You have this person to blame for this post:
Peeing Gorilla •
On this day in 2005 at a little after 4:30 we rigged the draft lottery to get Sid.
* The 2005 NHL Entry Draft was originally scheduled to be held on June 25, but the lockout led to the draft being postponed to July 30. The lockout ended officially on the morning of July 22, and it was only a few hours later when the NHL held an official press conference to outline the way forward for the draft lottery and the draft itself. …the lottery and league commissioner Gary Bettman’s official announcement took place simultaneously in different areas of the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers.
* Special procedures were required to determine the order of picks, because the previous season had been cancelled due to the lockout. All 30 teams had a chance to pick, but the league conferred the best odds – three lottery balls in the draw – to the four teams that hadn’t reached the last three postseasons or won any of the past four lotteries: Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Columbus, and the Rangers.
*The ping-pong balls to determine the order were selected in a private meeting led by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and representatives of all the teams – but the results were kept secret for a brief time so the NHL could dramatically unveil the draft order on live television. It went in inverse order, from No. 30 on down, until only two teams remained – Anaheim and the Penguins.
The first overall pick was won in a lottery by the Pittsburgh Penguins, who selected Sidney Crosby.
* Here are the events that led up to that lottery win …
July 30 in New York, NY:
Mario Lemieux looks in the hotel mirror and puts on his Rolex. He glances at the time, and heads for the door.
Waiting outside his room is Jay Caufield, with the Wall Street journal in hand. He hands it to Mario, and they both head to the elevator.
As the door opens on the ground floor, Rick Tocchet rounds the corner with a To-Go mug in hand. He hands it to Mario, and they all exit the hotel.
They enter the waiting town car… and the car takes off into rush hour traffic.
- Mario: Where’s Samuelsson?
- Tocchet: He’s with Paek, getting the cup.
- Mario: Where’s Murphy?
- Caufield: He’s has eyes on Bettman at the Sheraton. Trottier is in the press pool, talking up the talent, and he’ll get the passes.
- Mario: Who knows I’m in town?
- Tocchet: Messier called to make dinner arrangements. He thinks you’re here for the Ranger’s community out-reach event. We have to take you by the Riverfront at 4:00 pm. There will be a lot of US and international press.
- Mario: Good.
The car arrives at Schiller’s Liquour bar, near Clinton street. It is not open to the public, but the group heads to the side entrance. Inside are Gary Roberts, Kevin Stevens, Jaromir Jagr and Darius Kasparaitis. Handshakes and hugs are given out. The guys crowd around the bar, and Mario heads behind it, to dish out drinks. Whiskey shots for all. Jaromir glances uncomfortably, back and forth at his former teammates.
- Jagr: Why am I here Mario, and why did you ask me to bring Kasparaitis?
- Mario: I have a way for you to help out your old city. You too Kaspar.
- Kasparaitis: Anything for you Mario, you know that. (He drinks as he glances at Jagr)
- Jagr: I’ve caused too much of a problem, no one wants me in Pitt.
- Mario: I don’t need you in Pittsburgh, I need you to bring little D, and also, what do you guys know about the Sheraton?
Jagr looked back confused, for a second, and then he nods.
- Jagr: You’re here for the draft pick!
40 minutes later, the group of men head their separate ways. Jagr and Kasparaitis head to the train station.
Mario and Caufield head back to the town car.
Tocchet, Roberts, and Stevens quickly walk down the alley, and hail a cab.
Meanwhile… Walking though a busy and crowded China town.
- Samuelsson: Why are we here? I feel stupid.
- Paek: Just try to blend in.
- Samuelsson: Go fuck yourself
Paek laughs back, as they cross the street, heading to Columbus Park where there is a small group of people doing Tai Chi, and rows of Mahjong tables. Paek sits down at one table already occupied by an elderly woman. He beings to play, while Ulf monitors the scenery.
- Woman: What lucky man score 5 ways?
- Paek: Mario
- Woman: Did you bring the package?
- Paek: It’s at the C.W. Pencil Enterprise. Third case on the right.
She picks up the phone, and relays the message. They continue to play for 15 minutes until she gets a phone call. She puts her chips down.
- Woman: You win (she slides over a car key). Silver Volvo.
The men leave, while the woman remains at the table. Paek hands Samuelsson the key, and he gets into the driver seat. Paek opens the trunk and slides into the passenger seat. Inside, he opens the metal case, and Ulf calls Mario…
- Samuelsson: We got the cup. We’re heading back.