Ottawa's draft not quite dead yet

Team Canada's Sidney Crosby wears his gold medal after defeating Russia 6-1 to win the gold medal...

Team Canada's Sidney Crosby wears his gold medal after defeating Russia 6-1 to win the gold medal at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Grand Forks, N.D., Jan. 4, 2005.(CP PHOTO/Ryan Remiorz)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:23 PM ET

The NHL entry draft set for June at the Corel Centre hasn't been officially cancelled -- yet. Frank Brown, the NHL's VP of communications, vehemently denied a report on the Team 1200 yesterday that the draft has been cancelled and hotels in town have been told to release the rooms they're holding for the weekend.

"There is no truth to the report ... zero," said Brown from his New York office.

But the reality is the draft -- which would feature teen phenom Sidney Crosby -- isn't going to happen if there's no season and no collective bargaining agreement in place.

"The fact of the matter is, no," said Senators president Roy Mlakar. "The league would put out a release and make an announcement to everyone if that was the case. It wouldn't come out in the form of a rumour.

"Obviously, if you don't have a collective bargaining agreement, and obviously, (if) you don't have a situation where you're returning to the ice, then it would put the draft in jeopardy. But the league has not made an announcement."

bruce.garrioch@ott.sunpub.com


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