Sunday, June 24, 2007

Draft 2007: Biggest Winner/Losers!

1) OK, we first will admit that our picks for biggest winners and losers is only an opinion based upon limited knowledge of the players picked and understating that drafting players who are barely 18(or younger) is a crap shoot at best, but we can make some generalizations being that we at FAUXRUMORS have seen/can recall the last 30 or so drafts.

2) The biggest winners:
  • N.Y Rangers- They were way down at the 17th spot. For all intents and purposes they shouldn't have expected to see an impact type player that low. Especially in this 'weak' draft. However, for a myriad of reasons, when Glen Sather, et al stepped up to the mic, Alexi Cherepanov was still available. According to reports:"Aside from Pat Kane, no draft eligible player played the game at as high a level this season". Why was he there? Transfer agreement? Come on. Malkin played last year without one. Inconsistency? Again, come on. That could describe any of the players drafted. Like all picks time will be the deciding factor, but as of now The Rangers were Big winners this weekend!

  • Pittsburgh- Similar to the Rangers. The Pens weren't picking in the top 5 for the first time in years.(20th) Yet, when it was their tun, who was available? None other than Angelo Esposito. The player who scouts not too long ago were saying was a 'can't miss' and will be chosen first overall. The combination of playing under the microscope and having a bit of a down season plummeted his stock, but did he really suddenly lose skill? Going to Pitt, he will have ZERO pressure to perform right away. With guys named Crosby, Malikin and Staal ahead of him he won't have to be an impact player immediately. (Note: As this blog has stated on many occasions, we believe Malkin will NOT be in Pitt long term. Therefore with Staal, Espo and a few other talented prospects in the fold a trade of Evgeni at some point is even more possible.) Mr. Shero definitely had a nice weekend for his Penguins!

  • Chicago- How could a team drafting first NOT be a big winner. With Kane they got a player who all have said is the most skilled player available this year. Add that to last years Towes, who will be in camp in the fall, you finally have something to look forward to in Chicago! (How long has it been since that could be said?!?)

3) Biggest Losers:

  • N.Y. Islanders- If they don't resign Ryan Smyth the trade that landed him will look very bad for the boys on the Island. AS of today 6/24, Garth Snow has yet to sign the center. Rumors are he basically gave him a blank cheque, and was still rebuffed. As each day goes by the chances of them retaining Smyth dwindle. Once he goes on the open market we say its about zero. The Isles gave up 2 former first rounders AND this years(15th) for Smyth. Add to that the 2nd rounder the gave the Caps for Zednik, the Isles didn't afford themselves much to improve the team this weekend.

  • Washington Caps- With a bevy of top defensive prospects/players both in junior/college/AHL, and on the NHL level what did George McPhee do with his top 3 picks? Well of course, he picked 3 more defensemen. Granted their first pick Karl Alzner was the highest rated defender available, but with a huge hole at center and after AO and Semin the team lacks a first line forward, you'd think GMGM would use his picks to bolster the areas which the team was weakest. In addition, and we admit its still possible, they did NOT make the anticipated trade to get that 'top center'. The pick of Alzner does free up the team to deal a defender or two, but will that be enough to get the player they promised their fans/Ovechkin they'd get?

4) The anticipated move to mimic the Ducks and their size wasn't too evident especially in the first round. More than 1/3 of the 1st rounders were 6 foot or under. Evidently the consensus of GM's/scouts is that faster skilled players are still what gets noticed. Size is secondary.

5) We are told that a great many deals were close, but in the end many GM's got cold feet. Perhaps being on in prime time made a few camera shy? Well, not really, BUT we were also told that quite a few discussed deals had "significant ground work" done so it won't be surprising to see a few major type deals come to fruition before the free agency frenzy starts in just over 6 days from now. One asst GM told FAUXRUMORS that a few 'significant shake up of rosters is likely, and its also probable that most teams will have their September rosters almost completely set in 2 weeks! Those are a lot of transactions folks! Stay tuned!


The Good Staal said...

I don't care what anyone says we got the best player friday night! In 2 years how great will the penguins be? Crosby, Makin Staal, and Espo all on the PP unit. We're gonna be the next Dynasty!

Stacy Schnall said...

