For more information regarding our move, please read the two last post published below.

27 June 2007

What’s all the fuss about?

Another draft has come and gone, and what would Montreal be without yet another hockey controversy to shake the very foundation of the city?

Yes, Bob Gainey and his band of hooligans did the unthinkable. They passed up on The Saviour himself, Angelo Esposito. I knew from the moment the #12 pick was announced that the usual media cowboys wouldn’t be happy with another American defenceman, and when Angelo finally did get snatched by the Penguins, well, I probably couldn’t have scripted it any better.

Needless to say, it will take a colossal failure to produce on Angelo’s part for the media in this city NOT to mention this year’s draft for years to come. That, or the Ryan McDonagh pick to work out extremely well (which, by the way, would not surprise me in the least, but more on that later).

Either way, don’t expect this to be forgotten anytime soon. Angelo is a talented player and will likely do very well in Pittsburgh with Crosby and Co. In fact, Pittsburgh is probably the best fit for a prospect like Angelo. I fully believe his weaknesses will be compensated for on a stacked team like the Penguins, and he will be a star (not exactly what you want to see when your team passes over him in the draft).

I also fully believe some of the media in Montreal were literally smacking their lips at the prospect of yet another local player flourishing somewhere else. Funny how certain media figures seem to actually prefer when The Habs screw up, but I can’t really blame them. That’s where they get their best material.

With all this drama in the city of Montreal, the real shame is that the two players chosen in the first round, as well as Montreal’s second round choice, actually seem like pretty good picks. I, for one, am delighted to see that defenceman Ryan McDonagh is now Habs property. I must admit, I thought he’d only be available had Gainey succeeded in moving up in the draft and am shocked that he was passed on by Los Angeles in lieu of Thomas Hickey.

McDonagh is the real deal; a puck-moving defenceman with size who can really skate. He’s also the second “Mr. Hockey” award-winner chosen in the first round by the Canadiens, a testament to the qualities they look for in a player. As I mentioned before, I love the McDonagh pick, and while he probably won’t make us forget about Angelo (and all the cups he’ll win with Crosby) right away, I’m convinced McDonagh will be a useful player for years to come and a fan favourite.

Speaking of useful players, how can anyone be unhappy with big Max Pacioretty at pick #22? I love this kid and am thrilled to see another power-forward join the ranks and don the Ste-Flanelle. He mixes size with smart hockey sense and good skating, and has been compared to players like Keith Tkachuk, Erik Cole and Ryan Smyth.

I’d also like to say a few words about P.K. Subban, Montreal’s second round (#43) pick, who’s amassed somewhat of a cult-like following. Never mind his offensive talents and supreme skating ability, you just gotta love this kid’s attitude. We always hear about the need to draft Quebecers because they love the team and would play better for their hometown, but this guy has every bit of passion and love for the sweater that they do. His smile is contagious and his confidence makes ME confident in his abilities. I’m looking forward to seeing him give interviews, he’s a real character.

So what IS all the fuss about? In this blogger’s eyes, it should be on the excellent draft Timmons and his crew put together. I remain optimistic that in the near future, everyone will agree.

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I’d also like to apologize for my hiatus these past months. I had some personal issues to deal with but will make more of an effort to contribute in the future and appease all the "Waff-aholics" out there. As always, hit me up at waffy_t@hotmail.com if you ever want to chew the fat about hockey, berate me incessantly about my articles, or write me death threats.

4 fanatics have replied:

Bleu, Blanc et Rouge blog said...

And it's pathetic how RDS and RIS kept on going about Esposito, I mean, come on, if he was passed on by a dozen teams in favour of other players, it doesn't mean he's the saviour!

But please, it's starting to get on my nerves, the way this has turned out, the french media should be happpy with McDonagh, who in most people's eyes was projected to be a top 10 pick and by far the best d-man in the draft (which was also pretty shallow this year)

Good to have you back 'dave! :D

DKerr said...

I have no problem with our first round. Originally from Connecticut, I'm happy to see one of our own chosen. I did not know of Subban, but his attributes (good skating, beefy size) would make one think he should have been rated higher. You sound convinced, so I'll go with it.

The more good defensemen, the better. I grew up watching the big three bring cups to the Habs and the 86 team had good d-men. The 93 team was fueled by the fab 4, some of whom had excellent long term careers.

Look no further than NJ - a nice blueprint!

waffledave said...

P.K. was appropriately chosen in the 2nd round simply because his defensive play is borderlining on putrid. He is a purely offensive defenceman and I would not be surprised if he is converted to a forward.

However, he has all the tools to be a sucessful NHL defenceman and has a slapshot that pushes 100 mph (at 18 years old!). Ultimately it will be his desire to better himself that decides his fate, and judging by his attitude I see no reason why he will not be sucessful.

Case in point: upon being drafted, he proudly declared that he expects to fight for a roster spot on the Habs come training camp and can't wait to help the team win the cup. Gotta love his confidence.

kazmojo said...

DKerr, you're right on. Defense wins championships. And you don't have to go back to the Devils' heyday. Anaheim won with defense too, and their big 3: Pronger, Niedermayer and Beauchemin.

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