Draft Day in the NHL. The Biggest Day Of The Year For Scouts: Montreal Grabs Alex Tanguay. Is Sundin Next?

It’s draft day in the NHL, in about three hours from now, and this post will carry on right through the day. I feel there’s no sense trying to predict who will go where because it’s always just a big guess. Lots of first rounders over the years have proved mediocre at best, and others, like Henrik Zetterberg, end up getting picked up in the hundreds.


So I’m just going to wait and see how it plays out. Gary Lupul told me once when he was scouting for the Canucks that this is the one day of the year when scouts get a chance to be stars.


The best thing about the draft is the general managers come relaxed, the stress on most of their faces is gone, and it’s always possible a really good swap could occur. I’m a bit mystified at this rumour of Pittsburgh moving Evgeny Malkin. Because unless the guy’s a major prick in the dressing room, why would the Penguins do this?

He turned it up last season when Sidney Crosby was out for a lengthy time injured. The team and the media have been raving about him all season. He just signed, or is about to sign, a contract worth more than Crosby’s.

It’s a mystery to me. All I can think of is that Malkin stunk in the playoffs. Or that it’s a completely false rumour.


It would be great if the Habs grabbed some kind of major star, even Marion Hossa. It showed in the playoffs that Montreal was missing a couple of final pieces of the puzzle, and maybe Bob Gainey can pull something off. If they would’ve made it to the Stanley Cup finals, there wasn’t a chance in hell that they would’ve beat Detroit. A top-notch power forward would be nice.



Montreal has been given permission by the Toronto Maple Leafs to speak to Mats Sundin. I don’t mind this at all. Sundin’s a tad old but he’d help the Habs.

This is something else that we’ll wait and see about.



Ottawa goalie Ray Emery cut loose. It’s going to be tough for him to land a job elsewhere, so he might want to think about applying at Scott Paper across the river in Gatineau. It pays a little over 20 bucks an hour.



A Russian team in the Continental League may or may not have offered Evgeny Malkin 12.5 million a year tax free to come and play. You see how oil can make some people over there very rich and can afford to make offers like this? If only these tycoons would throw some money to the old pensioners in Russia who are making about $50 a month and often sleeping in the streets, many of them old widows whose husbands died in the war. And over here, we’re paying a buck and a half a litre to help make people very rich.

That’s twice the money Malkin would make here. What will he do? 





Sarnia’s Steven Stamkos goes first to the Tampa Bay Lightening.

AND!   Montreal trades their 25th pick and a 2009 second round pick to Calgary for 28 year old Quebec boy Alex Tanguay. Tanguay’s a left winger, is 6’1, and also spent five years with the Colorado Avalanche before his two years in Calgary.

He’s a good, solid big leaguer (177 goals, 362 assists), and should be a big plus for the Habs. This is exciting. And Sundin’s a possibility too but may take a few days before we know.

Tanguay coming to Montreal has been a rumour for awhile now, long before the playoffs started, and now it’s happened.


The top ten picks went like this:

1. Tampa Bay – Steven Stamkos – forward

2. LA – Drew Daughty – Defence

3. Atlanta – Zach Bogosian – Defence

4. St. Louis – Alex Pieterangelo – Defence

5. Toronto – Luke Schenn – Defence

6. Columbus – Nikita Filatov – Forward

7. Nashville – Colin Wilson – Forward

8. Phoenix – Mikkel Boedker – Forward

9. Islanders – Josh Bailey – Forward

10. Vancouver – Cody Hodgson – Forward

And Chicago, with the eleventh pick, chose forward Kyle Beach who may or may not be a great pick. This guy has the potential to be an impact player, but has a history of being a major pain in the ass, especially off the ice. Will he be the next Sean Avery?



Wayne Gretzky got a nice standing ovasion from the Ottawa crowd when he got up to announce the Coyotes’ pick. (Mikkel Boedker)


Now it’s time to wait out the Mats Sundin, Montreal rumour. I’m hoping this happens.




7 thoughts on “Draft Day in the NHL. The Biggest Day Of The Year For Scouts: Montreal Grabs Alex Tanguay. Is Sundin Next?”

  1. DK,

    I think that being a scout would be a great job, albeit somewhat dangerous. UH? Bear with me here. What I mean is that one of the great pleasures of being a `fan’ is following the development of young players from their junior days (some long before such as Gretzky) and on. Alway, one hopes for nothing but the best for all these boys – yes, for the most part a forlorn hope re a possible pro career, given the attrition rate – and I think that for all us `fans’ there are players who, for some reason or other, we take to heart. For me, one such player (amongst many) was Dough Wickenheiser who I think had irreparable damage done to his confidence when they sat him during the Hawks and Denis Savard’s first game. Just another dumb move amongst so many in the 80s. In any case, Doug handled it with class and contined to be a classy player and man until the day he died waaay too soon, waaaay too young. What’s my point? It’s that for a scout to be effective he not only must be able to objectively evaluate a young man’s potential to play the game but, given a certain minimal level of skill, perhaps even more importantly assess his character, i.e. get to know him which means having a personal connection because, after all, you cannot possibly to do so without accounting for self in the equation and the give-and-take that this necessarily entails – yup, you’ve gotta care. So, is this an either/or scenario: either you adopt a `clinical’ approach and treat them all like so much beef graded accordingly and the price you pay is a coldness, a kind of superficiality that you cannot simply take off like a winter coat whenever things warm up a bit, or you do become personally involved and this too exacts a cost on a personal level expecially if the young man experiences grief? So, yeah, being a scout would, I think, be a most rewarding job but at the same time potentially accumulatively dangerous to one’s psychic/emotional well-being – as fans we do care but I think to be good at your job as a scout you must care that much more about that many more people.

