Friday, June 28, 2024

Which stories delivered, and which didn't, on Night One of the NHL draft

You don’t have to spend very long in Las Vegas to realize that two things are indisputably true about this place: You will either be sweating buckets or freezing to death with no in between for your entire stay, and this town knows how to sell the sizzle.

Everything here promises to be the best, coolest, most unique thing you’ve ever experienced. Any wall with even a few square feet of space will be plastered with ads for shows and events, all of which are somehow ranked #1. (By who? Nobody knows.) Every slot machine is bigger and brighter and louder than the last, every bar promises to be the top party destination in the city, and anything you decide to do will be the most fun you can possibly have. They promise.

Of course, promising is one thing. To send the customer home happy, you have to actually deliver. Still, there’s something to be said for being able to sell that sizzle. It’s something the NHL hasn’t been very good at in, well, forever. Maybe a weekend in Vegas will inspire a few of the marketing minds.

In the meantime, tonight’s Round 1 arrived with plenty of potential, with several possible storylines and unanswered questions hanging over the event. That was the sizzle. But as expected, not everything could live up to the hype. So let’s wrap up Night 1 by running through 10 stories that came into the night feeling worthy of the Vegas hype, and seeing how they actually turned out.

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