Of ALL the guys we could have drafted in the first round:
16) C/RW Landon Ferraro
17) RW Zach Budish
20) LW Carl Klingberg
21) C Drew Shore
23) LW Jeremy Morin
27) D Stefan Elliott
34) RW Alex Chiasson (no relation to Steve)
35) D Ryan Button
37) C Joonas Nattinen
38) D Charles-Olivier Roussel
39) C Ryan O’Reilly
40) RW Richard Panik
41) C Ethan Werek
42) D Dmitri Orlov
43) C Tomas Tatar
44) RW Toni Rajala
45) D Eric Gelinas
46) D Brayden McNabb
47) RW Josh Birkholz
48) C Alex Hutchings
49) C Jakob Silfverberg
50) D Seth Helgeson
We pick this dude:
WTF was the scouting staff smoking when they made that pick?? Did all 4 of them decide to gather ’round, light up a big blunt, and come to the collective conclusion that the solution to all of our size woes was some dude that everyone else figured was a second-rounder at best?? What are they going to do with this dude, give him a wand and tell him to go fight Voldemort? Maybe they got so stoned that they thought they were drafting for a Quidditch team instead of an NHL team.
The only team that was made of more fail than the Hurricanes on Day 1 of the Draft were the Hartfordelphia Whaleflyers. When that trade got announced, I had to ask myself if Homer was hitting the sauce again–all that for My Golden Bitch?? Really?? Really?? 2 first-rounders, a conditional 3rd-rounder, AND two good young players?? For Pronger?? If I’m a Pflyers fan, I’m getting out the cans of gas and the matches and preparing to immolate myself in front of the Walk-Over-Ya Center because…damn.
p.s. TSN’s trio of commentators can blow me for deciding to cut away from/talk over Ron Francis when he announced our pick. I mean, I get that they figured “eh, it’s the Hurricanes, they’ll just blow it anyway”–but really. You asshats could have STFU and let Ronnie announce the pick.? I mean, I’m just sayin’.
Can’t wait to see how they blow it on Day 2. Somebody pass me a Mojito…or ten.
So here’s the deal. We all know the off season sucks. For the most part it’s RFA signing this, depth signing that, which in itself isn’t a bad thing. It just usually happens at such a slow pace that it could drive a man to drink. I’d go golfing if it was not “holy hell I think I’m going to spontaneously combust” hot outside since the new champs were crowned. So what does a guy like me do in the meantime? Look forward to the draft of course, which is just a few days away now.
It will be in prime time starting on Friday and will be taking place in Ottawa this year. With gas prices requiring me to sell a kidney to be able to make this trip on short notice I’ll be following at home on Versus. Being a bit of a draft geek I already made a mock over on HF, but I’ll give our readers a look into my top 50 prospects for this year and my thoughts on some of my more controversial rankings. Here they are:
1 ) C – Steven Stamkos, Sarnia, OHL, 6’0/183, R
2 ) D – Drew Doughty, Guelph, OHL, 6’0/213, R
3 ) LW – Nikita Filatov, CSKA 2, Russia-3, 6’0/165, R
4 ) D – Luke Schenn, Kelowna, WHL, 6’2/212, R
5 ) D – Zach Bogosian, Peterborough, OHL, 6’2/199, R
6 ) D – Alex Pietrangelo, Niagara, OHL, 6’3/211 R
7 ) C – Colin Wilson, Boston Univeristy, Hockey East, 6’1/215, L
8 ) LW – Mikkel Boedker, Kitchener, OHL, 5’11/196, L
9 ) C – Cody Hodgson, Brampton, OHL, 6’0/185, R
10) W – Mattias Tedenby, HV 71 Jr, Swe Jr, 5’11/176, L
11) C – Tyler Ennis, Medicine Hat, WHL, 5’8/160, L
12) C – Zach Boychuk, Lethbridge, WHL, 5’9/184, L
13) C – Joshua Bailey, Windsor, OHL, 6’0/189, L
14) D – Colten Teubert, Regina, WHL, 6’3/188, R
15) G – Jakub Markstrom, Brynas Jr, Swe Jr, 6’3/176, L
16) D – Michael Del Zotto, Oshawa, OHL, 6’0/208, L
17) C – Jordan Eberle, Regina, WHL, 5’10/172, R
18) RW – Kirill Petrov, Kazan, RSL, 6’3/198,
19) D – Luca Sbisa, Lethbridge, WHL, 6’1/197, L
20) D – Jake Gardiner, Minnetonka, Minn-HS, 6’1/173, L
21) D – John Carlson, Indiana, USHL, 6’2/212, R
22) D – Tyler Myers, Kelowna, WHL, 6’7/200, R
