On the lighter side of the NHL Draft, here are some things to take away from being at the NHL Draft and experiencing it live.
1. Pittsburgh was a Great Host
For an event that offered free tickets, you expected a town crazy about the Penguins to grab tickets, along with fans of other teams to make the trip to the city for the two day event.
Round one saw a large turnout, with the upper bowl filled near capacity, with the lower bowl, with prospects and their families occupied as well. The drama involving Jordan Staal made it even better for the home crowd.
2. Taking Roll was Fun
Roll call is common and traditional. You make sure all 30 clubs are at the tables. Pittsburgh Penguin fans response to Philadelphia had boos louder than the applause given when Pittsburgh was called. Washington and Toronto, along with the rest of the Atlantic Division heard the boo birds. It was tough for Paul Holmgren to inform the league they were present. Then again, everyone knew they were there.
3. Playing "Name That Tune" As Players were Selected
In the first round, as the prospects were drafted. The soundtrack included selections from "Remember the Titans," "Rudy," and "The Patriot." A little Arcade Fire was thrown in too between picks. I was just waiting for "Call Me Maybe" to start playing.
4. Are You the Media, a Prospect, or an NHL Player?
Just walking into Consol Energy Center, I saw Phil Boroque, Steve Mears, and I was walking next to Joe Sakic on the way out. Talk about a star-studded event of hockey people.
5. Beating Traffic? I Should've Known
Pittsburgh Penguin fans have been ripped for leaving games early to beat traffic. After the Penguins selected their second pick in the first round, a cluster of people filed to the exits. At that point, another trade involving Parise, Suter, or even Yandle at the end of the first round would have been great. Much like when the team comes back in the last few minutes to win, another big trade by Shero and the Penguins would leave them regretting their decision to leave. It's also Friday night. What are you getting up so early for? Hopefully it's to get back for rounds two through seven.
6. Rounds 2-7 a Sprint, Not a Marathon
NHL Network gave the final six rounds of the draft four hours. The NHL ripped through the final rounds in less than 3 hours. You didn't have time to write down who went where before another pick was made. Not a bad thing. Don't wanna keep people inside all day.