May 08, 2005

OHL Finals Pre-Game 2 News And Notes

Not a lot of actual game news . . . more draft news. First the game news.

From the Ottawa Sun Barre Campbell writes, 67's 'going to give it all we've got'. Give it all you've got, but stay out of the penalty box.

From the London Free Press Jim Cressman writes, Knights welcome return of Prust's 'presence'. Prust was concerned about two things while watching Game 1. First, he wasn't happy with the number of odd man rushes his team was allowing the 67s, and told them so during the first intermission. Second, he thought that the 67s were playing dirty with C. Perry (and he has a point with the stick work in the second). He's looking forward to getting back on the ice. Snippet:

He said he's not sending a warning to the 67's, "but I think they know I'm back and they know my game."

Staubitz and Prust fought during their last meeting (reg season in Ottawa), and Staubitz won.

And the draft news. From the Ottawa Sun Barre Campbell writes, One-derful draft coup for 67's. So here’s the word on Couture’s pre-draft letter:

Agent John Thornton sent a letter to all OHL teams, saying that Couture would not report to any team that picked him.

That didn't stop Brian Kilrea and the Ottawa 67's, who could have come up with the steal of the draft by picking Couture 12th overall.

"We're really disturbed with the process," said Thornton. "He was going to be the No. 1 pick and his dreams were pulled from right under him. I had the utmost respect for (OHL commissioner) David Branch before this."

No doubt the whole thing has been a big nightmare for the family. With the number one spot comes a lot of media attention, and so Couture is in the spotlight whether he wants it or not. Some more:

Kilrea and 67's owner Jeff Hunt will meet with Couture and his family before this afternoon's OHL championship series game between the 67's and London Knights at the John Labatt Centre.

"We've expressed a great interest in Logan and we're hoping that we can convince him otherwise," said Kilrea. "We want to let him know that we want him here, and we're hoping he'll come and make us a better team."

[. . .]

"He's just a tremendous hockey player," said Kilrea. "He would have been No. 1 if it wasn't for John Tavares, so you know darn well that he's a tremendous talent."

Ottawa is a lot further from home than Oshawa . . . but Oshawa. C’mon. I think he got lucky, escaping. (And before I get nasty email: I lived in Oshawa for a few years, and some family still live there and are Gens fans. I can say that the only similarity between Oshawa and Ottawa are that they both start with an ‘O’ and end with an ‘awa.’)

The 67s will invite the Couture family to Ottawa for Game 4 of the finals. I hope they come and take a look around. It’s a beautiful time of year in Ottawa with all the tulips blooming, and the fans are having a lot of fun watching the team as they move through the playoffs. It would be a great opportunity for the family to see what Ottawa can offer.

More draft stuff from the Ottawa Sun, Localizing the OHL draft. Lists the 67s’ picks, plus the local boys that were selected to other teams.

From the Toronto Sun Mike Koreen writes, 67's gamble on snubbed centre.

And still more on the draft from the Ottawa Sun Chris Stevenson writes, Couture easy pickings for 67's. This is positive!

Hunt spoke to the family yesterday and came away from the conversation encouraged.

Hunt also got some help yesterday when Team Canada's Joe Thornton -- a St. Thomas native, like Couture -- called from Europe to congratulate Couture on being drafted.

Thornton, whose brother is Couture's agent, told him he couldn't have been selected by a better franchise than the 67's.

[. . .]

"This is a great day for our organization," said Hunt. "I'm thrilled (to get Couture). They're going to come up Thursday and see what the Ottawa experience is like."

One fan on the 67s' BB said he was going to make some signs welcoming the Couture's to Ottawa. See? Great fan support already.

And finally, the 67s have a page that lists the new players, their stats and their pics (Meet our newest players).

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