This is Ron Greschner. He was a solid NHL defenseman for a long time, scored a huge goal in Ranger history that lives in infamy. Greschner’s draft story involves a blatant lie from Emile Francis.
Before the 1974 NHL entry draft, Greschner was regarded as the #11 overall selection in that season’s edition. Francis, the GM of the New York Rangers and a man known for integrity (seriously) used his 1st rd pick on Dave Maloney and wanted the young puck mover from Goodsoil, SK in the second round.
Problem. Greschner played for a famous junior team (New Westminster Bruins) and was certainly on the list of all NHL teams.
- Greschner: “He (Francis) told people I had broken my leg. Back then there was none of this tweeting and he put it into an article. This was so he could draft me in the second round.”
We are seeing something weird in this draft, too. Nail Yakupov, #1 on every list known to man for months, has seen his draft stock fall since the combine. Although there has been no indication in print or on radio as to exactly what is causing the fall, the possibility exists that Yakupov may go lower than #1. It’s also possible that if Yakupov is taken #1, it will not be the Oilers calling out his name.
In the article I linked to this morning, Bob McKenzie said “Yakupov has been perceived most of the season as an elite guy, but his playoff concerned some scouts, so that ‘can’t miss’ franchise-type player may not be as obvious this year.” David Staples posted the item at Cult of Hockey and then argued that it shouldn’t sway the decision.
- Yakupov suffered a concussion mid-season and his performance lagged. Is that the cause for alarm?
- Is it his verbal agent who went public with trade scenarios involving the Leafs?
- Or is it in fact a few post-season games?
Surely a few playoff games isn’t enough to take the bloom off the rose.
EDIT TO ADD: And as it turned out, that is exactly the case. As LoganOil points out in the comments section, the McKenzie comments jive perfectly with the words he used on the lottery edition of tsn’s coverage.