Well, tonight is the night.
Do the Edmonton Oilers land the first overall pick and continue the restructuring of their franchise?
Could Columbus jump up and find another candidate to centre Rick Nash and get them back into playoff contention?
Will the Toronto Maple Leafs...
...become the new best friends of the Boston Bruins?
Yea, that's right. This is the day where the Phil Kessel trade will get brought up again and again, and will be torn apart more than a wedding dress at a Bridal Basics sale.
And just so you all know: I had to Google that. I'm not getting married anytime soon, nor do I just naturally know the names of wedding dress designers.
Now with that out of the way, a few points before we start:
1. Brian Burke isn't watching: Look. It's not like Burke had a reason to watch anyways, unless it was to laugh at Peter Chiarelli when the trade works against them and they have to get stuck with a Brandon Gormley or Cam Fowler as a few teams jump him in the draft order.
Because that would just be so terrible.
2. People are calling this the "Haul for Hall" : Seriously? This is the best we've got? Two years ago I had called it the "Surge for Stamkos" . I liked it. I didn't try the same thing last year because all I could come up with is the "Tug for Tavares" .
Granted I'm no linguist, but I've got a few other solutions: "The Heave for Hall," "Hurl us at Hall," "Traction Towards Tyler," "Sidle up to Seguin," or "'The Year the 2010 Windsor Spitfires Re-shaped the NHL plus Tyler Seguin."
I like that last one.
8:00: Well we're underway. We've got Bob McKenzie alongside James Duthie and Bill Daly who will be unveiling the pick later. If we were to replace McKenzie with Pierre McGuire then we may have the shiniest pairing at any NHL event ever, but alas...maybe next year.
Have any two first-round picks ever had more similar first names? Would it be the most awkward moment in NHL history if an NHL GM approached the podium in June and said:
"With the first overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, we select Tyler...er...Taylor."
8:02: James Duthie: "Fourteen teams are waiting for the balls to drop—the lottery balls to drop."
It's awkward, but it's almost applicable to not rephrase it. I mean...your team is getting younger right?
8:04: Jobs you want with the NHL: the guy who just told Bill Daly there's over 1,000 combinations for this draft to unfold. See? It pays to pay attention in math class.
8:05: They're talking to Steve Tambellini about this being a historic moment for the Edmonton Oilers because they've never been able to draft a player first overall. Either player can vastly improve the Oilers roster.
8:06: Peter Chiarelli is the luckiest man in the NHL right now to be in the playoffs and have a chance at a top-three pick. It's like he had his cake, ate it, then traded a carrot for another cake.
8:08: With the New York Islander's Ken Morrow representing the team (their Director of Scouting), he's billed as their good luck charm.
In the meantime, no one is willing to own up to the "We prefer Seguin to Hall or vice versa" question. This is the point in time where I think Jim Rutherford should call in and say, "I'll be taking Tyler Seguin with this pick," if only to throw all five of them off and plant that seed for the next two months.
I would've said Brian Lawton and the Tampa Bay Lightning but...well...he's out of a job.
8:12: There was a montage coming back from the commercial break outlining the whole Taylor vs. Tyler debate. Yet again, it'll be interesting to see who goes first, even though Bob McKenzie's poll of NHL scouts shows Taylor Hall as the No. 1 overall pick.
It is interesting to see that Cam Fowler is still No. 3 on the list because of the man who's No. 4. Erik Gudbranson is high on a lot of lists based on the fact that he's tougher than Fowler and uses his size very well.
Some call him a smaller Tyler Myers. Then again, it's hard not to be smaller than Myers.
Another interesting note is that Brett Connolly is still listed at fifth overall despite being injured for a majority of this season. It'll be interesting to see if that stays the course come June.
8:16: Live from A-News Windsor, it's Taylor Hall! The associating of Hall with the Boston Bruins (like most Leafs fans have already done) just came from Duthie as they're talking about Bobby Orr, the number four, and Taylor Hall.
8:17: The Darkhorse tonight? The New York Islanders with an 8.1% chance of getting the first overall selection. I'm not sure I'd bet on those odds.
8:18: The fifth overall selection in 2010 goes to...the NEW YORK ISLANDERS!!!
I just lost $200.00. I also wish it was Eva Mendes opening these envelopes instead of Bill Daly.
No. 4: Columbus Blue Jackets.
Duthie is voicing this in between picks, which makes this awfully dramatic. Granted, there's barely enough time between picks for me to even write this sentence.
No. 3: Florida Panthers
Here's what every Leaf fan was worried about. No team moved up or down in the top five, so it comes down to Toronto (Boston) and Edmonton for the top pick.
Whether it's first or second though, this still stings.
No. 1: The...
The city of Edmonton is abuzz now as the second spot is filled in with the Boston Bruins, as they'll have a brand new building block for their future.
While it's still up in the air, the popular consensus is for the Oilers to go with Taylor Hall and get that fast, goal-scoring winner who can hopefully play alongside Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson.
Not a bad young line if I do say so myself.
8:23: Steve Tambellini still won't tip his hat either way and says they won't announce their pick before the draft, which is a great strategy. That's something that the NFL does that takes all of the drama out of the draft.
Especially when you sign that pick to a $70 million contract before he even hits the major-league surface.
Thank goodness for the rookie cap.
8:27: Yet again we hear about how there has been no decision made on whether it's Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin—this time from Bob McKenzie.
What we did find out though, was that Dean Lombardi lived at Drew Doughty and Zach Bogosian's before he made the selection. Smart on the part of the GM, but how must Zach Bogosian feel?
Especially if he let Lombardi have the last Oreo.
I like running diaries like this: a quick half-hour of TV that's riveting for fans of 14 teams in the league while the other 16 still have a chance at the other-thing award in June that means something (the Stanley Cup of course).
Now? I get to spend the next 60 days filling out and fretting over playoff brackets and not who my team's first-round pick is going to be spent on.
Don't you love the spring?
Get in contact with BT by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at Twitter at Bryanthiel_88 . Also, be sure to check out his previous work in his archives and over at Hockey54.com—The Face of the Game!