Thank You Pittsburgh, We're Touched

DC Sports Nexus ---- Friday, June 22, 2012

As the Pittsburgh crowd booed, Washington Capitals GM George McPhee walked to the podium and addressed the heckling.  "Thank you Pittsburgh, we're touched."  Seconds later the Capitals had selected Filip Forsberg, a center from Sweden.

Lots of fans were calling for some guy named Gredenko, but he tried to kill Jack Baur, so there was no way the Caps were drafting him.  And with KKoKKoookyKK already drafted by the Lightning, there was only one choice for the Capitals, Peter Filip Forsberg.


The best part about this pick is obviously that this guy is going to have a simple nickname, Flip.

According to the people covering the draft (who I hate but probably know more than me), Forsberg was the #3 ranked player in the draft pool.  However, he fell all the way to the 11th pick.  NFL players have fallen in drafts due to character issues, injuries, combine results...so no explanation for Filip's fall was interesting to me.


Pierre bald annoying guy says "The Capitals have had success drafting swedish players" in a tone that suggested that Forsberg was being passed on by teams because of his nationality.  Is there a certain style associated with Swedes?  Do they "flop" more?  Are they too blonde?  Is this racist/nationalist?

More Questions:

  • Why is the draft in Pittsburgh?
  • Why is the draft on a Friday night?
  • What the hell was Pierre talking about with the Swede comments?
  • When will Forsberg make an impact with the Caps (estimated time-frame)
  • Why did Filip fall down to #11 if he was the 3rd best player?
  • Why did the draft go off air at 9pm?
  • Where does Filip play next year?  Hershey?
  • The #1 pick in the draft's name is Nail!?

1 comment:

8df163a4-cd09-11e1-b29f-000bcdca4d7a said...

1. The draft is rotated to different cities each year, sort of like the Super Bowl, to give different teams publicity etc.

2. The first round is Friday night because that's the only one where you might expect the players to contribute soon, the rest on on Saturday because only die-hard fans really care, while the general public isn't really interested in watching who is taken in the 7th round. So it is on NHL Network or the internet.

3. Swedes actually have a pretty good reputation. Generally, most Euro players will be a bit of a bigger risk because they have their own leagues, Canadian media has a stereotype that Euros are soft and don't care as much about the Stanley Cup, and therefore they might not want to come to the US immediately, might have trouble adjusting to smaller North American rinks, and might not be able to handle the physical NHL style.

But Swedes are usually considered good skaters with great defensive instincts and good puck skills, Backstrom is a perfect example. Usually I don't think Swedes are a big risk in terms of not coming over (everyone is afraid of Russians now because the Russian league will pay its own players far more than the NHL can afford, tax-free). The Swedish league doesn't quite do that. So yes, it is kind of nationalist, slightly based on real-world factors, and almost definitely not a problem here.

4. As you've probably heard by now, he'll play another year on his Swedish contract (just like Ovie and Backstrom did after their draft year, pretty typical) and then probably come and try to make the Caps. If he doesn't next year, he'd be in Hershey, but the expectation is he is a Capital in 2013-14. Playing in the Swedish league against pros and grown men isn't bad development.

5. He fell to 11 because teams have different needs and draft boards. This was considered a deep defensive draft, and a lot of those teams targeted defensemen and all went for their guy, and GMGM got lucky.

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