Cold draft in June?

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 6:50 AM ET

Whether the 2005 NHL entry draft is held in the nation's capital could depend on if there's a season. The draft, scheduled for the Corel Centre next June, won't go on unless there's a new collective bargaining agreement in place.

Senators COO Cyril Leeder said yesterday the city could still host a draft, but not for few years.

"The draft is something that would be decided on after they make a decision on whether they're going to cancel the season," said Leeder.

"If that happens we'd probably have to wait until 2007 or 2008 to get another draft.

"I don't know where it's going in 2006, but I'm pretty sure it has been committed."

There's plenty of excitement surrounding next year's draft because Rimouski Oceanic sensation Sidney Crosby will likely be the No. 1 overall pick.

The 17-year-old QMJHL phenom, who had 51 goals and 81 assists in 59 games during his rookie campaign last season, turned down a three-year, $7.5-million US deal to play in the World Hockey Association this season.

"If there's no season there can't be a draft because this league would have a tough time figuring out who is going to get the No. 1 pick," said a league source.

"I can't see them allowing the Washington Capitals (who drafted first overall this year) to have the top pick again."

bruce.garrioch@ott.sunpub.com


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