Last night was the 2008 NHL Draft. I managed to talk Matt, Erica and Peter into going to Philips Arena for the Thrashers Draft Party. I had gone a few years ago with Scott. That year, they opened up the whole arena and let people sit wherever they wanted to watch the draft on the big screen. There were games for kids going on where the ice usually is.
Well, this year was a bit different. The actual arena was not available, apparently some kind of an AARP dress rehearsal was going on inside an they weren't allowing anyone in. So, instead we hung outside the main concourse and watched the draft on a bunch of big screens. And a local sports radio station was broadcasting live. The area was pretty small, but crowded. We got there early enough to get a table, but so many people were standing, I sometimes had a tough time seeing the TV's! I noticed a guy with a camera lurking, so I started doing some acting. Pointing at the draft scout sheet we were handed as we walked in and I acted like I was pointing something out to Erica. Next thing I knew the photographer was asking us for our names! Cool!
The drafted started, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman got booed when he got things underway. Tampa Bay had the first pick, as expected they took Steven Stamkos. Everyone at Philips booed. LA was up next and took defenceman (we had arguments for a while why they spell it with a "c"...no winner in that argument yet) Drew Doughty. Next up were the Thrashers. We all were wanting and hoping for defenceman Zach Bogosian. Gary Bettman came to the podium and announced that there was a trade. I think everyone's in the room went silent. Or just screamed, "noooooooooooooooooo". Well, it turned out the trade had nothing to do with the Thrashers, we all breathed a sigh of relief! Finally, Thrashers GM Don Wadell made his way to podium, everyone at Philips booed. :) But they took Zach Bogosian, and we all yelled, "Bogo! Bogo! Bogo!"
After an incredibly slow first round, a couple of hours later, only a couple of picks later, we headed over to the new Taco Mac for the rest of the first round. It is actually inside Philips Arena. I'm not a fan of Taco Mac, but its cool to have a place like that within the arena now.
All in all, it was a good time, probably the last time to get to enjoy anything Thrasher-related until September, so I did my best.