The NHL’s yearly draft is a very regimented, routine process for a league that’s largely devoid of personality. In the NFL players often run to the podium and give Roger Goodell a big sloppy man shug, and every pick in tonight’s NBA draft will be accompanied by the comical sight of a dwarfed David Stern standing next to a draftee who could use his head as a coaster.
Aside from the odd misplaced and poorly executed chant of “U-S-A!”, and the rare Hollywood eye candy appearance, the shenanigans at the NHL draft are limited at best. But when moments of comedy or anger happen, they’re real, and they’re spectacular.
Bettman gets creative when acknowledging boos, loves Ottawa’s “passion”
Gary Bettman is booed any time he makes an official league appearance, and usually it’s harmless and mildly comical. Rather than trying in vain to yell like the parent screaming over a room full of children, Bettman instead invited and embraced his villain role at the 2008 draft in Ottawa.
The result was the commish being highly complementary of the city’s passion for hockey. Yeah, that’s what it is Gary, passion.
Maybe it would help if Burkie loosened his tie a bit more
We’re not sure if you can tell by his reaction, but Brian Burke wasn’t exactly elated when the Kings selected Brayden Schenn with the fifth overall pick in 2009. Burke had to settle for Nazem Kadri when the Leafs were on the clock two picks later.
The rumours of Schenn joining his older brother Luke in Toronto still persist, most resulting in some wild trade in which Toronto gives up little, and L.A. sacrifices a major piece of their future.
Bryan Murray’s negotiating tactics
We stick with the 2009 draft for another vintage moment involving Burke, but the focus shifts to Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray.
Burke was already steamed about missing out on Schenn when Murray came strutting over to inquire about moving up two sports from his current draft position at ninth overall. He ended up looking like the kid at lunchtime who really wants to swap someone for their Dunkaroos or maybe even a Fruit Roll-Up, but all he has is an apple and a few cheese slices.
Alex Ovechkin’s 2006 draft cameo
Try to ignore that incessant humming sound in the background. In addition to overcoming his life-long fear of public speaking when he announced Washington’s fourth overall pick in the 2006 draft (Nicklas Backstrom), Alex Ovechkin also had to upload this video onto Youtube. He’s was still learning, so be gentle.
It’s now pretty hard to imagine adjectives like “shy” and “meek” being used to describe Ovechkin after he revolutionized goal celebrations, drawing the ire of the great Don on his weekly show, “Coach’s Room.” But at the ripe age of 21 years old at the time, Washington’s original Russian sniper had to be coaxed through every step of his 15-word podium announcement.