I'll tell you something folks. You saved this blog tonight.
I was very unsure whether this blog would stick around through next season. I just didn't feel like we had enough writers who could sustain it on a daily basis. It's been very spotty since the Conf. Finals started, and it's mostly my fault. This draft liveblog was really a last resort to see how much interest we could draw.
And frankly folks, you saved it. We're well over a 1,000 hits, double our previous record in one day. The site has never been busier. You have made us a hockey destination.
Since I have your attention, here are my plans for the future:
-I will be liveblogging Free agent signing Sunday from 11:30 Am - 3PM on Sunday, July 1. Hopefully you'll all join me for that.
-I will be updating free agent news daily from July 1 - July 8.
-After that, I am vacationing. Not just from blogging, but from all my commitments to columns and whatnots. I do not plan to return until I've moved into the dorms at college, August 28th will re-set.
-As for the staff, this is a big one!
-I will be back. Derek and Rob have an open invitation to return in their curret capacities. I have a feeling Derek might want to scale back to a couple days a week, and Rob is only around once a week. So this is an open call, ANYONE WHO IS A RANGERS or ISLANDERS fan willing to blog on each team at least once a day during the regular season, please E-Mail me at SMLepore@comcast.net. All we require is a sample blog and writing skills. If you'd like to be a part of liveblogs like this, you'll be included if you join the Battle of New York team.
- I am also looking for a weekly Devils columnist. Someone who's interested in writing a weekly roundup of all things red & black, a la Rob's column. Again, e-mail at SMLepore@comcast.net if interested.
-With that, I give you the first 30 picks of the NHL draft:
1 - Patrick Kane - Chicago Blackhawks - RW
2 - James Van Riemsdyk -Philadelphia Flyers - LW
3 - Kyle Turris - Phoenix Coyotes - C
4 - Thomas Hickey - Los Angeles Kings - D
5 - Karl Alzner - Washington Capitals - D
6 - Sam Gagner - Edmonton Oilers - C
7 - Jakob Voracek - Columbus Blue Jackets - C
8 - Zach Hamill - Boston Bruins - C
9 - Logan Couture - San Jose Sharks - C
10 - Keaton Ellerby - Florida Panthers - D
11 - Brandon Sutter - Carolina Hurricanes - C
12 - Ryan McDonagh - Montreal Canadiens - D
13 - Lars Eller - St. Louis Blues - LW
14 - Kevin Shattenkirk - Colorado Avalanche - D
15 - Alex Plante - Edmonton Oilers - D
16 - Colton Gillies - Minnesota Wild - C
17 - Alexei Cherepanov - New York Rangers - RW
18 - Ian Cole - St. Louis Blues - D
19 - Logan MacMillan - Anaheim Ducks - C
20 - Angelo Esposito - Pittsburgh Penguins - C
21 - Riley Nash - Edmonton Oilers - C
22 - Max Pacioretty - Montreal Canadiens - LW
23 - Jonathan Blum - Nashville Predators - D
24 - Mikael Backlund - Calgary Flames - D
25 - Patrick White - Vancouver Canucks - C
26 - David Perron - St. Louis Blues - LW
27 - Brendan Smith - Detroit Red Wings - D
28 - Nick Petrecki - San Jose Sharks - D
29 - Jim O'Brien - Ottawa Senators - C
30 - Nick Ross - Phoenix Coyotes - D
Have a great night!