Los Angeles Kings v New Jersey Devils - Game One

New Jersey will host the 2013 draft; Philadelphia gets the 2014 edition


If you love traveling to NHL drafts – or have no choice in the matter – you better get used to the Northeast (and the Atlantic Division). Pittsburgh is hosting the 2012 edition tonight and it was just announced that their division rivals in New Jersey will host 2013’s draft and Philadelphia will get it in 2014.

In case you’re not aware, that means Newark’s Prudential Center will be the 2013 draft’s headquarters while Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center host the event in 2014.

Next year’s draft will take place from June 28-29, so you can already practice excuses to get off work/plan your next vacation to scenic Newark, New Jersey now.* This will be the first time that New Jersey and Philadelphia gets to host a draft, respectively.

Here are some more fun details about the history of the draft, via the league’s press release:

The NHL Draft has grown significantly since the first such event was held in a hotel ballroom in Montreal in 1963. After 17 years of being conducted in various Montreal hotels and the League office in that city, the Draft sported a new look as the historic Montreal Forum played host to the event in 1980 in front of more than 2,000 spectators.
In 1985, the NHL Draft was held outside Montreal for the first time as a crowd of 7,000 filled the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Montreal again hosted the Draft in 1986, 1988, 1992 and 2009, and Toronto did the honors in 2002. NHL Draft events have been given an enthusiastic welcome in other cities across North America – including Detroit (1987), Bloomington, Minn. (1989), Vancouver (1990, 2006), Buffalo (1991, 1998), Quebec City (1993), Hartford (1994), Edmonton (1995), St. Louis (1996), Pittsburgh (1997, 2012), Boston (1999), Calgary (2000), Sunrise, Fla. (2001), Nashville (2003), Raleigh (2004), Ottawa (2005, 2008), Columbus (2007), Los Angeles (2010) and St. Paul (2011).

* Editor’s note: I grew up in New Jersey, so I’m allowed to make fun of it. That’s like, law, or something.

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.