Posts Tagged ‘NHL Draft’

We had some drafting done to end the week and not the fantasy kind. On Thursday the NBA had it’s draft. That was followed up on Friday by the NHL holding it’s annual draft. I’ll start with the NBA draft since I saw more of that.

First the things that drive me crazy. Why does the NBA not allow teams to make trades during the draft so we can actually see where the player is going and not have to hear about it later. It drives me nuts when a player is drafted by a team and he goes up on stage gets the hat and the jersey from the team that picked him and does the picture thing with Commissioner Adam Silver only to find out that he’s not with that team now. There where a couple of occasions when the television announce crew would spend 5 to 10 minutes breaking down a player and how he fit with the team that drafted him only to have to turn around and do it again for the team who had already traded for him. It’s not like all these trades are happening right now and the league can’t keep up with them. How is it possible that the NFL can handle teams making trades while they’re on the clock t draft, but the NBA is lost and can’t find a way to do it. Moving on; streamline the draft coverage. Why was the television coverage so long? For whatever reason ESPN stretched out the actual draft itself to like four hours when it probably could’ve been done in have the time. Would it of been that hard for them to put a draft recap show on or something like that instead of just dragging out the draft and making it unwatchable. I get it they overpaid for their contract to cover the NBA so they’re going to do everything they can to keep them on television, but stretching out the draft coverage like this makes it boring. With the way they handle the coverage they don;t seem to understand that the majority of the fans watching will go away from the channel and the draft after a pick has been made and then come back and pick the coverage up when it gets closer to the next pick being made. Maybe this doesn’t reflect in the ratings; so it doesn’t hurt their numbers. If it did then they’d care about it.

As for the actual draft itself. It went like most experts had predicted it would. Ben Simmons (LSU) went #1 overall to the Philadelphia 76ers. Then Brandon Ingram (Duke) went #2 to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Boston Celtics on the clock at #3 with one of there 8 picks on the night did everything they could according to reports to deal this pick for some veteran help, but couldn’t find a trade partner and ended up selecting Jaylon Brown (California) with the pick. Most experts thought after the first two picks came off the board any of the top players could be picked by any of the teams in the draft lottery and that’s how it went. The first real surprised was when the Milwaukee Bucks selected high schooler Thon Maker with the 10th pick in the 1st round. Maker didn’t attend college or play overseas, but spent last season at the Athlete Institute in Canada and this had some people questioning his eligibility for the NBA draft. There is also some question about his age. Maker is listed as being 19 years old, but there where NBA teams that took him off there draft boards as there are reports that he’s actually between the of 21 and 23. After Milwaukee took Maker the draft kind of settled back in and the story became how far would Skal Labissiere (Kentucky) fall. Most if not every mock draft had Labissiece being selected in the Top 10. Labissece was eventually selected by the Phoenix Suns with the 28th pick, but was traded to the Sacramento Kings in a draft day trade; that we of course didn’t find out about until after the pick was made. In his one season at Kentucky Labissece didn’t produce like it was thought he would, but still entered the NBA draft. The down season along with his performance at the NBA Draft Combine contributed to Labissece fall to #28. Back to the Celtics and all there draft picks. Besides Brown at #3 the Celtics selected Guerschon Yabusele out of France with the 16th pick of the 1st round and then at #23 the Celtics picked Ante Zizic from Croatia. As of no it appears that they’ll be keeping all three of these draft picks. Of course when you pick a player from overseas he might not be eligible to play in the NBA right away depending on what his contract situation is with his current team. The Celtics where able to deal a couple of their 2nd round draft picks #31 and #35 to the Memphis Grizzlies, but still had three 2nd round picks of there own. At #45 they took Demetrius Jackson (Notre Dame), at #51 they took Ben Bentil (Providence) and at # 58 Boston took Abdel Nader (Iowa State) to wrap up it’s draft night. I don;t think that the Celtics and there General Manager Danny Ainge thought they would walk away from the draft having picked six players. I guess will have to wait and see if there are some deals still in the works for the Celtics or if they’re going to open the 2016-17 season with quite a few rookies on their roster.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don;t know much of anything about the players that where drafted by the NHL last night. Auston Matthews get #1 overall to the Toronto Maple Leafs and I’d expect to see him with them in the 2016-17 season. I’m sure we’ll see a few of these 1st round draft picks playing in the NHL next season, but I just don;t know a whole lot about them. What I wanted to venture off into was some of the draft day trades that where made. The Detroit Red Wings traded Pavel Datsyuk; who I thought I heard was either going to retire or play next season in Russia along with the 16th pick in the draft to the Arizona Coyotes for 20th pick, the 53rd pick and Joe Vitale. I was a little surprise to hear that the St. Louis Blues broke up their goaltending tandem, but they did sending Brian Elliott to Calgary Flames for 2016 2nd-round pick (35th overall), 2018 conditional 3rd-round pick. The Chicago Blackhawks also made a move to help with there salary cap issues as they sent Andrew Shaw to Montreal Canadiens for two 2nd round picks #39 and #45. We’ll see if these deals impact any free agent signings or if some of the teams in these deals where so close to the salary cap that they just needed the relief.

