In case anyone in the NHL hasn’t noticed, according to SI.com, Scott Niedermayer is still an unrestricted free agent, so Florida, ya might wanna jump on that one!
Now, before I start gushing about Cam Fowler, I have to set the record straight about the booing. Every source I have been to has reported that most of the 11,000+ people at Staples Center were booing Cam. If you were in attendance last Friday afternoon, you know that’s not true. The booing began as soon as the word “Anaheim” began emerging from the announcer’s mouth.
It didn’t come over very well on VERSUS. On TV, it sounded mild and petty. Live it was raccous, throaty and really, really loud. And it wasn’t just Kings fans. Everyone not wearing a Ducks jersey – from Blackhawks to Redwingers – joined in as well.
I just about fell out of my seat laughing my ass off. Fortunately I didn’t spill my plastic cup of $15 Stella Artois.
Okay, back to business.
The Anaheim Ducks first draft pick (12th overall) was Cam Fowler, the 18-year-old Windsor Spitfire defenseman who has patterned his style of play on a man he may very well be replacing, Scott Niedermayer.
That’s drama enough, but on top of that, Fowler (btw, how’s that for a perfect duckling name?) agreed to be micked up and filmed during the Draft, since pretty much everyone expected him to go within the first five or so.
Ah life, where would we be without pain?
When I first saw the video, I thought oh, ha-ha, let’s watch the kid squirm a bit. But after the eighth pick went by, I started feeling like the schoolyard bully who shouts “Hah! Two for flinching!”
Oh sure, we can be jerks and get sarcastic and say poor baby, he’s only getting drafted by the NHL! But that’s forgetting his youth and inexperience with the world in general. Think about it this way, what were YOU doing when you were 18? Probably not travelling to a city you’d never been to with family and friends to attend an event that might very well decide your fate for the rest of your life.
Okay, so Fowler has been to L.A. before, but you know what I’m getting at!
To his credit, Cam proved himself a man and sucked it up as best he could, but when his name was finally called, the relief that washed over him was absolutely palpable. The other super-cool thing that happened was the fact that the Ducks hierarchy were just as excited, pelting up to the podium and practically pinching themselves to make sure they’d actually landed such a promising prospect.
And it wasn’t just the Ducks who were shocked how far Cam fell. Said now-Dallas Star Jack Campbell, “I don’t know how Cam Fowler got to 12. Anaheim got, in my opinion, the best player in the Draft. Cam is going to have an unbelievable career in the NHL.”
Of course, as Campbell is a goaltender, we all know that’ll turn into “goddmmitsonuvabitch!!!” the first time Fowler scores on him.
I can already tell his new teammates are going to have a lot of fun with this guy. He comes across as honest, genuine and just disingenuious enough to open himself up to teasing.
When asked about having his jersey handed to him by Niedermayer and shaking hands with everyone, Fowler said the experience was unreal and everything else just sort of blacked out after that.
He also was quoted saying, “I was a huge fan when they were making the Mighty Ducks movies. I was actually sad to see those purple jerseys go…”
I don’t know anyone – and I mean ANYONE – who liked the Ducks movies. So does that statement fall under bravery, innocence, or ‘other’?
Hmmm, makes me wonder what he though about the cartoon programme…