"Don't draft me. I won't play for you."
Imagine hitting the lottery, only to find out your ticket isn't worth the paper it's printed on because the big prize isn't coming your way - no matter what the numbers say.
That won't happen with Sidney Crosby, the jackpot in the upcoming NHL lottery to determine order of the 2005 Entry Draft. Crosby hasn't issued any edicts about teams he won't play for the way Eric Lindros did in 1991 with the Quebec Nordiques.
The Next One says he won't hesitate to pull on the silks of the Edmonton Oilers if the lottery balls fall into place and GM Kevin Lowe walks to the microphone with the first pick. Vice-president of hockey operations Kevin Prendergast put the question to Crosby when the phenom interviewed with teams at the NHL Combine in Toronto.
Said Prendergast: "I said to him, 'If the ball comes down No. 1 and Edmonton calls out your name, are you going to be happy to be an Oiler?' He said, 'Absolutely.'
"He said, 'Wayne Gretzky played there and it's a Canadian city. Why wouldn't I want to play there?' And we've got that (Marc-Antoine) Pouliot guy, too. That's an important thing."
Until draft order is determined the Oilers can dare to dream. They haven't picked higher than 13th in eight years.