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On Thursday Jon Lester pitched for the Chicago Cubs against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Lester only lasted 4 innings, but this isn’t about if he’s worth the money the Cubs are paying him. It’s about how the home plate umpire acted during the game. In the 2nd inning A.J. Ellis was at the plate for the Dodgers with a 2 and 2 count. Lester’s next pitch appeared to be right down the middle of the plate. Ellis took what looked like strike 3, but home plate umpire Andy Fletcher called it a ball. When Cubs catcher David Ross threw the ball back to Lester he caught it in disgust and yelled towards home plate. Lester’s next pitch was close, but clearly a ball and Ellis drew a walk. It’s not uncommon to see a pitcher get into a fight with an umpire during a game. It is uncommon to see an umpire charge the pitcher’s mound during one of those arguments, but that’s exactly what Fletcher did. Ross pretty much had to physically restrain Fletcher as he was trying to get to Lester who was o the pitching mound.  Ross did a good enough job distracting Fletcher; to allow Cubs manager Joe Maddon to make his way out to the field. Maddon was able to take Fletcher’s attention away from Lester, and the two retreated to home plate to argue. Amazingly, no member of the Cubs was ejected during the argument. Lester explained the situation after the game this way. “I didn’t say anything directly to him,” Lester said. “I don’t know why he was so upset. I had my head down when I was yelling. Nothing was directed at him … and I don’t know what was going on. It had nothing to do with the umpire’s strike zone. I have to execute better.”  Ross also added “Andy wanted to make sure [Lester’s reaction] wasn’t directed toward him,” Ross said. “I was making sure [Fletcher] would talk to me and not Jon.” To me Fletcher’s reaction was improper and he needs to be disciplined. Players should be allowed to show that they’re upset with a call an umpire makes and as long as the player has his reaction and gets back to baseball it should be over. Too many times in games today, umpires go way over the line to continue these arguments which of course then lead to players or managers being ejected. This is the first time that I remember a home plate umpire charging the mound like he had been hit by a pitch. Ross had to put his hands on Fletcher to stop him from getting to the mound and Lester. I’ve heard this said quite a few times and I’m going to repeat it. I’m not at the game to see the umpire. 

After his near perfect game in his last start. It was Max Scherzer’s turn in the rotation for the Washington nationals as they were playing the Philadelphia Phillies. Scherezer added another 5 1/3rd perfect innings last night retiring the first 16 Phillies he faced until Freddy Galvis doubled on a 1-1 to the right field wall. While Scherezer  couldn’t match Johnny Vander Meer, who threw two straight no-hitters for the Cincinnati Reds in June 1938, Scherezer has taken a no-hitter into the sixth inning in three straight starts. On a side note; the deepest a pitcher has taken a no-hitter after throwing one in the start before was Nolan Ryan in 1973, when he allowed a hit with no outs in the eighth. Scherezer picked up the vicyory in the Nationals 5-2 win to improve his record to 9-5 on the season. Scherezer pitched 8 innings allowing 5 hits, 2 earned runs while striking out 7 hitters. Scherezer even got a base hit and scored one of the Nationals 5 runs.

There was a streak in major league baseball that came to an end this week and I’m not sure many people even noticed.  Atlanta Braves right fielder Nick Markakis saw his record streak of 398 consecutive games without an error end in the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Washington Nationals. Denard Span singled to right field leading off and Markakis bobbled the ball, allowing Span to take second. Markakis, who signed with Atlanta in the offseason, established the all-time MLB record for consecutive errorless games by a non-pitcher on June 18th; breaking the previous mark of 392, set by Darren Lewis from 1990-94. Markakis had not made an error since on Aug. 10, 2012, while with the Baltimore Orioles.

The NBA Draft was held on Thursday with Karl-Anthony Towns being the 1st player selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Los Angeles Lakers took D’Angelo Russell with the 2nd pick and the Philadelphia 76ers took Jahlil Okafor with the 3rd pick. Now most if not all experts had these 3 players being the first 3 players off the draft board in some order. The New York Knicks had the 4th pick in the draft and took Kristaps Porzingis. Now it was reported that Carmelo Anthony didn’t like this pick and was upset with the Knicks and Phil Jackson There was a report that Anthony was telling a close friend “are we supposed to wait two or three years for this guy?”  A Knicks source claims that Anthony called Tim Hardaway Jr. after Hardaway was traded to Atlanta for the draft rights to Jerian Grant to express his displeasure with Jackson’s moves. Stephen A. Smith said on SiriusXM radio that Anthony feels “betrayed” by Jackson, who last summer signed him to a 5-year, $124 million contract. If I could ask Anthony a question I’d love to know who or what he thought the Knicks could do that would make them contenders. Anthony, who turned 31 on May 29, had season ending knee surgery in February and will be ready by the start of training camp.

