This is what we’re talking about hockey world. The sun is shining. The outdoor temp is perfect, and everybody just seems to be in a good mood. The Fan Fest at the Crowne Plaza in St. Paul is in full swing, and during my early afternoon visit, it was packed. A lot to see and do and hear over there, and you’ve still got an hour and a half to get over there.
Thus far today, things have been quiet on the rumor front. The only big news was that Winnipeg will be named the Jets, which is sure to fly with the Manitobans, and damn right that pun was intended.
The Star Tribune’s Mike Russo, the most intense beat writer in the NHL, is hell bent on finding out if the Wild are going to make a trade. That man loves him some trade talk.
We shall see. My gut says that if the Wild makes a deal, it will be to drop down lower in the first round and maybe add a second rounder or another third rounder. Again, this is purely speculation and has nothing to do with any knowledge because I think I’ve proved throughout the past two Wild seasons, I don’t have much of that.
The arena floor is pretty sparsely populated but the draft tables are ready to go. I do see Brian Burke and his entourage down there making them the first team to get situated. The Leafs don’t pick until 25 and 30 but failure to prepare is preparing to fail.
If the Wild does keep the 10th pick, I’m going to venture a guess to say the pick will be defenseman Nathan Beaulieu. But if Mika Zibanejad is there you take him because we can have a field day with the nickname, “The Persian Prince.”
The Lighthouse will have plenty of updates tonight and tomorrow, so stay tuned, and enjoy the 2011 NHL Draft.