Lotta downtime on draft night. And then there are flurries of activity. I'll timeline the hell out of it right here.
8:20 P.M. -- Trent Richardson is going to the Browns. I kinda like it. Colt McCoy needs Trent Richardson behind him so much more than he needs Justin Blackmon in front of him. And a good move by Minnesota who drops down, will still likely get Matt Kalil and get three late-draft picks.
8:14 P.M. -- Rich Eisen sounds like he's going to wet himself as the draft begins and the Colts GM picks up the phone. When NFLN shows Luck speaking to the Colts by cell, Eisen immediately launches into a defense of this now PROHIBITED MANEUVER by saying it was OK because everyone knew the pick. Who freakin' cares.
7:15 p.m. - Bill Belichick looks like a mannequin sitting and waiting for his interview with NFL Network. They come back from the break ad Belichick's still sitting there. I've been in the room where they do that hit, it's not luxurious. Or comfortable. Belichick proceeds to give a wide-ranging six-minute dissertation long on syllables and verrrrry short on specifics. I'm sure some producer somewhere in LA was yelling, "Never again! We're never having him on again before the draft! He kills the momentum!"
7:04 P.M. -- Brandon Meriweather, a Patriots' first round pick in 2007, elbows his way into the draft night hoopla. One thing about the draft - personnel guys swing and miss on speed, heart and stuff like that. But if a guy is a moron in college and does things that announce he's a character risk, it quite often happens that he continues down that road.
7:02 P.M. -- Working the red carpet for the NFL Network is Melissa Stark. She asks Robert Griffin III if the maroon and gold socks he's wearing which say, "Chase Your Dream" or some such thing were "specially made." No, Melissa. Bought 'em off the rack in Redskins colors right at a Duane Read in Times Square.
6:58 P.M. -- The media's in the press box for the draft. This is my 16th. I've spent 14 at GilletteFoxboro Stadium. The first draft I covered was for the MetroWest Daily News back in 1997. They took Chris Canty, Brandon Mitchell, Sedrick Shaw and Chris Carter in what was the maiden draft voyage of Pete Carroll and Bobby Grier. Sedrick Shaw later told me it wasn't him on the conference call with the local media but a friend who was at his house.
6:30 P.M. -- Little scene-setter for you. Just finished doing TV with Mike Giardi for Sportsnet Central at 6 and now I'm up in the press box. I spilled a bucket of words and didn't really say anything during that hit. I hate when I do that.
With the Celtics clearing the way to make a run at big names such as Paul George and Gordon Hayward, there will inevitably be salary-cap casualties.
But we'll always have Game 7 against the Wizards, Kelly Olynyk.
Olynyk, 26, averaged nine points and 4.8 rebounds last season, and will forever be remembered for his astonishing 10-for-14 shooting performance off the bench when he scored 26 points in the second-round series clincher over Washington at TD Garden.
After four seasons in Boston, the 7-footer and former first-round pick from Gonzaga is currently a restricted free agent and would surely turn down a Celtics' qualifying offer of a little more than $4 million. Until the C's renounce his rights, he counts for $7.7 million against the cap.
That's money the Boston will need in its pursuit of George and Hayward. So, it's so long, Kelly O.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while wishing that Gordon Hayward and Paul George were already in Boston, like, yesterday.
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Elliotte Freidman gives his 30 thoughts for the week, including the trade value of a first-round pick right now.
*It could that non-unrestricted free agents steal all of the thunder on July 1 with massive contract extensions a la Connor McDavid.
*PHT writer James O’Brien has the Detroit Red Wings taking potential fliers on a number of veteran D-men that are out on the free market.
*With free agency right around the corner, the legendary Stan Fischler details the sad end to Bobby Orr’s career in Boston, where he was lied to about the offer extended to him and ended up playing things out with the Chicago Blackhawks in a way that it shouldn’t have gone. The sight of Orr in a Blackhawks sweater is one of the real all-time NHL oddities out there.
*The NCAA is eying college hockey expansion in NHL markets, including the University of Illinois and Pitt, and, from what I’ve been told, perhaps UNLV and maybe even Vanderbilt. This is a great thing for amateur hockey players and anybody that can’t get enough of the game.
*Ex-Senators defenseman Marc Methot holds no ill will toward the Sens after being dealt from Vegas to the Dallas Stars following his selection in the expansion draft.
*Josh Ho-Sang shares his wisdom to Islanders prospects as a 21-year-old somebody that’s gone through the ups and downs of being in their shoes.
*As we referenced above, Connor McDavid is closing in on a massive contract extension with the Edmonton Oilers that will probably make him the highest paid player in the NHL.
*For something completely different: My heart goes out to this Roslindale family fighting through a situation with a child who has a life-threatening disorder. They have a Go-Fund-Me page, so please give if you can.