Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

From '07 draft to foes for Cup

CHICAGO — Three years ago, a pingpong ball took a fortuitous bounce for the Blackhawks, and they came out winners in a lottery that has helped revive the franchise.

With just little more than an 8 percent chance of winning the top pick in the 2007 draft, the Blackhawks were able to leapfrog the team with the worst record, the Flyers, and they made Patrick Kane their No. 1 choice. The Flyers took James van Riemsdyk at No. 2.

Now both players are in the Stanley Cup final, facing each other. Game 1 is tonight at the United Center.

"It seems like it's almost worked out good for both teams," Kane said.

Kane and van Riemsdyk, both 21 and both wings, played together in the world junior championship for the United States and remain close. They went to dinner when the Blackhawks were in Philadelphia for their only meeting with the Flyers in the regular season.

Kane headed right to the NHL and quickly emerged as a star. A consistent scoring threat with his speed and puck-handling skills, Kane was rookie of the year in 2007-08. Van Riemsdyk headed to college first (New Hampshire) and signed with the Flyers last year.

"We were both put in different situations," van Riemsdyk said. "And we were in different stages of our hockey development, and, you know, I did what I thought was best for me to be a better player. (Kane) was obviously ready to make that jump right after the draft. He's done a good job for himself."

Penguins, Flames get 2011 outdoor games

As expected, the league said the Penguins will host the Capitals on Jan. 1 at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field for the fourth installment of the Winter Classic. Pittsburgh played the Sabres in Buffalo in the first edition. And the Flames will host the Canadiens on Feb. 20 at Calgary's McMahon Stadium.

In other scheduling news, next season opens in October with six teams playing in Europe: the Hurricanes and Wild in Helsinki, Finland; the Blue Jackets and Sharks in Stockholm, Sweden; and the Bruins and Coyotes in Prague, Czech Republic. The teams also will play exhibition games in Europe, including St. Petersburg, Russia, the league's first visit to the country in 20 years.

Meanwhile, the All-Star Game returns. The Hurricanes host Jan. 30 in Raleigh, N.C.

State of the league: At his Cup final news conference, commissioner Gary Bettman said the league is "not now dealing with any franchise going out of business or moving."

Bettman said the league is committed to keeping a team in Arizona. Confirming that an offer for the financially troubled Coyotes was made by investors in Winnipeg, where the franchise was located first, Bettman said he expects the sale of the team, which the league owns, to take place this summer.

On other subjects:

• Not happy that an International Ice Hockey Federation spokesman slammed NHL stars for not competing in this month's world championship with their teams not in or eliminated from the playoffs, Bettman said participation in the event should be reviewed.

• Bettman said the salary cap could rise by about $2 million next season. This season's cap was $56.8 million.

Lightning: The team signed prospect Mark Barberio, a defenseman selected 152nd in the 2008 draft. Teams have two years to sign picks before they are eligible to return to the draft. It is expected Tampa Bay will allow that to happen with right wings Kyle DeCoste, taken 147th in 2008, and Matias Sointu, taken 182nd. Barberio, 20, had career highs last season of 17 goals, 43 assists, 60 points and three shorthanded goals in 65 games for Moncton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Times staff writer Damian Cristodero contributed to this report.

From '07 draft to foes for Cup 05/28/10 [Last modified: Friday, May 28, 2010 10:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs' Josh Robinson excited for return to Vikings


    For much of Josh Robinson's four seasons with the Vikings, there was excitement leading up to the arrival of the $1.1-billion U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened last season, just as Robinson signed with the …

    Josh Robinson (26) tackles Chicago punt returner Eddie Royal (19) during a game between the Bucs and Bears in 2016. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. For starters: Rays at Orioles, meeting up with ex-mate Tim Beckham


    The Rays open their final roadtrip of the season tonight in Baltimore, and - continuing the theme of the week - willl cross paths with another familiar face, INF Tim Beckham.

    Tim Beckham made a smashing debut with the Orioles, hitting .394 with six homers and 19 RBIs in August.
  3. From the archives: Account of famed Riggs-King match heightens Tampa mob intrigue


    With the Sept. 29 opening of "Battle of the Sexes" — the movie starring Emma Stone and Steve Carrell about Billie Jean King's landmark 1973 tennis win over Bobby Riggs — we thought there might be renewed interest in this 2013 Peter Jamison story from the Tampa Bay Times.

    Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs in "Battle of the Sexes."  [Melinda Sue Gordon, Fox Searchlight Pictures]
  4. It's not a game, but the names are all the same in this football family


    TAMPA — A coach yells across the field into a scrum of blue-and-white clad football bodies at Jefferson High: "Kim Mitchell! Kim Mitchell, come here!"

    These twins are not only identical, but they have almost identical names. Kim Mitchell III, left, and Kim Mitchell IV are  talented football players at Jefferson High with Division I-A college offers. Kim  III wears No. 22 and plays cornerback while Kim IV wears No. 11 and plays safety. (Scott Purks, Special to the Times)
  5. Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) pumps his fist to the crowd after Tampa Bay's 29-7 victory over Chicago on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. The Bucs play at Minnesota at 1 p.m. Sunday. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times