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Report: Florida to host 2015 NHL Entry Draft

Jan 13, 2014, 6:26 PM EDT

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Florida is set to host the 2015 National Hockey League Entry Draft, its first since 2001, according to the Miami Herald.

Per the Herald’s George Richards, Florida getting the draft was part of an agreement with the NHL, a return gesture toward Broward County for paying for the BB&T Center’s new scoreboard. Richards also reported the Panthers were promised a future All-Star Game as well (there won’t be one this year due to Olympic participation; Columbus has already been awarded the ’15 ASG.)

The last time the Florida hosted a draft was in 2001, as mentioned above. The event was held at BB&T — then known as the National Car Rental Center — and the Panthers selected Stephen Weiss with the fourth overall pick. Ilya Kovalchuk went No. 1 to Atlanta.

As for the ’15 Draft, OHL Erie scoring sensation Conor McDavid is projected to be the No. 1 overall selection. McDavid recently became the sixth 16-year-old to represent Canada at the World Juniors, joining the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Sidney Crosby, Jay Bouwmeester, Jason Spezza and Eric Lindros.

  1. imleftcoast - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    I thought it was going to be an outdoor game. Read the headline too quick.

    • alicesrightfootesq - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:33 PM

      Cats v Bolts Summer Classic, Pro Beach Hockey style

      • killerpgh - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:02 PM

        I wouldn’t put out past the NHL. I read a story earlier saying that they are going to have beach volley set up around the ice rink at Dodge Stadium for the Kings/Ducks out door game.

      • killerpgh - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:09 PM

        Here is the article about the beach volleyball at the out door game.–nhl.html

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Jan 13, 2014 at 10:48 PM

        Channel your inner Bettman folks.

        The Stadium Series, a back to back. Panthers at Lightning at Raymond James Stadium and the following night Lightning at Panthers at Sun Life Stadium…

        Don’t laugh, with Bettman, it’s possible….

    • penguins87and71 - Jan 13, 2014 at 7:10 PM

      I thought the same thing. I guess I read it to fast as well. I was about to lose it for a second.

  2. esracerx46 - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    I don’t know why they’d have the draft at a venue that won’t have an NHL team…

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Jan 13, 2014 at 10:49 PM

      Are you too stupid to read the entire article? Clearly, it was a promise from the NHL towards Broward County for footing a $4.2 million scoreboard.

      Secondly, the Panthers aren’t going anywhere.

  3. penguins87and71 - Jan 13, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    Everyone is talking about an NHL team going to Seattle, Qubec, Las Vegas and even Hartford. In my opinion the NHL should look at moving an NHL team to Kansas City. It’s an underrated sports town. I mean these people support the Chiefs, Royals, and Jayhwaks passionately, I’m confident they would support an NHL team. It would also set up a good rivalry with the ST. Louis Blues. The NHL should really consider Kansas City as a landing spot for the Florida Panthers if they do have to move.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Jan 13, 2014 at 10:51 PM

      Your right, Kansas City would be a decent location for an NHL team, but you should shift your focus on a different team or expansion rather than the Florida Panthers. The Panthers aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

    • westinpat - Jan 14, 2014 at 11:31 AM

      Kansas City also has the arena already in place that has held a few LA Kings games over the last few years.

  4. rflashj - Jan 13, 2014 at 7:20 PM

    Wonder how many draft picks will be lost afterwards when they go out to a bar to celebrate afterwards and run into some drunk stand-your-ground nut job.

  5. pitpenguinsrulez - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    Seriously why would Florida get the All Star before Pittsburgh?

    • penguins87and71 - Jan 13, 2014 at 9:13 PM

      Yeah why wouldn’t they give Pittsburgh an all star game before Florida. You would think the NHL would want to show off Consol Energy Center. In my opinion is one of the best if not thee best arenas in the NHL.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Jan 13, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      No doubt, Pittsburgh is a great franchise and Consol Energy Center is a nice building, but Florida is deserved another All-Star Game. When we had it in 2001, it was a big success, including some general managers at the time, thinking it was a good place for every All-Star Game, mostly for the weather I’m sure.