The NHL Draft started last night, but I’d have to lie to you to tell you anything about the players who were picked last night. As expected Connor McDavid was the 1st overall pick by the Edmonton Oilers and Jack Eichel was taken 2nd by the Buffalo Sabres as expected. For the first time in NHL history and I believe draft history a team had 3 consecutive 1st round picks. The Boston Bruins ended up having the 13th. 14th and 15th pick in the first round. Boston ended up taking defenseman Jakub Zborilleft winger Jake DeBrusk and right winger Zachary Senyshyn. I’m not sure if we’ll see any of these players in the NHL at the start of next season, but it will give you something to keep an eye on. Just so you know when to start looking for these players the NHL season starts October 7th with 4 games on the schedule.

So how was your week?

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While we don’t talk a lot of NASCAR on the show I have to say I like this new “win and you’re in format” for the Chase they have set up. Wins should be important and I don’t have to hear a driver interview at the end of a race where he’s talking about it “was a good points day”. While you can still get into the Chase on points a win pretty much gets you in. Right now Matt Kenseth is the first driver without a win; he’s in 11th place at this point of the season. They also bumped the number of driver in the Chase from 12 (twelve) to 16 (sixteen) drivers. Just that 1 (one) win is so important to a driver that I think the drivers without a win are going to really start pressing for a win as the regular season schedule winds down. There are 10 (ten) races left before the Chase starts. It’s a Saturday night race tonight for the drivers in Kentucky; so will see if a driver without a win can get one and a spot in the Chase.

Both the NBA and NHL drafts were held this week. The difference being when your favorite NBA team drafts a player he’s pretty much expected to come in and contribute right away. When your favorite NHL team drafts a player there’s a chance you may not see him for two (2), three (3) or even four (4) seasons. Top draft picks can and have come in and contribute to the team that selects them right away. The Florida Panthers are hoping this is the case with defenseman Aaron Ekblad. Ekblad was the #1 overall pick in the draft by the Panthers. With the 2nd pick the Buffalo Sabres took centerman Sam Reinhart. At #3 the Edmonton Oilers picked another center Leon Draisaitl. With the 4th pick the Calgary Flames took another center Sam Bennett and rounding out the top 5 (five) the New York Islanders picked left winger Michael Dal Colle. By position there where 9 (nine) centers, 9 (nine) right wingers, 7 (seven) left wingers and 5 (five) defenseman were drafted in the 1st round. No goalies; 0 (zero) where drafted in the 1st round. Does it surprise you that no goalies where drafted in round 1?

We covered the NBA draft in Wednesday’s blog; the day before it happened. I don’t think there where any really surprises maybe with the exception of the Orlando Magic making Aaron Gordon the 4th pick in the draft. Did any of the 1st round picks surprise you? We discussed the draft one yesterday’s show with Mr. Fantasy and Dan the Man. Dan was explaining how he dislikes the way trades our made during the draft and didn’t think it made sense. He didn’t understand and I don’t think myself or Mr. Fantasy did either. Why can’t a team who make the trade for that spot make the pick? Here’s an example; with the 10th pick the Philadelphia 76ers took point guard Elfrid Payton. There was a lot of discussion among the panel of experts covering the draft before one of them finally mentioned that their might be a trade. They even had an interview on the draft show with current 76ers point guard Michael Carter-Williams; who actually questioned of he’d still be with the 76ers. Interesting comments by Carter-Williams and if you’re a 76ers fan you couldn’t have been too happy with the way he was talking. Of course all of this was for nothing in the end. With the 12th pick the Orlando Magic took power forward Dario Saric. It was then announced that the Magic and the 76ers had agreed to trade Payton for Saric. Now if this was done before the 10th pick was made why couldn’t have Orlando of made that pick? I would love to say that they where trying to get a story out of Carter-Williams, but I really don’t think that’s what it was. I think they just caught a break their with his reaction. Their where a couple of trades during the draft and they where all handled this way. I don’t get it; can you explain it to me.

So Edwin Encarnacion of the Toronto Blue Jays, Nelson Cruz of the Baltimore Orioles and Jose Abreu are all tied for the American League lead in home runs with 25. Would you like to see these three (3) players compete for the American League in the Home Run Derby? How about on the National League side. Do you want Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton on your team? how about Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds. I know they’ve changed to a bracket format for the home run derby, but it still doesn’t make me want to watch it. I know Major League Baseball (MLB) is trying to make this interesting, but it’s just to long for me. I can remember watching the old Home Run Derby; in black and white. It had two (2) players facing off against each other and they got three (3) outs per inning. With as many players involved in the Home Rune Derby now I’m not sure they could use that format, but for me they need to find a way to make it shorter. I understand it’s done for television and I’ll check in on it to see what’s happening, but I just can’t sit down and watch the entire thing all the way through. Can you watch it from start to finish?

So, How was your week?

You can find Sports Time Radio on BlogTalk Radio and you can find me on Twitter @Burketime.