Cup would mean draft drop

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 3:53 PM ET


 TAMPA -- There is a downside to winning the Stanley Cup.

 A downside with which the Flames would be happy to cope.

 Should Calgary claim its second NHL championship, it'll mean a switch during next month's entry draft.

 Instead of choosing 19th, a spot based on the regular-season finish, the Flames would pick 30th in the opening round.

 "We'd much rather pick 30th," said scouting director Tod Button. "I think the Lightning would, too.

 "It's a small price to pay."

 Amid the excitement of a playoff run that's exceeded most everyone's wildest dreams, Button and the rest of the scouting staff have been busily preparing for the annual selection draft June 26-27 in Raleigh, N.C.

 Button, who gathered all the scouts in Calgary and watched Game 3 of the Western Conference final, said how the club fares in the final won't have any effect on their approach.

 "We don't have a second or third (round pick) but when we do our meetings, we plan on getting a second-round pick or if we were to trade down," he said. "We have players in all those spots, so we're prepared for all those scenarios."

 As much as this run is a sense of pride for the city, it's taken a bigger meaning for Button, amateur scouting director Mike Sands and others who've been part of the process for years, such as the longest-serving scout, Larry Johnson.

 "It's just neat to see guys come together and be rewarded. All the guys," Button said. "We've gone through those trying times. Even if it's not the guy you drafted or someone you didn't have any input on, you're still part of the team."

 On the slate in the coming days are the final interviews and background checks.

 "We're about 90 or 95 percent done," he said. "Then we'll be able to go back to Calgary for the rest of the final. Then we can be in full cheerleader mode."


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