Cards are in Ottawa’s hands . . . sort of
We’re less than a month away from arguably the biggest 48 hours in Ottawa Senators’ history.
The drama, mystery and intrigue will definitely get interesting. Kind of an Agatha Christie novel on blades. Without the murder, of course.
For the Senators, general manager Pierre Dorion is easily the most fascinating and watched-upon head of hockey going.
Three. . . and five. Beyond that? Scads of picks scattered through the next few rounds.
So what the heck happens?
Only Pierre and his trusted staff know for sure, but this is all predicated on what other certain GM’s and their trusted staff do before and in-between Pierre (brilliant diagnosis, I know).
So, then, here’s what we know for sure.
Alexis Lafreniere is going first. Congratulations to the New York Rangers and former Senator Mika Zibanejad for potentially landing an absolute can’t-miss-star winger.
The Los Angeles Kings have the second pick. The prevailing thought is that GM Rob Blake is going to go with Tim Stuetzle of the German league.
So, then, welcome to the capital of Canada Quinton Byfield?
Seems like a no-brainer.
The Sudbury Wolves’ rangy centre is the consensus No. 3 selection.
“He’s got all the tools and he plays the game the right way,” said Dan Marr to Postmedia this past week. Dan is the head of Central Scouting. “For me, he’s this generation’s Jean Beliveau and I’ve said that many times. He’s got the size, strength, speed, hockey smarts, skills, determination and compete. He’s got everything you need to be successful and be successful on a team scale.”
At No. 4, we haven’t a clue.
The pick belongs to Detroit and Steve Yzerman.
Ok, maybe we have a clue.
The thinking from this corner is Detroit goes with Saginaw forward Cole Perfetti. He plays a similar game to the Wings legendary GM – smart and skilled.
Perfetti would be a natural fit for the talent-starved Wings.
Back to you Pierre at No. 5.
If defenceman Jamie Drysdale is still available, the betting here is he’s headed to Ottawa.
Drysdale is explosive. He’s also a complete defenceman and considered can’t-miss. Yes the Senators have loads of prospects on the blueline. Then again, they have loads of prospects up front.
The first-round work is not done though. Thanks to the J-G Pageau trade (still terrible if you ask me), Ottawa owns the 28th pick overall. Prognosticating that would be like picking the right Lotto 6/49 numbers.
Still, it’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun come Oct. 6 and 7.
THOUGHT, SEEN AND HEARD: We here at the home office take great offence at the naysayers who claim the Cup finale is better off without the NY Islanders. Do they play defensive hockey? Yup, better than most. But are they old school (like your friendly scripter)? Yup. I’ll miss the crash-and-bang. Are they the best coached team in the league? Yup. Period . . . According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman (one of the best, folks), hanging out quite a bit in the bubble were Arizona head coach Rick Tocchet and Blues’ boss Craig Berube. These two were great friends while with the Flyers in the 1980s. It was Tocchet who introduced me to Berube for my first-ever NHL on-camera interview during that time (we were all so young back then). Two of the toughest guys in the league and terrific individuals . . . It’s kind of ironic (Alanis) that the general thought is the window for the Vegas Golden Knights is slowly closing. This for a team that was thrust into the NHL about a week ago. But that’s hockey for you – age and contract issues could become prevalent problems for the near-newborn . . . Never thought the Minnesota Wild of all people would make an off-season (for most by now) intriguing. Love what GM Billy Guerin is stirring up – “If I don’t make moves, nothing will happen. We’ll just stay the same, and that’s not the idea.” . . . Great hire by the Leafs landing Manny Malhotra as an associate coach. Even at the junior level in Guelph, Manny had incredible hockey smarts . . . If the Toronto Blue Jays do squeeze into the playoffs, they’d best be blessed with skipping the Yankees. New York played windshield to Toronto’s bug this past week. Smash, drip, wipe . . . I’ve actually invested time into watching the Jays this (shortened) season. Reasons: Cavan Biggio, Teoscar Hernandez and Bo Bichette . . . This past weekend was NOT a Netflix binge, rather a binge on the US Open. Possibly my favourite Major; who doesn’t love to see the pros’ incompetence at a level of their own (said as a hack golfer). Still not pleased with the outcome. Does this mean everyone fashions their game on bombing the ball as far as they can and dealing with wherever it lands? Ugh.
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