***Originally published at www.palhalpall.blogspot.com***
Yeah Yeah, the draft is approaching, big fucking whoop (who says big whoop anymore?). Nah, I lie, I'm so excited I can't get any work done (no, I don't consider writing this drivel work) - though my lack of productivity may also be due to the fact that it is a whopping 30 degrees up here in North Bay, 37 if you count the humidity. But mostly it's because of the ever so slowly approaching draft and the uncertainty over who will pick whom (is that the correct grammar?). Will the Leafs move up? Down? Side to side? Will they trade some of the expired yet still overly priced meat that currently occupies their roster (you know, like going to the grocery store and seeing last year's chicken thighs selling for $3.99/lb)? Will they trade the the holiest of holies, the unmoved mover Luke Schenn for a shot at John Tavares? Will they instead manage to acquire Brayden Schenn thereby creating the Joel and Ethan Coen of hockey (brilliant, prolific, and ever so slightly socially awkward)? Really, the possibilities are endless.
Of course, there is always the possibility of sublime disappointment; that somehow, perhaps by getting JFJ, Bill Waters or any of the GMs from the '80s (McNamara's '85 triumph notwithstanding) involved, the Leafs will completely fuck this up and find that tiny patch of rough amongst the diamonds (who will be 2009's Scott Pearson?). Of course, there are other ways to destroy the team for another five years this Friday night. Brian Burke, finding no possibility of moving up in the draft and trying not to notice the dirty looks being launched at him from the Islanders' and Oilers' tables, could end up losing his nerve and trading the 7th pick and recently acquired (as of Friday, of course) Jonas Gustavson to the Flyers for Daniel Briere and Daniel Carcillo. I admit that this scenario is a tad unlikely, but I've got a bad case of pessimism and it flares up from time to time when I'm talking about the Leafs and the future.
But Brian Burke is so charming that despite these occasional flare ups, my sphincter is gushing with excitement for Friday night (a different sort of flare up, I suppose). When Burke uses words like testosterone and truculence and expresses an interest in seeing the opposing team's trainer rushing onto the ice more often, how could any of us successfuly regulate the movement of our bowels? This is going to be one hell of a draft. In fact, my spirits will be so high on Friday evening that anything less than Burke somehow gaining all of the top five picks in the draft (without giving up Schenn the elder, of course) will leave a manure-like taste in my mouth (I know, I've got to stop with the fecal references). Luckily, right now I am slightly more clear-headed. So here, before the soundness of my judgement gets deteriorated by a steady barage of alcohol and anticipation, I will unveil what I think will happen at this year's draft.
Garth Snow will step to the podium and, while staring directly at Brian Burke who had just pulled off a colossal trade with Tampa for the second overall pick (Kaberle and next year's first rounder for Tampa's pick and some of their collosal contracts), will announce that despite the rumours he'd been spreading for the past couple of weeks, the Islanders will instead be selecting John Tavares first overall. Burke, pretending to nonchalantly walk up to the podium to announce their recently acquired second overall pick, sucker punches Garth Snow, grabs the microphone from Gary Bettman and whips it at John Tavares's knee, shattering his kneecap and effectively ending the phenom's career. Tavares, relieved that he no longer has to play for the Islanders, is helped off the podium while Colin Campell tries to assure everyone that both Snow and Tavares had it coming (didn't they?).
Burke, looking calm as ever, will call Matt Duchene to the podium, who dawns the Blue and White and poses for photographs while quivering with fear (I could've said crapping his pants, but I didn't). As Burke walks off the podium, he kicks Garth Snow's unconscious body in the ribs and heads back to the Leafs' table. The Avalanche and Thrashers come and go and select Victor Hedman and Evander Kane, respectively. Then, just before Dean Lombardi stands up to start making his way to the podium to select none other than Brayden Schenn, he feels his Blackberry vibrate. He looks at the screen and sees a message from Brian Burke: "I have a feeling you'll be taking Jared Cowen, and NOT Brayden Schenn ;)". Lombardi looks towards the Leafs table and sees Burke waving at him with a sinister smile pasted conspicuously on his face. Knees trembling, he walks up to the podium and with a barely discernable stutter, calls out Jared Cowen. As Lombardi walks nervously back to a table full of flabergasted LA scouts, Burke calls Jerry Moyes and in a whispery, anonymous voice, tells him that Magnus Svenson-Paajarvi (fuck the umlots) has very wealthy parents who intend to purchase whichever team that ends up drafting their son no matter what the cost. Moyes immediately calls Don Maloney and instructs him to draft ctrl-v instead of Brayden Schenn, who to almost everyone's surprise is still available. Maloney does as he is told, leaving Burke and the Maple Leafs with Matt Duchene and Brayden Schenn. Not a bad draft, if you ask me. During an interview some time later (I'd give him five minutes), Burke confesses that it was Matt Duchene he wanted all along.