By Chris SnowDirector of Hockey OperationsMONTREAL
-- A few minutes ago, with the 16th overall pick, we selected Nick Leddy of Eden Prairie, the elite skating defenseman who will play for the "U" this fall.
Slated to pick 12th in Round 1 and then not again until Round 4 (99th overall), our GM, Chuck Fletcher, came to the Bell Centre tonight open to the possibility of moving down in Round 1 to add a second- or third-round pick. We spoke multiple times with the New York Islanders, owners of that 16th pick. Following Nashville's selection of Ryan Ellis 11th overall, a National Hockey League official stepped toward our table and said, "Minnesota, you have five minutes to make your selection."
In Round 1, by League rules, we had to complete a trade or make our selection in that five-minute window. We could call timeout, but would not be allowed to make a trade if we did so.
With about a minute remaining, Chuck Fletcher and Islanders GM Garth Snow came to an agreement by phone. We would send No. 12 to the Islanders for No. 16, No. 77 (Round 3) and No. 182 (Round 7). The League requires completion of the "NHL Trade Form," a carbon paper form that calls for details of the transaction to be written out longhand, signed by a representative of both teams, and then submitted to the league for approval. That's a lot to complete in a minute.
Sensing the possibility of trading down, we wrote up the form in advance, leaving blank the exact pick numbers that would be exchanged. Once the deal was reached, we wrote in the pick numbers. Chuck reviewed this, signed it, and sent it with a team representative up to the stage. There, an Islanders representative signed the form and handed it to the league at the foot of the stage. Because the deal did not involve any players (and therefore no cap implications) nor any picks in future drafts, it required little time to approve.
Quickly, the league OK'd it. The Islanders stepped up. We then waited four picks, selecting Leddy.
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