(I know, I butchered the movie/song title, but deal with it)
It was leaked, sort of, by David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period and seconded by Rich Hammond of Kings Insider, who learned by Red Line Report's Kyle Woodlief that the NHL Draft this June will be held in Los Angeles. Hammond reports that it will be announced in December, but it has yet to be determined if it will take place at the Staples Center or the Nokia Center.
For those who don't know, the Nokia Center is where they hold the American Music Awards every year and is an amplitheatre kind of gimmick. The issue I have with this is that it will turn out to be something like the NFL Draft gimmick, which I think is the worst way to hold a Draft. Especially for the NHL, which has been using the arenas for better part of two decades, the ability to have the fans in the same setting they'd have for a game is what they want. Plus, it almost feels like you're closer to the "action" that happens in the draft because the fans are surrounding the team tables, which is where it all goes down. The NHL Draft is unique and if they do this-- who knows what precident this will set.
In any case, the main point is whether or not LA is the good choice for all that is going down. When I mention setting of places, you obviously think Canadian cities, but fact of the matter is that the draft need to be in a place where it'll get the majority of attention. It's easy for this event to get lost in a place like LA, as the MLB season is in full swing and LA....well, it's LA. Even a place like Anaheim could be a better place than LA for the draft to be at. You have to wonder what a turnout would be like to this in terms of LA. Would it be an attraction enough for people to come from all over to see the Draft?? Maybe it's me, but I don't think it would be a good thing to hold it in LA because it would probably get lost in everything that is LA.
Of course, I could be wrong and it could be a great thing for the Draft host city and be the best Draft on record in terms of turnout. I just don't think that the appeal will be there, especially with the distance it is from a lot of the East Coast people who have often made the trip up and down the seaboard in order to get in on the action. The flights and hotel cost could make it unattractive to those who may be looking to come from out of town. Counterpoint, the West Coast can be represented in fashion, with people coming from all around to enjoy it-- because I know a lot of people have shown interest in going from the West Coast and they'd get a taste without paying an arm and leg to fly out to the East Coast.
For me, I couldn't care less because I'm there regardless. I'm just trying to think of the bigger picture in terms of turnout, especially if it's at the Nokia Center. If it's the Nokia Center, I think the intimate appeal will go down, the uniqueness will be compromised, and the other cities will try to repeat it because of cost cutting measures. I'm a pessimist, can't you tell??
It is what it is and the final word won't be until December. I just hope whoever hosts the Draft will be ready for the outsiders coming in and know how to harness the spirit of the thing and make the event as big as it has been in the past.