By Taylor Hodges, Sports Editor
Photo courtesy of San Jose Sharks
Have you ever thought how similar the draft is to the relationships you’ve had during the course of your life? This sudden realization occurred to me when I was taking a 40 minute hot shower. Thanks, Aquinas, for having great water heaters.
I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t had a lot of long-term relationships in my life. The fact that I consider a long-term relationship to be six months or more should prove that to you. Plus, I’m a rapper. I can’t have the fans think I’m unavailable.
Most guys would be comfortable saying they don’t want anything serious AKA a standard entry-level deal. As we all know, entry-level deals aren’t where you cash in, so these guys are okay with earning the league minimum in the hopes of parlaying that into a long-term deal down the line.
I figured in order to get this analogy it might be wise for me to use examples of relationships I’ve had. At the very least, you’ll get a laugh out of it. Of course, no names will be in this article because I’m a gentleman, but if you would like to contact my mom to get the scoop, you’re more than welcome to. She may or may not release it.
So, let’s get started shall we? My first serious relationship was when I was a junior in high school. Why did it happen so late you ask? Let’s just say I was focused on preparing for my ACT during the previous two years. I met her through a mutual friend whom I got to know during driver’s ed when I was almost 15. Her friend, whom I knew, told me she liked hockey, and since I obviously played hockey I felt like it would be a good match. Plus, she went to a school close to mine so I could see her whenever. This relationship did not last long. I thought it lasted six months, but my mom claims it lasted two, so I guess believe whomever you want, but just know that my mom is the same person who thought you took the rim off the tire when you get them rotated.
This girl was a solid fifth round choice. Great girl, but I knew she probably wasn’t going to be in my top six. For the non-hockey fans out there, your top six usually comprises of your star players. Plus, even if it had led to a long-term contract, I’m not sure I had enough cap space, so she probably would’ve had to hit waivers.
The second girl I was involved with was a top five selection. I dated her shortly after Ms. fifth round. She had all the tools to be a franchise player. The one that you want to keep locking up to eight year deals and the league maximum. The one in which you would have to always retool your roster in order to not go over the salary cap. She easily could’ve put up fifty goals a season. Probably could do it more than Dany Heatley. I dated her for a little over two years, but, like everything in life, it doesn’t stay perfect forever. Let’s just say that her agents and I had disagreements and it had to be terminated. Alas, I hit free-agency again.
The third girl I became involved with didn’t happen until my junior year of college. I guess my junior years are my lucky ones. Too bad I’m graduating in four months so I will never experience one again. She was projected for the first round but fell to the fourth. I thought I had a draft gem on my hands and I did for the most part, but eventually I saw why she dropped out of the first-round. I guess I should’ve scouted her out better, but hey, everyone goes through having a draft bust. I bought her out of the contract and she hit free agency, but don’t worry, she got signed within a matter of weeks. I suspect the other General Manager was breaching my contract with her, but you never know.
After thinking I had a draft gem on my hands when I really had a draft bust, I started to doubt myself for awhile. Was my time over? Did I simply not offer what other teams were offering? I slapped myself in the face and got back to the grind knowing their had to be another draft gem out there.
Sure enough, I started talking to one during my senior year. I put in my work and had her projected to go in the second round. Little did I know, she ended up being the one all along. Looks like I found another gem.
About the writer…
Taylor Hodges is a senior majoring in Sport Management/ Business Administration. He is the sports editor for The Saint and interns with the public relations department for the Grand Rapids Griffins. He hopes to one day break into the hockey business as a General Manager, but until then, encourages you to follow him on Twitter and download his mixtape.