Snow best get Smith. he gave the oilers a lot of our good yung guys to get him. How much does he want a hundret million dolas? i mean come on man. we just got rid of a guy who got to much mony.
i hope the ranger guy dont come over to play. hehehehe


1) Staal- Time will tell of course, but you may be right. We think Angelo will have no pressure to have an immediate impact and he'll be surrounded by fellow young-guns who may help mentor/bring out his best.
2) We agree Stacy. The pressure is on the entire Isles organization they seemed to put all their eggs in the Smyth basket with that trade.
3) Even if they sign him it could still back fire. Its likely they'd have to WAY overpay. It could take 7-8 mil to get him signed (if he even wants to play there) If he's not signed then the Isles WAY overpaid for a playoff rental that didn't produce even 1 playoff series win, and they gave up 3 1st round prospects for that 'privilege'
4) The amusing thing if they sign Smyth will be the inevitable Yashin point total comparisons. Yashin is sure to sign on and put up decent offensive numbers wherever he ends up, while Smyth is NOT a 1st line/100 point guy. We know the intangibles make a Yashin/Smyth comparison silly, but it IS going to happen if they isles keep Smyth and Yashin plays in the NHL next season.

Sauce said...

You're correct about the irrelevance of an agreement with the Russian Federation. Cherepanov sank in the draft because of one thing - poor work ethic. Sorry, but I disagree with your evaluation. Notwithstanding Pierre McGuire's over-hyped description, Cherepanov has got Kovalev written all over him. Looks like Sather doesn't learn from past mistakes.

Smyth has forthrightly stated from the day the season ended that he's gonna listen to all offers, no matter how much Wang offered. He never intended to sign before July 1. In fact, Snow displayed his respect for Smyth's decision by issing a statement to the media declaring that the Isles would not sell Smyth's negotiating rights. To say that the odds of the Isles signing Smyth drop after July 1 is silly.


1) If, as Sauce writes: "Cherepanov has got Kovalev written all over him", then the Ranger's should be quite elated this morning!
2) How many of the players taken Friday will play 1000+ games, score 350 goals/900 points, and win a Cup in their careers? (We believe it was Neil Smith who drafted Kovalev) He's probably NOT Ovechkin/Malkin, but its too early to say he's Kvasha either!
3) We also respectively disagree with regard to Smyth. The Isles window of chance to keep him closed July 1st.
3) Once he is able to legally negotiate with 30 teams, the Isles chances plummet. If after listening to and being wined/dined by Wang/Snow, and former Isles, all Smyth is still 'undecided' then the writing is on the wall. He's being polite, but wants to return to his comfort zone, the West.

Sauce said...

The Rangers supposedly stole the show with Cherepanov because he's thought to be a legit top 3 pick that dropped to 17. The comparison to Kovalev with regard to his first seasons with the Rangers stems from years of high expectations (15th overall pick, 1st Russian ever selected in 1st round) that were never met with his drafting team. In his 1st stint with the Rangers he never made it past the status of "enigma" and never reached his potential. He was on the 1994 cup winning team, but was primarily a PP specialist. It wasn't until he played for the Pens that his effort matched his talent and his real game came out, doubling the goal production of his previouss seasons. The Rangers just happened to be beneficiaries of that renewed attitude in his year-long 2nd tour with them. Then his enigmatic tendencies re-emerged with the Habs.

If Cherepanov has a tenure with the Blueshirts relative to his potential similar to that of Kovalev, the Rangers will be wishing they'd picked Esposito.

The Dark Ranger said...

Hey sauce,
Easy on the important misconception, as I understand it, about Cherepanov is his work ethic.

It appears this was more of an issue of lazy scouts, who relied heavily on two or three roaming official scouting tapes that was circulating of him playing in the league last year. Whether or not Glen Sather actually took four trips to spend time and watch the kid play or whether he was in Palm Springs on the Rangers dime (not my 'Glenny'!) the Rangers were one of the only (if few) scouts in Russia to observe and get to know the kid. When watched and when he cared, his play was astounding. After such attention, his first choice was the New York Rangers.

It's as if the blessed Lord Stanley himself was there to marry a 17th placement with a top three pick.

I do agree that Esposito was a strong alternate, but their sights were on the potential Russian superstar, and if he doesn't turn out to deliver, Sather walks away without much blame and a good traveling work ethic. If Cherepanov is the next Ovechkin or Malken - or better - then 'Glen-Man' is a friggin hero! Then Messier will NEVER have a shot at it!


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