It was an eventful day at NHL Draft headquarters yesterday, but not on the trade front. General Manager Chuck Fletcher spoke with the assembled media following yesterday’s Board of Governors meeting that included Gary Bettman and Bill Daly. Fletcher said it was too early to tell if any big trades were going to go down. He also said things might not happen until minutes before the Wild make a pick.
Wild TV is planning on talking to Fletcher, Brent Flahr and others right around lunchtime today (although lunchtime is two hours earlier than in Minny, so all those people that ditch work early on a Friday might miss out). But as of 9:41 a.m. L.A. time, I haven’t heard anything. I’m suspecting the extent of the Wild’s activity today is taking a player at ninth overall and calling it a night. But we will see.
After his long meeting, Fletcher had the chance to relax a bit at a dinner with his entire scouting staff, and some others including Craig Leipold, Todd Richards, Dave Barr, new Houston coach Mike Yeo and the PR staff, who Fletcher thanked for “showing up to the free meal.”
It was somewhat funny that in another room of the restaurant, the Octagon agency was also having a predraft dinner, and several Minnesota prospects were there including Derek Forbort, Nick Bjugstad and Tyler Pitlick.
The scouts dinner is always entertaining, but also mortifying. You have to have your head on a swivel in case a mischievous scout decides to deface your shoes with some condiment concoction. As soon as someone starts tinking their glass, everyone’s heart skips a beat as they do a “shoe check” and hope they aren’t a victim.
PR guru Aaron Sickman actually caught one scout in the act of putting mashed potatoes on his shoe, but Sickman wasn’t entirely lucky. When he returned to his room last night, he probably found a dried up dinner roll and a shriveled lime in his briefcase. He probably suspects Director of Player Personnel Brad Bombardir or Shep Harder, but unless he reads the Lighthouse blog, he won’t know it was me, his trusted ally.
But the prank of the night victimized V.P. of communications and broadcast, Bill Robertson. Despite his birthday being in March, Robertson was flattered when a server brought out two scoops of ice cream with a candle in it, and had everyone sing happy birthday. You couldn’t wipe the smile off of Robertson’s face, until he jammed a big spoonful in his mouth and found out it was actually mashed potatoes. The lesson: never let your guard down at a scouts dinner!