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Evan Grossman

About Evan
Evan Grossman comes to NHL.com after six years as a sports reporter for the New York Post, where he was the Islanders beat writer from 2001-2006. Among Evan's memorable assignments at the tabloid were Shawn Bates' penalty shot against the Maple Leafs in the 2002 playoffs, walking with Phil Mickelson on Sunday at the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot and countless hours waiting in the Yankee Stadium parking lot for Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

'I was wondering if maybe you wanted to get some frozen yogurt, or perhaps a whole meal of food, if that would be agreeable.'

Gross Misconduct rides again!

The Stanley Cup is over, the awards have all been handed out. But before the NHL dives into summer, there remains one last matter of business to complete. Before we trade shot blocks for sun block, there remains one last thing to do on the all-important NHL to-do list.

The Entry Draft.

Which is also known as the League’s annual swap meet, a flea market where a new generation of players is ushered into the pro ranks. And another generation of veterans will likely be traded.

OK, so maybe not all of our favorite players will be traded this weekend. But for guys like me, the most fun of the draft weekend are all the trades that pop up each year. Sure, the trading deadline is where all the action is with unprecedented numbers of players switching hands near the end of every regular season. In the calendar year, the only other time as rich in trade activity is the Draft weekend.

And it’s finally here.

Most of you will tune in Friday night hoping your team takes a certain player, or maybe moves up in the order to select a stud prospect. Well, prospects are nice. They should be wearing some pretty sweet suits for their big day (actually, the first round is in primetime this year, so it’s more along the lines of their big night). And prospects represent the future of the NHL, so they’ve got that going for them. Which is nice.

But for me, all the action of the Entry Draft is in the trades.

You can bet your bottom dollar there will be a few this year. Some things just don’t go out of style. White t-shirts, jeans, aviator sunglasses, 90210 reruns, and NHL Entry Draft trades have a longer shelf life than Chris Chelios’ career. Some things definitely do not ever fall out of style.

FERNANDEZ
So who is going to be the biggest name moved this weekend? I’m betting it’s going to be a goalie. It’s always a goalie, isn’t it? If you believe everything you read, Minnesota might be trying to move Manny Fernandez after signing Niklas Backstrom to a new contract. Or maybe Vancouver is willing to part with 21-year-old Cory Schneider. Maybe St. Louis will part with one of their three first-round picks they have, thanks to the Keith Tkachuk and Bill Guerin trades.

Yep. Something’s going to happen.

It always does.

The Flyers and Predators completed a blockbuster this week when Philadelphia traded to obtain the rights to sign Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen, who would have been free-agent prizes for anyone this summer. The ball has already started rolling.

LUONGO
In 2001, the Ottawa Senators traded Alexei Yashin to the Islanders for Zdeno Chara, the pick that turned into Jason Spezza, and Bill Muckalt. In 2003, the Devils shipped Mike Danton to the Blues. In 2000, The Islanders traded Roberto Luongo to Florida for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha on Draft Day. The seeds for the Chris Pronger-to-Anaheim deal and the Jaromir Jagr-to-New York trade were both laid during the Draft. Last year, Luongo was flipped again (two days before the Draft) when Florida sent him to Vancouver for Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Allen and Alex Auld. Boston swapped Andrew Raycroft, the Kings flipped Pavol Demitra, the Thrashers traded Patrik Stefan and the Avalanche parted with Alex Tanguay at last year’s Draft.

Everybody knows something is going to happen at the Draft. It always does.

Two-handers:

* Last week, members of the California costal commission voted to throw out Clint Eastwood’s bid to build a golf course in an area of protected forest on the Monterey peninsula. The proposal would have cut down up to 18,000 trees. Had Eastwood proposed to build his course out of one-piece graphite sticks, maybe some trees would have been saved, and he would have been permitted to go ahead with the plan.

* Any day now, the environmentalists are going to go after Jason Spezza, one of the few players in the NHL who are still using wood sticks. And killing trees.

* According to a report, a German company is selling $100,000 prefabricated nuclear bunkers like hotcakes. The steel cubes are said to be able to withstand an atomic blast and are being hailed as a ready-made fallout shelter. In the event there is no nuclear war, the New York Islanders can always use their spare bomb shelters as a place for the bloggers to sit.

* A middle school in Virginia has outlawed all forms of touching, including handshakes, hugs and high-fives among students. School officials, according to a report, say the new rule has helped to keep hallways and lunchrooms safe. Keeping their hands off each other has also improved the flow of the game and has created more offense after another crackdown on obstruction.

* Angelina Jolie has apologized to FOX News for allegedly banning the right-slanted news network from attending a movie premiere recently. She admitted her treatment of the network was “excessive,” which is more of an apology Scott Niedermayer got from Daniel Alfredsson.

Posted by Evan @ 12:07 p.m.



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