Grand gesture or a tactical mistake?
I thought the story of David Carle was interesting. The Lightning chose the defenseman with the 203rd overall pick. It was Tampa Bay's final pick and the team made it despite knowing Carle, the brother of San Jose's Matt Carle, was recently diagnosed with a heart condition that could lead to a sudden heart attack with exertion. Carle went as far to withdraw from the draft.
But prospective Lightning owner Oren Koules knew of Carle's story. Koules' son goes to the same Minnesota high school, Shattuck St. Mary's, as Carle, and Koules said he wanted to give Carle the memory of being drafted, something that was a lock before Carle was diagnosed with the condition, by an EKG exam, during the prospect combine.
"The kid worked his whole life to be drafted," Koules said. "I didn't see any reason why he shouldn't."
It was, indeed, a nice thing to do. But did it make hockey sense? The Lightning, after all, could have drafted a player who at least would provide depth to the minors, something the organization badly is lacking.
Consider, too, these players, who were drafted higher than 200: Ryan Craig, 255 by the Lightning in 2002; Cristobal Huet, 214 by the Kings in 2001; Henrik Lundqvist, 205 by the Rangers in 2000; Henrik Zetterberg, 210 by Detroit in 1999.
I have to say, after speaking to Carle and hearing the gratitude in his voice for being drafted, it is hard to argue with the move. But that is a personal opinion by a person who believes there is plenty of room in this world to be successful and show a little humanity.
As Carle said, "It shows how classy an organization they are."
I can see the other side, too, though.
Koules said the call was easy.
"He will always know he got drafted in the National Hockey League," he said. "I almost got choked up. He worked too hard not to be drafted."