2006: A Draft Odyssey

Thursday, 04.4.2013 / 6:58 PM CT / Razor With An Edge
By Daryl "Razor" Reaugh
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2006: A Draft Odyssey

The 2006 NHL Entry Draft was the first held following the sweeping changes to the game brought on by the Lockout To End All Lockouts, which turned out to be merely the one before this last one, but that’s another story.

When we were about to come out of that lost season, labor lockout of 2004-05 a sharp general manager I chummed with told me that the belief among managers was that under the new “cost certainty” (capped) system, teams would be riding the swells of being no more than three years away from challenging for the Cup nor three years from picking in the top five, depending on how you managed your affairs.

Yes, champagne in one hand, Gravol in the other.

So lets look back at 2006, the year Pluto was downgraded to dwarf planet status.

The 2005-06 season prompts some fairly heady memories of Dallas Stars might. That year they won 53 games, were 12-1 in the league’s newfangled tie-breaker – the Shootout, amassed 112 points, went 28-11-2 at American Airlines Center, captured another Pacific Division title, and finished 3rd overall in the NHL.

The Stars were “The Stars”.

The other end of the standings housed some teams that are currently of the juggernaut variety. The Draft order in Vancouver that summer of 2006 went like this: 1 St Louis, 2 Pittsburgh, 3 Chicago, 4 Washington, 5 Boston. Yes, the Pens, Hawks and Bruins sucked.

True, not all the picks in the top five that year have turned out to be “franchise” guys, but it’s still Xenon-bright enlightening when you look back.

The Blues had new ownership and spokesman Dave Checketts stepped to the stage at what was then known as GM Place, to announce the selection of defenseman Eric Johnson. Doug Armstrong later turned that less than stellar selection into power forward Chris Stewart and top four defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

A month after being hired, Pittsburgh G.M. Ray Shero took a Staal brother. Big, two-way center Jordan.

The Blackhawks grabbed future “Captain Serious”, center, Jonathan Toews.

Washington took talented center Nik Backstrom

And the Bs grabbed sniping winger Phil Kessel who was flipped to Toronto three years later in a trade for draft picks that has been hot debate fodder ever since. Those Leaf picks turned into Tyler Seguin, Dougie Hamilton and Jared Knight.

Anyway, the moral of this stick and puck Stanley Kubrick story/title rip-off is this: Three years after drafting Staal 2nd overall the Penguins won the Stanley Cup. Four years after taking Toews 3rd the Hawks won the Cup. And only five years went by from the time the Bruins selected Kessel and they sipped from Stanley’s Cup.

Yes I know other transactions and maneuvering transpired to aid those clubs en route to their championships but they don’t fit my thesis here, so screw em’.

The big question now is will the Stars be picking in the top five come June in Newark? Possibly.

If they do, the 2006 Draft leaves clues that a return to the Dallas Stars circa 2006 (or 99’) might be closer than some think.

SCHEDULE

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PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 58 36 18 4 160 134 76
2 DAL 55 35 15 5 178 147 75
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 53 32 18 3 146 124 67
5 SJS 53 28 20 5 154 143 61
6 ANA 53 26 19 8 120 125 60
7 COL 57 28 25 4 153 158 60
8 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
9 MIN 54 23 21 10 133 134 56
10 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
11 ARI 53 24 23 6 139 163 54
12 CGY 53 25 25 3 143 156 53
13 WPG 54 24 27 3 139 157 51
14 EDM 56 22 29 5 138 168 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 55 28 34 16 62
T. Seguin 55 28 32 11 60
J. Klingberg 55 10 36 14 46
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 55 16 24 -2 40
A. Goligoski 55 4 20 16 24
C. Eakin 55 10 13 0 23
M. Janmark 55 10 10 14 20
J. Demers 48 7 12 16 19
V. Nichushkin 52 6 13 7 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 15 5 0 .912 2.79
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