Gregor on the road II: Thursday’s on Thursday


I’ve always been a believer in Karma, and tonight augmented that belief.

When I found out I was going I went through my media guide because it has a list of hotels in each city. I called the first few and they were sold out, I eventually settled on Hotel Inter-Continental. I had until Wednesday to cancel my reservation, and I don’t know why, but I did a Google search of it Wednesday morning.

When I called them, the reservation guy said it was a five minute walk from the Bell Centre. Turns out he was a lying bastard. It was 45 minutes away in old Montreal according to Google maps. I cancelled and got a room at Hotel de la Montagne, because it was just off of Crescent Street and only a three minute walk to the Bell Centre.

Last time I was in Montreal, was in 2002 for the Grey Cup. What a party that was. I remembered this bar called Thursday’s on Crescent Street because it was the most fun I’ve ever had at any bar. After unpacking and blogging I go down to get a bite to eat, and I almost sheet in my pants when I realize that my hotel is connected via one stairwell to Thursday’s. Unreal. Karma of the Nation I say.

It gets better. I’m not the only guy who likes Thursday’s. It was a smorgasbord of hockey people and I found out some interesting things.

  • Biggest false rumour is that Jack Johnson is asking for $5.5 million a year. That is complete bogus. Look for him to get a deal around $3.5 mill.
  • Dean Lombardi will consider moving the number five pick. He has had lots of offers, and now that he’s got some depth in the organization he will strongly consider moving down, or even getting a player for that pick, although the former is more likely.
  • No one seems to know what Garth Snow and the Islanders are thinking. It was split 50/50 on who they will take, but not one person said it would be Duchene, so it’s either JT or VH.
  • It seems very likely that Heatley will be dealt tomorrow. Destination is unknown, but Minny, Edm, NYR ( I don’t see how), Vancouver and an unknown fifth team are interested. But this deal doesn’t have to happen tomorrow, it could easily happen on day two, since none of the aforementioned teams have a pick before Ottawa.
  • A guy not connected to NASH or EDM laughed when I brought up Nilsson for Tootoo rumour. Exact quote: “Why the hell would Nashville make that trade? Tootoo is top five in the league at what he does.” Hard to argue that.
  • The Flyers are searching around and as usual they could make a move that no one expects. Don’t rule out the Flyers being involved in a trade. Surprising to me, but Hartnell’s name has come up. I’d be shocked if that happens, but you never know.
  • The Oilers are working hard to get in the top eight. If it happens it will happen once the Draft has started. Don’t expect any moves between teams in the top ten until right before the draft, or more likely, when it’s in progress.
  • The Ducks are trying to get Giguere to waive his no-trade clause so they can move him. Will anyone take him at $6 million a year??
  • The Kings would be more inclined to go after Hossa than trade for Heatley or Lecavalier. They have lots of cap space and it wouldn’t cost them any roster players to land Hossa. They’d go after Hossa before Gaborik, but mark it down they will make a splash in free agency. Lombardi wants to make the playoffs next year.
  • The Ducks want an answer from Niedermayer by tomorrow on his plans for next year. If he stays, like Dreger reported, the Ducks will push to move the Human Rake. They’d rather keep Beauchemin and sign Wisniewski for longer terms.
  • Here is a strange one. Tomas Kaberle has a no movement clause, BUT because the Leafs missed the playoffs last year, the Leafs can now trade him starting tomorrow until August 15th without his consent; basically for the next six weeks his no trade clause is not in effect, so look for him to be moved. I’m not sure why Blowhard Burke would want to move him, since he only makes $4.25 million for next two years, but it looks like he is gone.
  • Not NHL related, but the NHLPA has given the green light for players to play in the 2014 Olympics, but right now some NHL owners don’t see the value. They clearly don’t get how it grows the game by having their players in the Olympics. If the NHL doesn’t agree to it, there are two options in place:
  1. The World Juniors that year would be moved to February and they would play for the Gold.
  2. Follow soccer’s lead and have an under-22 tournament. It might be hard to convince some teams to let a few guys go, but they will have to look at the big picture. I think the NHL won’t screw this up and will keep NHL players involved, because it gives them more exposure.

I’m looking forward to getting to the Draft tomorrow, there should be lots to talk about.