The NHL Draft isn’t like the ones held by the NBA or the NFL. Work up whatever fervor you like; 98.9 percent of the the teens and foreigners awkwardly pronounced behind a podium won’t be making an impact on your favorite team this season. But hey, some people like to celebrate this sort of stuff, and many NHL teams want to help. So join MYFO in our rundown of all the league’s DRAFT PARTIES. Just don’t blame us when the prick in the back makes the jukebox blare Journey right when your team is about to pick.
Today, the Western Conference.
Columbus – Join all the Columbus crazies at 7 pm at the Champps Americana at Easton Town Center. Both of them will be there. The Blue Jackets traditionally have success in the first round, as Nash, Zherdev, Leclaire, Klesla, Brule, and Brassard all been photographed as awkward teens in an oversized Ohio flag sweater in the past. I’d like to say that Champps is planning to offer free hot wings to all fans, but the Blue Jackets may end up sending said wings to Pittsburgh for exclusive rights to Ryan Malone.
Phoenix – Face it, this is Christmas for the Upper Deck Sports Grill in Scottsdale. They wait all year for their chance to be in the spotlight for the famously critical Arizona sports media. Everything has to be perfect. Tables will be cleaned, peanut bowls on the bar will be brimming, and the guys from Xtra Sports 950 AM will wear their best clean shirts. The Coyotes have managed to convince Peter Mueller and Derek Morris (Zack Morris’ father) to show up, and all it took was limited complimentary appetizers and $2.50 bottles. And certainly, lots and lots of the ‘Yotes Snow Patrol. What? They’re not going to be there? Get in the car, kids. The Diamondbacks are in town.
Dallas – The Stars aren’t having one. They’ve decided to just crash the one in Buffalo, yoink the food and drink, and take it back to Texas.
Los Angeles– If by some awful circumstance you hold season tickets to the Los Angeles Kings, well then, you are cordially invited to the Nokia Theatre this weekend for the 2008 Entry Draft Party. You also know that you received an invitation in the mail the weekend of May 27th. Lord knows we got ours at the MYFO office. (Ok, so we guilted the newly-retired Matthias Norstrom out of his.) Reasonable’s been at it for weeks, deciding which of the ladies from The Hills he’s going to escort down the red carpet, and Rask has got the NHL brass on high alert for his past gatecrashing ways. Should be fun. Since the average age of the Kings right now is roughly 12, the Jonas Brothers will be providing entertainment.
San Jose – According to their website,
Sharks fans looking towards the future can watch it unveil this Friday on Versus.
Considering they have no first-rounder and the best guy San Jose has drafted in the last decade may be Milan Michalek, now might be the only acceptable scenario for you to go see The Love Guru.
Anaheim– Doesn’t appear to be having a Draft Party. I contacted them for details, and they responded with something about “it’s 80 degrees and sunny, go to the goddamn beach you pasty blogger.” Fair point. The bad news: your number one pick is with Edmonton because you have Chris Pronger. The good news: Edmonton’s number one pick is with you because you let them have Dustin Penner. The best news: Hextall454 has included a gratuitous picture of Anaheim’s Power Players.
Edmonton– Speaking of the Oilers, congratulations to them (and to a lesser extent, the Rangers and *cough* Blues), for Glenn Anderson, who was admitted to the Hall of Fame yesterday. But to be honest, why even bother with the Draft, now that you have signed Ryan Potulny? Cast off from the Flyers, I’m sure he’ll follow in a fine line of Philly Futures, including Jeff Woywitka, Colin Forbes, and Pavel Brendl. But enough about Philly – it’s time to shred. The Oilers invite you to their Exposed After Party on Saturday to play Guitar Hero against defenseman Tom Gilbert. This is but one on a six date summer tour of video gaming conditioning. Good to see Edmonton with their eyes on the prize.
St. Louis– It’s Hockey Fest in St. Louis! It’s the first-annual, which means there’s no way it can suck as much as last year. Sure, the Blues have the fourth overall pick, and LeNoceur can no doubt address for you all what the team needs, but what the people need is VIP ACCESS. Sure, walking around collecting autographs can be fun, but what if I told you for $200 you can get all that crap plus attend a private soiree at the Scottrade Center Club and hobnob with Tony Twist ANDTV’s Alan Thicke? Sign me the fuck up.
Vancouver – Our Canuckistani contacts are reporting that you have two options to follow the draft. First, you can follow their play-by-play blog in front of you computer on a Friday night. (in your mother’s basement.) OR we hear Trevor Linden’s available for your empty seat at Poker Night. Last year, first round pick Patrick White was likely issued a number #07 jersey, and then Vancouver promptly did the whole uni redesign thing. This confused the hell out of Patrick.
Nashville – Nashville may be one of the new kids on the block, but when it comes to Draft Parties, they are as seasoned as they come. Forget St. Louis – this is an annual affair. While some are limited to the finest confines a local sports bar can muster, Nashville rocks the Sommet Center. And despite their massive financial insolvency, this thing is FREE. So come and enjoy the company of J.P. Dumont, food and drink specials, inflatable games for the kiddies, and as their website puts it, Versus’ live draft coverage on the Megatron.
Colorado– No signs of a throwdown in Denver, but judging on their past season’s transactions, a small gathering of the Avs’ faithful at the VFC in Castle Rock Friday night. Backgammon and canasta sets will be available, and Adam Foote will be on hand to give Charleston lessons. Closes half-way through the first round. After party at zzz……
Calgary – The C of Red will be in full force, no doubt, at Flames Central. Molson Canadian will make sure you’re good and drunk by 3:15. Don’t forget to enter the two contests while you’re still sober enough to fill out an entry form. The first could net you 4 tickets to the home opener. The second could send you and a friend with the team to Phoenix to watch the Flames play the Coyotes. (If you can skate at a remedial level, you may earn an open tryout for Phoenix whilst in AZ.) As for the entry form, it’s far more complex that signing your name and address away to the Calgary Promotions Marketing Database. You have to name the first ten players to be drafted in the first round. Hint: we hear this Stamkos guy may be one of them.
Chicago – The Blackhawks cannot be bothered with such trifling events like an Entry Draft Party. They seem to know what they’re doing at the Draft, what with Toews and Kane at the top of the recent class. And besides, all event planners in the organization have their sights set on 2008 BLACKHAWKS CONVENTION. In mid-July, get thyself to the Hilton Chicago to hang out with the all-time Chitown greats…and Ben Eager! Confused yet? It appears Eric Daze is.
Minnesota – Psst…come closer to your monitor. I’m not even going to check to see if the Wild are throwing a Draft Party. I’m sure if they did, it would be very nice, and the Wild faithful would attend in droves. But I want to let you in on a little secret – PARTY AT WEED’S HOUSE. Oops, I got a little loud there. Here’s the thing – it’s a surprise party. Weed doesn’t know he’s throwing it. But really, it’s cool. Just show up. Sit on his couch, demand pasta from scratch. It’s all good. Just get there before he places a call to Boogaard to work the door.
Detroit – What’s that, hockey blogger? Draft Party? I’m sorry, we couldn’t hear you over the harmonious melodies coming out of this STANLEY CUP.