23) C/RW – Zac Dalpe, Penticton, BCHL, 6’1/170, R
24) G – Thomas McCollum, Guelph, OHL, 6’2/208, L
25) C – Greg Nemisz, Windsor, OHL, 6’3/201, R
26) C – Nicolas Deschamps, Chicoutimi, QMJHL, 6’1/175, L
27) D – Colby Robak, Brandon, WHL, 6’3/202, L
28) C – Anton Gustafson, Frolunda JR, Swe Jr, 6’2/194, L
29) C – Joe Colborne, Camrose, AJHL, 6’5/190, L
30) C – Jamie Arniel, Sarnia, OHL, 6’0/195, R
31) C – Mitch Wahl, Spokane, WHL, 5’11/190, R (38)
32) C – Kyle Beach, Everett, WHL, 6’3/203, R
33) D – Aaron Ness, Rosseau, Minn-HS, 5’9/157, L
34) D – Vyacheslav Voinov, Chelyabinsk, RSL, 6’0/190, R (49)
35) D – Erik Karlsson, Frolunda Jr, Swe Jr, 5’11/165, R
36) C – Corey Trivino, Stouffville, OPJRA, 6’1/170, L
37) G – Chet Pickard, Tri-City, WHL, 6’2/206, L
38) D – Tyler Cuma, Ottawa, OHL, 6’1/185, L
39) C – David Toews, Shatucks St Mary’s, Minn-HS, 5’10/175, R
40) G – Dustin Tokarski, Spokane, WHL, 5’11/185, L
41) D – Cody Goloubef, Wisconsin, WCHA, 6’0/195, R
42) LW – AJ Jenks, Plymouth, OHL, 6’1/210, L
43) LW – Matt Calvert, Brandon, WHL, 5’9/172, L
44) D – Cory Fienhage, Eastview, Minn-HS, 6’2/190, R
45) RW – Jared Staal, Sudbury, OHL, 6’3/198, R
46) C – Mikhail Stefanovich, Quebec, QMJHL, 6’2/200, R
47) G – Harri Sateri, Tappara, Fin Jr, 6’1/190, L
48) D – Michael Stone, Calgary, WHL, 6’3/200, R
49) D – Justin Schultz, Westside, BCHL, 6’1/163, R
50) W – Viktor Tikhonov, Cherepovets, RSL, 6’2/187, R
Now a few questions you may be asking yourself: Tyler WHO? He’s undersized but the kid can flat out skate and score. There weren’t very many major junior players that broke the 40 goal mark this year, and Tyler was one of only two available for the draft (Eberle the other) from the defense oriented WHL to break that mark this year. His defensive game is good as well, leaving size the only question mark about this kid.
Why so low on Beach? He has a ton of talent and if anyone from this draft could break into the top 10, it’s him. Some think he has the talent to be the next Bertuzzi, or at worst the next Avery. But he has a history of concussions, disappeared in the WHL playoffs, and has a history of being a total hot head. Simply put I wouldn’t touch him with a 20 foot pole, out of both fear that I might knock him unconcious or that he might take the pole and beat me senseless with it. He’s my “bust of the year”, joining the likes of Angelo Esposito and Anthony Stewart.
Why so low on Myers? He’s a total project. The two biggest assets he has going for him are his size and his skating ability. That alone will give him a chance to make it to the NHL level, but when people talk about his untapped potential I’m just not seeing it. He could develop his offensive game and improve his defensive zone coverage but, with the way free agency is now and with how big defensemen usually take longer to develop, is he really worth using an early first rounder on only to have his game come around the year before he hits UFA status?
Who should the Canes draft? I really do get a laugh out of it every time I see it. People that think that because the Canes have a current need on defense that they should draft a defenseman. WRONG. That’s a current need, that’s what free agency and the trade market are for, this is the NHL not the NFL, you don’t draft for what you currently need. We have quite a few good defensive prospects like Borer, McBain, Lawson and Carson, the depth up front isn’t looking quite as good right now. Now, we could use a defenseman or two this year, yes, but unless one of the top end defensemen (Doughty, Bogosian, Schenn, Pietrangelo) drops to #14 somehow JR should be looking at picking a forward.
OK, so all we have to look forward to now is the Draft.
Well, except for me–I have Rangers playoff games to look forward to (Give ‘em Hell, Harry)…which, to be honest, is exceedingly small comfort. I would much rather have the Hurricanes in the playoffs than barrack for this season’s application of The Malik Effect.
