Greetings from Erie, Pennsylvania!
This week, my new construction job (which I'm regretting taking more every day), has brought me to this little city on the shore of Lake Erie. Unfortunately, this is the second time in three weeks I've had to make the ten hour drive to a city which I've affectionately come to call "America's Armpit".
But this isn't about my new job or this hell-hole that I'll be staying at for the next week. This is all about the great job done by the Islanders this past weekend.
As a fan, the party was probably one of the coolest non-game events I've ever been to. It was a fans dream. There were locker room tours, interactive activities, and meet and greets with current and past players (Tim Jackman, Mike Bossy, Bob Nystrom, and Bryan Trottier).
My night started out with a quick trip to Gate 9, the Blog Box. I walked in on Stephen Herrmann of IslesNation.com doing his online radio show, and joined in. We spoke mostly about this years draft (about who should be picked and who probably would be picked), but also got into last years draft and how it panned out. Most of our conversation centered around Tavares, however, whenever Victor Hedman was brought up, Stephen gave me an open mic. Check out the entire discussion at IslesNation.com. Great job done by Stephen and Tony.
After that, Iwalked down to the ice level where all the festivities were going on. I ran into Katrina from the Lighthouse Group. She asked me to participate in a little "experiment they were doing, in which my friend and I stood in front of a camera and talked about what the Lighthouse meant to us and why Long Island needs it. I basically spoke about how as a 22 year old "super-senior" college student, many of my friends are leaving to go find jobs off of Long Island because it's so expensive. Then, I spoke a little bit about how the Islanders are a part of Long Island, and that the Island needs the Islanders. After we were done, we were told that our testimony could be used for the next Lighthouse video or commericial. For more about this, check out the lightpost blog. Great job to everyone at the Lighthouse Group.
After my visit with the people from the Lighthouse and a *few* drinks later (hey, it was my only night without work the next day in two weeks, cut me some slack) the draft was about to begin. As everyone who knows me is well aware, I have a self-described "man crush" on Victor Hedman, and as you may have read on The Tiger Track, I had officially jumped on the Matt Duchene bandwagon. Secretly (or not so secretly), I was hoping for the Islanders to select one of these two players. However, roughly 9,999 people at the Coliseum felt otherwise.
As the big screen showed video presentations of the two said players, boos louder than those given to Darcy Tucker in 2002 were heard. Finally after about three minutes of booing, John Tavares' picture came upon the screen, and the place erupted. I wonder who everyone wanted?
I decided to grab one of the Coliseum's famous pretzel twists before the pick was made. While walking along the concourse to find an open snack stand, I noticed a man walking past me wearing a three piece suit. Turns out, Islanders Senior Vice President Chris Dey was in attendance. I very cordially asked him if he had any idea who Garth was picking, and with the sneakiest smile, he quickly responded "no idea". Note to self: next card game I have, be sure to invite Chris Dey, the dude has no poker face.
Considering I've been driving for over ten hours today, I'll stop here and tell you all about the rest of my night tomorrow. Thanks for listening.
*Quick note*: Good luck to my hockey team tonight, as they have the first round of the playoffs tonight. Go Ducks! Wish I could be there with ya.