Monday, March 09, 2009

'Oh, Murphy, Murphy, me,' why didn't our younger self pick that team?

Let's not even spoil the vibe by pointing out which hometown team did not draft Mike Murphy, the OHL's best goaltender. It's coming right around the 50-second mark:

Murphy actually baited Sudbury's Matt Dias into going high glove side by faking a pokecheck, then snatched away a sure short-handed goal.

These are good times in Shelbyville Belleville, with Murphy and the Bulls up to 92 points, two up on Brampton to earn home-ice advantage through the first three round of the playoffs.

It is probably rude to point that out while Kingston Frontenacs owner Doug Springer ("Playoffs? Ooh, what are those?"), is walking around with his chest puffed out over the late-season window-dressing in Kingston. The Frontenacs' 4-3 shootout win over Barrie yesterday (Ethan Werek was credited by a crazy ricochet goal that forced overtime with one second left in regulation) meant that they have snatched the No. 2 overall draft position out of the jaws of picking No. 1, since they leapfrogged the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. They're also up to 43 points, meaning they will not be the first team in OHL history to have a double-digit drop three consecutive seasons.

The party line in Kingston is that there is no drop-dead, can't-miss phenom at the top of the 1993-born players available in the OHL annual cattle call, so it won't hurt if they pick second and can't get Daniel Catenacci. This presumes whoever they take No. 2 would report. Picking second isn't like picking No. 4 (Erik Gudbranson last season) or No. 9 (Ethan Werek in 2007); there is an expectation that the general manager should actually confirm the player will show if drafted.

The '07-09 Fronts are three points ahead of the '08-09 Bulls (95-92), with a game in hand. You know what, all of our legitimate questions, Springer really should be the OHL Executive of the Year. Clear some space on the mantle, Larry Mavety.

(A fellow OHL-following friend said yesterday that there's some discord in Sudbury, where Mike Foligno is GM-coach of a mediocre Wolves team. He was quickly disabused of that notion: "Well, if I've learned anything from the team I follow, it's that you need 12 years to get the full measure of a general manager, and even then you might need more time, like another three years.")

It has been 503 days since Doug Springer said he would do "whatever it takes" to bring a winner to Kingston.

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