Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My 2010 NHL Draft Experience

So the 2010 NHL Draft came and went this weekend.  I went on Friday for the first round.  Here's some highlights:

- Pictures with a couple  prospects
- Kings draft ANOTHER defenseman
- NHL Draft Nacho Hunt 2010
- Big winner at the Kings Care Foundation Raffle

Here was the view of the LA Live Plaza at around 2:30.  They had a few activities: street hockey, NHL 2K11 demo and some creepy manikin dolls dressed in player's equipment.  Not to mention some huge inflatable hockey players.  Heidi walked by and gave me a weird look...Moving on...

My buddy and I wandered into the arena around 3.  The concourse was pretty packed with draft hopefuls, GMs, scouts and fans.  The Stanley Cup and NHL trophies were on display.  We bought a couple raffle tickets for the Kings Care Auction; keeping our fingers crossed for that Raitis Ivanans autographed picture of course.  We finally headed to our seats about a half hour before the Draft.

The Draft is already slow on TV.  Bob McKenzie and Pierre Mcguire's analysis of each pick and Darren Dreger hounding all the GM's for inside info make it somewhat bearable on TV.  But live...it's not good.  The picks come out slow.  And slower.  I think they average about one pick per ten minutes.  No analysis.  No activities.  A couple t-shirts from the ice crew every few picks.

My buddy & I celebrated when the Kings traded up to pick 15th.  Derek Forbort was a solid pick but I couldn't believe we took another defenseman.  I wanted the Kings to take a chance on local product Emerson Etem.  But I guess his skating scared alot of teams off.  Anyways, after the Kings picked two hours into the draft.  We decided to go look for some food.

The Kings or Staples Center obviously underestimated the number of people that were going to be in the arena for the draft.  Big Fail on their part.  They only opened about five concessions stands in the entire place.  So we wandered around the concourse looking for nachos.  

As we're waiting in line,  I see a skinny kid running by in a suit.  And recognize him immediately.  Probably the most debated player after Taylor and Taylor; the Russian Enigma Kirill Kabanov.  Had to get a picture with him.

As we're standing in line.  I recognize Thomas Hickey standing in line next to us.  I'm pretty sure the lady informed him there were no nachos left.  So he promptly went to the next stand.  And since we were in search of nachos too.  We followed him next door.  No one else was recognizing him and the line wasn't moving so I went over and bothered him.  I caught him off-guard as he was busy checking out some of the fine young women walking around the arena on Draft night.

Anyways, the NHL Draft Nacho Search 2010 concluded with my buddy and I grabbing the last nacho at the third concession stand.  We rushed back to our seats to enjoy the nachos.  When we realized that the draft had crawled along at a snail's pace.  

At about pick 22, we called it a night.  Not before stopping by the Kings Care table to see if we had won anything.  The night really came full circle for me.  See for yourself.  Not sure what to do with this yet.  Raitis is waving goodbye to Los Angeles.  Good bye Raitis.  Good bye.

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