Weird NHL: Combining awards show with expansion draft

DALLAS - Bright lights, bachelor parties, gambling, alcohol, drugs, and NHL hockey: all in one convenient destination location. The NHL will officially have a team in Las Vegas with more than three players in less than a month, and what a time it is to be alive. The most regressive professional sports league this side of the NFL is the first to get into the 29th largest metro area in America.

It seems like an awful idea, but we’re past that point now since they already exist. Easily the best part of the whole deal is giving fans across the continent another cheap destination for fun and debauchery. Fans with disposable income will be lining up to use the excuse of hockey as a reason to head to Vegas for a few days.

Festivities will kick off June 21st with the NHL Awards and Expansion Draft rolled into one event. Right now it’s possible to get two nights in hotels on The Strip with airfare from Houston for as low as $225, also known as the price of a Stanley Cup Final ticket in Pittsburgh and 1/3 of the price of a ticket in Nashville. (Northeastern markets should be ashamed of how little demand there is for hockey, or something.) I’m broke, but even I’m very tempted to take advantage of that deal.

As of this writing it’s possible to get into the awards ceremony and draft for $15 to 30 bucks.  This isn’t an event that will entice a large audience, but NHL event planners are virtuosos in putting on weird abstract modern performance art displays.

There is a 100% chance that this NHL Awards show will at the very least be as crazy as the event usually is, and a 50% chance that it will be way nuttier than usual thanks to the expansion “draft”.

Tension makes for good TV. We like watching drafts because we don’t know who our teams are going to take. Trades popping up in real time are exciting. Some of that tension is going to naturally be removed out of fairness to the players.

Telling the entire audience who all is unprotected is a bit cruel, but there are many ways the NHL could announce the roster during the broadcast that could make it interesting. It sounds like they will be doing it the most uninteresting way possible.

The NHL Awards™ and NHL Expansion Draft™ event will be held Wednesday, June 21 at T-Mobile Arena at 4:30 p.m. PT. During the event, the Golden Knights will select one expansion draft-eligible player from each of the other 30 NHL clubs. These selections will be announced throughout the televised portion.

They’re going to select players throughout? That seems insane. As a general rule the awards show is unwatchable and terrible. As a viewer I’m only interested in seeing what this new bad NHL team is going to look like.

The NHL appears to now be stretching the announcement out across the entirety of the tedious awards ceremony? The NHL handing Sidney Crosby the Richard Trophy and then announcing that the Vegas Golden Knights have selected five players who have no business being on the awards stage is peak Weird NHL.

After the show an untelevised event will be taking place allowing the Vegas community to interact in some way with their new players in attendance and the front office. All of this for $15-30 bucks and an ice cream headache of NHL proportions seems like a bargain.

I’m still trying to convince myself to go. If the NHL announces an over the hill ‘80s band that has been missing for 20 years as the in-arena entertainment they will definitely have my money. 

Follow Josh on Twitter @JoshL1220 so you can become friends and then pay for him to go watch the NHL be weird in Vegas together.

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