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Best Weekend EVER: The NHL Draft

Discussion in 'Community Center' started by zulu45, Jun 25, 2007.

  1. zulu45


    Jul 14, 2006
    Well, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the NHL draft this past weekend. Ever since I won the tickets, I had planned for everything on this trip, from the hotel room, to what needs to be taken.

    My brother won the tickets, so we both went. After a seven hour drive, we got to the Best Western in Columbus, OH. I've never been to a draft, so I really didn't know what to expect. I figured it would be a small thing, with just picking the rookies. Boy, was I wrong!

    Upon approaching the building, you could hear the fans talking, yelling, laughing, and having a great time. With music blasting outside, it was a party going on! We headed on in to the Nationwide Arena.

    It was now that I realized that there is a lot more to see. So many NHL trophies were on display, behind glass cases, so I managed to get nice pictures of them all. Not to want to be late, we headed up to the top floor, the upper-level being where the general admission seats are. By pure luck, managed to be at the front of the line, and got great seats.

    It was odd, but expected, to hear the massive boo's when NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman, took the stage. Fans, still angered over the lockout a couple of seasons ago, were sure willing to let Bettman know their disapproval of his handling of the situation. But the draft picks went on. On the first and second picks, it was expected to hear jeering, as we were in Columbus, and this is Blue Jackets territory.

    But upon the third pick, as Wayne Gretzky came out, it seemed like a five-minute standing ovation for him. The whole arena was on their feet, myself included. Frankly, it was a miracle for the cheering to even die down. Nowhere did I hear a single boo, though I'll admit, the cheering was loud enough that anything less than 50 boo's would be muffled by the sounds of cheers.

    The boo's, though, as well as the attitude of some fans sitting close by, who just would NOT shut the hell up, were just cause for anybody to get a headache. We eventually headed out, and decided to return the next day, with the thought of seeing the Stanley Cup.

    We left early the next day, being sure to get there in time. Upon reaching there, we began to look around, and kill time while waiting for 10:00, when the cup would be on display again. While waiting, I bought a jersey of one of my two favorite teams (My other favorite team is the Nashville Predators, of which I already own a jersey), the Anahiem Ducks. As my brother was about to pay, I suddenly see him drop everything and run off. Expecting that he was rushing to answer a call of nature, I turned to make jokes, only to see Brett Hull walking in. Though in a hurry, he was still willing to stop, sign my brother's hat, and allow me to stand next to him in a picture. I'd post the picture, but I seldom ever post pictures of myself on the Internet, so just imagine a really happy hockey fan, in an Anahiem Ducks jersey, having his picture taken with Brett Hull.

    As he headed off, after the initial shock, my brother finished the purchase of his jersey, and headed to the line to see the Stanley Cup. To our surprise, not only was the cup not in a glass case, but they were allowing people to touch it, as well as get a picture taken with it, provided they had the camera. The line wasn't too long, so we got some nice pictures, and got to live a pretty big dream, to touch the Stanley Cup.

    Close to that, there was a chance to get a free card made, in which one can pose and be put on a card, compliments of the NHL and Upper Deck. How could I resist? Freebies!

    Ironically, we never even bothered to go and see the second-day draft picks. There was just too much to see and do. However, after checking everything out, we decided to head out, and spend the rest of the day just goofing off.

    So finally, Sunday morning, we head out from Columbus to go back to Evansville, IN. After some very inconvenient and annoying detours in Louisville, KY, we eventually got there, seven hours later. So, he headed to his place, and I headed to my house. I'm tired after the drive, and yet still would rather type about this experience, instead of sleeping. What else can I say, but...

  2. Andrew Taylor

    Andrew Taylor

    Jul 17, 2005
    Our friend Bryan Cameron of Belleville Bulls (Ontario) was picked to play for Los Angeles Kings. I think he was 87th in the draft pick. He got the jersey already. Try to get to Gretzkey's Bar in Toronto for amazing hockey memorabilia. The person I would love to meet is Donald S Cherry.

    My wife's great uncle, Reg Noble is on that trophy somewhere. :)

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