The power of Prospect Lust is an amazing thing, as the last post clearly indicates people will go well beyond the bounds of reasons to express their affection for prospects. It doesn’t matter If the prospect is average or exceptional, they just have to be what that fan thinks their team needs, or in some cases just belong to their team. This lust can and should be harnessed.
Empty seats are kinda a big deal. Even if the tickets are sold, people who aren’t their don’t buy concessions, sorry its just physics. The NHL and the various North American Junior leagues can do something about that. It’s actually pretty simple.
A seven game prospect tournament with teams picked by the two organizations with the lowest home attendance percentage. Both teams would be made up of recently undrafted players. Training camps in their home arenas, lowered ticket prices for the tournament. Hell, add in special jerseys for the series.
- Winning organizing/host team gets 10 days to draft any two of the players with standard 1st round contract rights.
- No player drafted from these two teams would count towards the 50 contract limit until their second year in the NHL.
- Ideally to be held between the NHL entry draft and July 1st or alternatively in late August prior to NHL and AHL camps opening.
- Locally and nationally televised.
- Local teams coaches, players and prospects placed where they can be seen frequently.
- 50 local fans in each city win free NHL Center Ice for the next season.
- 5 Winners of 2 seats in a 10 game pack in each city during tournament.
- After the winning and losing team, all other draft ordering would be random
Last season despite all the hoopla, Winnipeg was one of the lowest teams, but others have been Phoenix who have a nice large arena that can be filled with sufficient excitement. Those two to three extra dates in each city by themselves will make an impact on the bottom line, and one or more of those prospects could turn into major names in the sport.
Some undrafted players you might know:
- Dan Girardi of the New York Rangers
- Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild
- Stephane DeCosta of the Ottawa Senators
- Ruslan Fedotanko of the Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, and Tampa Bay Lightning
- Rich Peverley of the Boston Bruins, Atlanta Thrashers, and Nashville Predators
- Teddy Purcell of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Los Angeles Kings
- Marty McSorley of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Edmonton Oilers, and others
- Andy McDonald of the St Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks
- Josh Gorges of the Montreal Canadiens and San Jose Sharks
- Jonas Hiller of the Anaheim Ducks
- Curtis Glencross of the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Anaheim Ducks
- Geoff Courtnall of the Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals, Vancouver Canucks, St Louis Blues, and Edmonton Oilers
- Dan Boyle of the San Jose Sharks
- Adam Oates, Hall of Famer, Washington Capitals head coach and alumni
- Martin St Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Calgary Flames
Clearly there is a lot of talent that is overlooked in the draft, and some excitement that can be generated for teams in need. Killing two birds with one stone, and possibly putting the All Star Shinny in its final resting place all in one fell swoop? A game that harnesses prospect lust, tags the love of the underdog, and fills arenas? Sounds like a win.