUNHL Lottery Results

Another year of unfortunate circumstances has the FUNHL unable to get together for a celebratory party and the awards ceremony with its drunken bachanalia will have to wait for another day - however an on-line gathering to determine the lottery has occurred and the results are in!

The draft order for 2007-08 is as follows:

1 - Knights Templar
2 - Highlanders
3 - Bladerunners
4 - Edge
5 - Personal Vendetta
6 - Shadowmen
7 - Ramapithicines
8 - Lost Boys
9 - Scourge
10 - Wolves
11 - Severed Heads
12 - Great Whites

Note: The Knights Templar and Ramapithicines were unable to be reached for the selection choices, and both were awarded the highest possible slot available when their names were drawn. In the case of the KT, that just happened to be first overall.

Note 2: A slightly modified version of the 'Royal Crown Bag of Fate' was used in the process this year, and while the original process was missed (especially the pre-marked 'poker chips of doom') , it was in the end, not missed all that much.

Note 3: I'd like to thank the GMs of; the Edge, Great Whites, Shadowmen, Scourge, and Personal Vendetta for helping to pull of the lottery on-line. Thanks to you all.

The Predators start shedding talent...

Timmonen and Hartnell become Flyers - in exchange for that very same 1st rnd pick that they gave Philly in order to aquire Forsberg.

Looks to me like Jim Balsillie is making sure his team doesn't get the 14,000 in attendance required by the contract to keep them in Nashville.

If they let Kariya go elsewhere you'll know that the team is serious about tanking it for a high pick/and or looking to ensure a smooth ride out of town on the way towards Southern Ontario.

Next up we can watch as JB negotiates his way towards getting his team placed in Hamilton or Kitchener/Waterloo.

Hamilton looks to have the inside track despite the fact that JB would in theory have to pay territory fees to Toronto and Buffalo. I say 'in theory' because we are already seeing him lay the groundwork for a lawsuit on unfair competition grounds against having to pay anybody anything more than he already has.

Will the Governors have the guts to stop him by voting against his approval as owner of the team knowing his desire to move it to S.Ontario?

Here's my two cents worth;

- I think JB essentially got the word out to Bettman and Co. when he surfaced in talks to buy the Penguins that he wanted a team, and that he wanted to move that team to Ontario.

- I think Bettman used JB and his big bucks to get Lemieux the leverage he needed to ensure an arena deal.

- The payback for JB is that he gets to buy the Predators (at an inflated price).

- I also think that all the talk about Winnipeg was A - smokescreen, and B - a trial balloon for investors to consider in the event another team comes up for sale (i.e. Florida Panthers). In effect, Bettman is laying the groundwork to move a team (not the Predators) to Winnipeg in the future.

I also have to admit, it seems totally bizarre to me that we are seeing the same tactics as previously went down in Winnipeg, Quebec and elsewhere, but in reverse.

Instead of Norm Green buying up the North Stars so he can make a bundle by moving them to Dallas, we have a guy wanting to buy up a struggling team in Nashville and move them to Ontario!

Poetic Justice. Unless you live in Winnipeg or Quebec.

Dance of Death in Ottawa

Coach Bryan Murray was awarded [no thanks to Brian Burke, who virtually named 5 of the major players for the Ducks that Murray had selected as GM that were responsible for destroying the Sens in 5, among other things] the vacant GM position in Ottawa after Muckler was given the pink slip [but thanks for the Heatley-Hossa trade].\

Now Ottawa needs a new coach [Quinn would be too ironic].



Ok... The hangover of another undeserving sunbelt team winning the cup is starting to end and time for one of the most exciting days of the year. In years past the draft has seen many big trades and also many boring moments. I am hoping this year will be an exciting draft with perhaps a big name or two being dealt for the future.... Any predictions for draft day excitement???

Perhaps Jagr on the move? Maybe the Flyers will aquire the rights to Daniel Briere?



Will new Flames coach Mike Keenan help or hurt?
It's the apocalypse
The Cup will be ours
pollcode.com free polls


NHL Season opens, in London, on September 29th.

Don't think that this should change our ED plans, just be aware that there will already be one game completed before we finish our draft.

Proposed FP Rule Change

To introduce more liquidity to the trades possible in the FUNHL, I suggest the following rule change:

After season end, before pre-entry-draft trading begins, team owners can designate any two players on their team as having Franchise Player (FP) status.

All teams must have two FPs at the Entry Draft (ED). These two players cannot be drafted by other teams.

The players designated as FPs keep their status until the end of the season (i.e. cannot be waived or dropped.) After the ED is complete, there is no limit to the number of FPs that can, or must, be on a team.

At season end, all FP status disappears, unless the player is one of the two designated as an FP by the manager.

FUNHL Trading season is now open

Anahiem Wins

Congrats to Anahiem Ducks for they were mighty. They dominated the final series and made Ottawa look like Minnesota. While the last game lacked the intensity of the first four games the second period did have lots of action. It is to bad that Emery did not have enough support as he made each game close prior to last night.

Now the big questions for the Ducks. Does Selanne retire on a winning note? Can you afford Giguere with Pronger and Neidermeyer each making 6+ million? Can they repeat?

Franchise player poll!

Who will be the FUNHL's first new Franchise player?
Miika Kiprusoff
Marian Gaborik
Vincent Lecavalier
Jason Spezza
Henrik Zetterberg
Rick Nash
pollcode.com free polls


Bye Bye Yashin

The Snow-man authorizes the buyout of YASHIN's final 4 year /10 year-90million$USD contract.

Its a cap hit but n0w they have a chance of re-signing Blake and Smyth.

Yay! Yashin is out!


I have landed

Hello everyone, thought I'd post here to note that I have a new job. Property Administrator at Rogers. (Yay)

And congratulations Cameron on moving to an address Google does not believe in. (And the whole bigger family thing... well done!)



CIV 3 Canadian Edition..

Ok this isnt hockey related but i found it mildly entertaining enough to waste your time on creating this post :)


FUNHL Lottery-Awards Ceremony

We have reached that time again, where we fete the winner of the Predator Cup, pull numbered chits from a hat to determine where people draft, and otherwise open the trade flood-gates for the off-season.

I am now officially ensconced into my new digs in Lethbridge (and those of you wishing to question the wisdom of moving with a newborn are free to do so - it was a completely insane decision, but one that we nevertheless made and followed through on), so depending on when it is held, I should be able to attend.

That said, I do have trips to Sk this week (likely Tue/Wed/Thur), and I believe the Highlander's GM is in similar straits to attend any potential dates this week.

So, might we bend the rules a little and hold the ceremony some time next weekend, or next week? If someone who has had more than 4 hours sleep in a row for the last month could e-mail out this discussion and round up opinions it would be much appreciated by Severed Heads Mgt.