      As I have said 100,000 times on here, Florida would sellout BB&T Center most nights, if not every night, IF they would put a competitive team on the ice. Think about this, they have made the playoffs once since the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets joined the NHL, and until they made the playoffs a couple seasons ago, the last time they made it was when the Atlanta Thrashers were an expansion team. The following year after the Panthers made the playoffs, they sold 97.3% of the tickets to BB&T Center (then named Bank Atlantic Center), which is the 6th largest arena in the NHL.

      Part of the deal the NHL and Broward County made for the new scoreboard was the NHL would award Florida both an Entry Draft and an All-Star Game, since the tax generated from those events would pretty much off set the price of the new scoreboard.

      To be honest, as I think most real hockey fans would agree, I’d rather have the NHL take a 2 week break to play in the Olympics over an All-Star Game.

  6. bagjr387 - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    Florida is such a huge hockey fan base…I can’t see why they would want it anywhere else…

    How about having it in a city where people would be interested in the draft?

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Jan 13, 2014 at 11:16 PM

      Florida does have a hockey fan base. If the owners would actually pay for a product that makes the playoffs once more than every 13 years, fans would show up. As evident by the fact they fans showed up to the tune of 97.3% of capacity to the 6th largest NHL arena, the year following making the playoffs.

      The team this year started out crap, 3-9-4 when Dineen was fired. 10 home games into the season, they were averaging 13,832 per home game. Since Dineen was fired, the Panthers have gone 14-12-3, and their attendance for the season has climbed to 14,586 per game. Simple math tells me over the past 10 home games, the Panthers have averaged 15,340 the past 10 games. Do you think it’s a coincidence that the team plays better, the fan attendance is better?

  7. lordfletcher - Jan 13, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    I don’t see what is to complain about to be honest. Florida seems like a great vacation spot for a lot of folks and families.

    Seeing as Florida is primed for a top pick, I can’t hate on the location, good for the fans… hopefully they show up and this helps build their fan base up more.

    – wild fan

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Jan 13, 2014 at 11:18 PM

      Thank you Fletch, I kinda miss the Wild down here. May Koivu and Parise heal quickly for “the guys.”

      • lordfletcher - Jan 13, 2014 at 11:30 PM

        well you’re not too far away from those Solar Bears!

        its looking like Koivu and Parise going down was a blessing in disguise. Forcing the young guns to grow up fast. Coyle / Zucker / Nino / and now Kuemper. Hopefully the Wild can get super hot in March and roll into the playoffs but I dunno, seems like a lot to ask for. Future is bright either way

  8. djshnooks - Jan 13, 2014 at 11:18 PM

    Buffalo deserves a draft and all-star game.

    The First Niagara Center is a top notch place…not to mention the Harbor Center complex being built across the street. That will have 5-star restaurants and hotels, a bunch of retail AND 2-3 ice rinks ON TOP of the place…”Hockey Heaven USA.”

    No doubt you will see this help in bringing free agents and their families to Buffalo…as if the triumvirate of Lafontaine, Patrick and Murray weren’t enough. Pegula means business and it shows in every aspect.

    They deserve another Winter Classic too…they were the ones who introduced the idea to the NHL, and other teams have already gotten to play in it twice.

    I know, they have to prove their worth in the win column…that’s coming soon! 😉

    • lordfletcher - Jan 13, 2014 at 11:34 PM

      “They deserve another Winter Classic too…they were the ones who introduced the idea to the NHL, and other teams have already gotten to play in it twice.”

      I almost puked. You seriously, can’t be serious with this… can you? I have nothing against Buffalo, great fans, but there is no reason to why they “deserve” to be featured on a prime time event like the classic again, especially with their current roster (maybe in 5 years). I agree that other teams should not have been on this twice if not going on three times, spread the wealth around.

      Blues / Wild / Avalanche are teams in the central who should be given a hard look.

  9. lallin66fan - Jan 14, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    This is like beating a dead horse! Just move the team to Seattle!

  10. cooksta77 - Jan 15, 2014 at 1:01 AM

    I personally believe the Ducks should get a shot at hosting the Draft. They haven’t gotten the opportunity to host anything and Honda Center isn’t all that old with what they’ve done to it.

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