I've held off on making an official announcement until today, but here we go. Drum roll please:
One week from today Bird Watchers Anonymous will be traveling northward to attend the 2009 NHL Draft in lovely Montreal, Quebec. Even more exciting is the news that I will be granted press access for this event.
What wonderful things await in le belle province? Well I'm sure they have wine, women and song, but I'm more interested in the
luxurious spartan press room where I will be allowed to hold my digital audio recorder aloft as excited 18 year olds speak about how happy they are to be selected by the Thrashers and how much they want to thank their parents, their coaches and their agent for their selection and so forth.
What does this mean for you dear readers? To the best of my knowledge I will be only Thrashers oriented news outlet attending the Draft in person. So I hope to give you both some of the flavor of the event in addition to greater depth.
In particular I hope get an end-of-the-draft wrap up from either/both Don Waddell and Dan Marr about ALL of the players the Thrashes select over the two day NHL Draft. Typically, it is quite easy to find information about the 1st or 2nd round selections but those 3rd and 4th round guys often are tough to learn about as a fan.
I also expect that some of the players the Thrashers select rounds #2-7 will be there in person and that I will be able to ask them questions about their hockey careers and future aspirations.
If I'm really lucky I might hear some juicy scuttlebutt and rumors that would make Eklund blush--but based on my trip to U-18 in Fargo, scouts and front office types are very tight lipped people generally.
Finally, I wish to announce that should I have any breaking news (or news that is too short to blog about)--I have succumbed to enormous social pressures placed upon me and joined TWITTER today.
go to http://twitter.com/Falconer18 to follow me.
So if Don Waddell walks over to the say the Toronto Maple Leafs table you can expect "DW chatting up B.Burke, is trade brewing?!" and so forth as we wait for the first round to unfold.
This is not my first NHL Draft. I attended the 2002 Draft in Toronto. I remember meeting Kari Lehtonen in the stands and that he was very shy (his entire comment was "hi") and I attended the 2004 Draft in Carolina where we drafted Boris Valabik (whom I did not meet in person, but I ran into Alexander Radulov at the mall the day before) and I talked to Kyle Woodlief of the Red Line Report for the first time.
But this will be my first time attending the NHL Draft as press. After working as press at the World U-18 Championships and at Thrashers road games in Nashville I feel better prepared for the press room (you wouldn't believe how quickly these press scrums start and then finish).
I must admit that I am really looking forward to my first trip to the City of Montreal and the Bell Centre. I look forward to reporting back to you the events of the weekend and also some of my overall impressions of the city and province.