Thursday, July 28, 2005

City's heating up with the draft less than 48 hours away

With only two days until the Sidney Crosby Show hits the stage at the Westin Hotel here in downtown Ottawa, all sorts of NHL types, from prospects to agents to GMs, have begun flocking the city, and the rumor mill is swirling hard. I could've sworn I saw Brian Burke yelling at someone this afternoon, but maybe I'm just imagining things.

I am, however, actually debating doing something quite stupid and heading out to the area on Saturday to scope out the action from behind the yellow police tape. If anyone from the NHL is reading this and wants to fire off a press pass, that'd be alright too. Still, what are the chances I'd overhear two GMs negotiating some kind of deal when outside having a smoke?

I do intend to go to the prospects clinic tomorrow in Kanata though. The event has been well advertised locally so I imagine there will be a good crowd on hand to watch the top five rated North American prospects (Crosby, Jack Johnson, Benoit Pouliot, Gilbert Brule, and Bobby Ryan) work out. Any chance to see the supposed Next One is on my radar, and I probably need to become more acquainted with the rest of them.

Speaking of which, I'll try to put together some kind of Sens draft preview (assuming you're all not sick of those yet) for tomorrow. As well, we should know by then who the Senators are issuing qualifying offers to, thus giving us a better idea of what the team will look like come training camp time. It should be especially interesting to see how they go about dealing with Marian Hossa and Martin Havlat, both of whom will be UFAs in two years.

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As a follow-up to my post from this morning regarding the NHL's "new" drug program, the Sports Illustrated published a story featuring quotes from the heads of the now infamous congressional committee that nearly brought Sammy Sosa to tears on the matter. The pair criticize the NHL for it's "loopholes" and "inadequate testing".
" ... we have serious concerns about the effectiveness of this new policy. It appears to contain numerous loopholes that might allow players to circumvent the testing regime. ... Your efforts to develop your own policy appear to be inadequate and to provide additional evidence of the need for our legislation."

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