One more day until the NHL draft, and hopefully some changes in what we'll see on the ice here in Columbus.
Last night, though, was one last hurrah for the season that was with the NHL's 2011 awards. In a bit of a surprise, Corey Perry walked off with the Hart Trophy over Daniel Sedin, the winner of the Art Ross, while Nicklas Lidstrom capped off his 19th season with his seventh Norris Trophy. Personally, I thought the award should have gone to Shea Weber, but the voters have spoken, so we'll leave it at that.
Unfortunately, some of the celebrity...ah...guests....were also speaking, and more than a few led to cringeworthy moments. Puck Daddy has your best and worst for those who skipped the live show.
From the Dispatch, we have some brief news bites yesterday at Puck Rakers, and discussions about Scott Howson meeting with former Atlanta Thrashers GM Rick Dudley. Dudley could potentially be a very smart hire for the Blue Jackets, either filling Don Boyd's role as head of hockey operations, or a senior advisor working with Howson and Mike Priest.
The Nashville Predators are unveiling new logos, and we've got reports that their home jerseys will be going back to a gold base. I'm very curious to see how these turn out - We're supposed to see their road jersey at the draft, while the new home threads will be unveiled in July. I'll wait to pass total judgement until we see them, but so far...not bad? Simpler, obviously. I like the shoulder patch. But it depends on how garish the gold / yellow home jersey is...
Much discussion of the 8th pick, and where things may go this weekend for the Jackets, with the Dispatch claimng that Howson is fighting for his job (really? I don't agree there), while Jeff at TMM admits that the clock is ticking - but that also means a lot is happening. At Dark Blue Jacket, Tom simply suggests that the 8th pick isn't really the core of any potential trade deals - it's the icing on top of a possible player move. That's a take I hadn't considered before, but it makes a ton of sense.
The NHL schedule will be announced today, and with it the WInter Classic. Check out Icethetics for a faked announcement that fooled a few news outlets. I could get behind the Rangers wearing a uniform like that...
One last note on the Draft - Tom Reed has a great profile of Connor Murphy and Sean Kuraly, a pair of Dublin kids who came up through the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets, and now are likely to go in the draft this weekend.
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun suggests that the NHL may go to a four division re-alignment. Mike touched on this already this morning, but I'll just point out it sounds quite a bit like a proposal we saw earlier this year.
Another interesting take at DBJ - are the Blue Jackets' moves towards social media an attempt to rekindle the romance between fans and the team? If so, would you say it's working?
Last but not least, it seems that if you're going to buy NHL 12, you'll be seeing Stamkos.
We'll have much more coverage going into the Draft this weekend. Hope to see you at the draft party on Friday!