    Sundin would work in Montreal in that he would bring balance as well as at least another year for our younger players to develop … Hossa, too much for a player who needs a Crosby or some other superstar to complement. I am not big on free agent signings because usually they are a sign of either lack of confidence in the players you have which is not good for team morale or of a desperate need for a fix which means the organization lacks the proper stability and such measures invariable implode. This isn’t to say they can’t be positive acquisitions – Kostopoulous was a very good move – in the same way a good trade can enhance a team, for example, the Mahovliches, Duff, Walter spring immediately to mind, but they should be undertake only with the greatest of care.

  2. The biggest problem with being a scout is all the travelling, mostly by car, from one city to the other in all kinds of weather, gulping down fast food whenever possible. But if you start to build a good track record of successful picks, you move up the ladder, and soon you go from junior and college games to Europe and such. It’s a pecking order.

  3. DK,

    Granted, a 25th pick rarely turns out well …. but, Tanguay? Okay, he may be a `perfect’ fit for M’s style vs the constipated hockey played by the Flames .. will wait and see. If Sundin signs on then next year could be very very interesting if the chemsitry is right.

    Travelling is the biggest `physical’ demand plus time away from family but not the same kind of stress.

  4. I was at the draft. Lots of fun. The crowd buzzes everytime Bettman said he had a trade to announce.

    In regards to Beach, it’s not him being like Sean Avery that I’m worried about. It’s that he may be more like Todd Bertuzzi.

  5. DL

    Personally, I believe that when we’re talking about progress we’re talking internal stuff such as ethical/moral, emotional/psychological evolution and that progress in this respect is measured by the degree of movement away from the herd/group need to belong towards individuation, towards that ever so elusive goal of becoming more free. This entails cultivating the skills and the desire to create an identity for self and concomittantly to learn how to make independent decisions regardless of group/peer pressure. Ideally the species morphs into a community of individuals who associate/or not freely according to their personal choices. Obviously, this `ideal’ is a looooong ways from becoming reality indeed, if anything, there seems to be a modern movement in exactly the opposite direction. Yup, the modern concept of `team’ has become dominant and in part has done so by co-opting the ideal of the `individual’ and subverting it to serve the puroposes of it’s antithesis – the group. This process is captured by the particular American beautiful as well as evil? genius that enables the country to exist, permits an amazing polyglot mix of, well, pretty much everything to not only co-exist (not without some internal friction) but to actually thrive under the shared sense of belonging to a `marvellous’ uber-group known as America. It therefore follows that HOCKEY is very much a product of this dynamic and we as its `FANS’ integral participants in it. Yup, by being a huge Habber I am contradicting myself in a profound non-trivial way. And neither I nor anybody else who is in the same boat is particularly put out by this contradiction. After all, one of the great adaptive qualities of the species is our ability to embrace more than one idea, one identity, one of anything at the same time. No problemo. Being who one is not is so very much in tune with the times, so very modern. Of course, like most people I’m pretty good at rationalizing so I can rationalize this away by nursing a sense of `self’ that permits me to compartmentalize my treacherous? Habber alter-ego and stop it from seizing control of me at times when individual action is of the essence. Alas, poor Todd Bertuzzi, being above all a team player and therefore quintessentially a `group’ self, he was unable to stop his `evil’ individual self from rebelling against his good `team’ identity with the result that he did something not especially violent in the context of the sport, not even something particularly stoooooopid, just something that happened to have a negative fall-out on the `team’ and on public perception of the `game’ thus on our collective selves and therefore we are able to put to good? use the handy all-purpose double-standard hypocricy which the tension between the individual/team dynamic provides us to deal with just such occasions as this. Yup, it wasn’t Todd Bertuzzi the Canuck(lehead), Todd Bertuzzi the Hockey player, Todd Bertuzzi HOCKEY artefact, Todd Bertuzzi all-Cdn/NA boy that did this heinous act rather it was TB the `bad boy/hockey delinquent’, TB mature individual who `chose’ to viciously assault another inoffensive member of his `community’, TB rogue `hockey player’ who needs to be restrained, punished, rehabilitated, forever `watched’ for not only for the good of the game and of society but for his own good. Yup, better TB should be fingered and excoriated than, heaven forbid, we should have to confront the truth of our own `bullying’ selves. And we can rationalize this from long established precedent starting with the famous (apocryphal) words of Pontius Pilot: What is truth?

    What happened to Steve Moore was bad and he should receive redress. What TB did was bad and he should have and was held accordingly accountable in fact much more so than many `individuals’ who commit far worse assaults in contexts far less tolerant – how’s about happy homes, for example – of such physical behaviour than the hockey arena. LOL, you’d think that the smarmy self-righteous `dlean-up hockey’ shills would be more concerned with the larger much more relevant instances of societal mayhem. Ahh yes, things are skewed, eh? What is the underlying cause of this imbalance? Ahh, the intrinsic nature of the group, the need for that necessary evil – politics. And politics is not concerned with moral or even ethical standards rather with power and how to do/get what one wants which essentially rests on how things are preceived by most people, at least in a non-totalitarian state. Yup, it is a far far better thing that TB should be persistently pummeled than we should flagellate ourselves. Hehe, rationalization numero uno?: it’s easier that way – to hell with truth & justice & freedom unless, of course, they are of some practical use, they grease the way to better things for me such as increased physical comfort and absense of mental/emotional stress. In the immortal words of Humpty Dumpty, `Now there’s glory for you!’

  6. DK,

    OOOPS! In paragraph 1 should read: (Bertuzzi’s) `good’ team self was able to quell his `evil’ individual self from rebelling …..

    Interesting how habit generates forms that control us in so many ways both subtle and otherwide, eh? I mean, when a pro-player on any team is `playing’ can we reasonably expect him/her to have an individual identity other than that of `how’ they play?

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