Back on message, AQ.
Oh, sorry about that.
Anyway, the Draft. I’ve been looking at our depth chart, and what I see is the same old shit: we’re thin on our left side, our defence is getting older, and we have like half the goaltenders in the known universe because our GM insists on drafting at least two every year rather than actually trying to seriously address our paper-thin left side or our aging defence.
So, let’s address our needs:
This is kinda “duh”, here. We have Ray Whitney, Sergei Samsonov, Tuomo Ruutu, Chad LaRose, My Man Ryan Bayda, and Wade Brookbank. Umm…hmm. I am guessing–though not immediately assuming–that Samsonov will be offered a contract, though whether Sammy signs or not will more than likely be contingent on whether or not we retain Laviolette as coach. Ray has one more year IIRC. Same with Ruutu. Rosie will be staying unless JimR can find somebody that will offer us an upgrade for him–and I would make that deal too, even though I adore the Chuck Norris of Hockey, because the team is far more important than any one player. Bayda will more than likely stay in the speed dial as first callup unless he really impresses in training camp this fall, and Brookbank? We’ll keep him around for the judicious application of excessive force, I’m sure.
We can’t have Casey Borer, Timmy Gleason, Dennis Seidenberg, and Joe Corvo holding down the fort by themselves once Glen Wesley and Bret Hedican retire, Nicky Wallin goes back to Sweden to raise his 2394878724 children to be proper Vikings, and Atlanta Frankie gets taken away by the aliens for the last time. They need some serious help–especially because Joe isn’t getting any younger himself and Dennis and Timmy (much as I adore them both) are pretty much mid-range kinda guys. Which leaves Casey Borer, who (though promising) is not a Jedi yet, and Tim Conboy–who the fans love because he’s willing to drop ‘em (and he’s a good egg), but let’s face it: he’s a callup type of guy, and not much else.
I will say it now: If the Warchief isn’t back in September then I fear he may not be back at all–which will hurt, but not as much as having Trevor Letowski as our second-line center behind The Chosen One. Brandon Sutter is currently in Albany on an Amateur Tryout (ATO) contract, which means that he’s there on his dime. It’s my sincere hope that this franchise decides to go against type and doesn’t rush him, but I have a feeling that he’ll be rammed into the lineup and spend all of next season getting pushed around (because really, he’s like Wierd Harold: 6’9″ and 50 pounds). You know, like Eric Staal in his first season–though hopefully we’ve taken the lesson from his experience and will actually take some time with this kid.
We are actually kinda okay…ish. Kinda. Sorta. Maybe…ish. Erik Cole may wind up being trade fodder for a defensive upgrade (or, with our luck, another freaking goalie)–depending on the guy we get in return, I could dig this. And I say that as a charter member of Erik’s Caffeine Nation. After Cole, we have JWillie, Remo Williams, Patrick Eaves, and…and…err…
*looks at depth chart again* *blinks* *rubs eyes* *looks askance at bottle of diet coke*
Fuck me, did I say we were okay here? Am I high? Right side, we need it. We need it bad.
Ward, Leighton, Nastiuk, Peters, Manzato, Akerlund. I THINK WE HAVE ENOUGH GOALIES, DON’T YOU? And Grahame is a goner. His backbending stretches may turn the ladies on, but he’s just not pushing Cam like he should have been. But of course, JimR will trade half our team for another freakin’ goaltender. Why don’t we get Manny Legace back? I’m sure he’ll LOVE that.
So, the Draft. I was planning a trip up there, but the hubby has decided that we need to move to a new apartment the same weekend–which, needless to say, pisses me off greatly cos I was (and am) hoping to organize a blogmoot. Bah. So anyway, if you’re there and you hear somebody bellowing out “DEFENSE!” “RIGHT WING!” “NO MORE GOALIES!” from somewhere in ScotiaBank Place every time the Hurricanes are on the clock, you’ll know I made it.
My weekend started Friday morning at 2:00, when I was awakened by the foghorn sound of the alarm on my cell phone.
It ended about an hour and a half ago when I came staggering through the door and got mobbed by all four of my cats, who (in between demands that I pet them) claimed that my husband mistreated them horribly and beat them constantly while I was gone.
Con artists, all of ‘em. And that’s just the Wirtz family! Badum-bum.
I hit the road a half-hour later than I wanted to, at 4:30 AM–and I had to make a 10-mile detour to my husband’s place of ork so that he could whine about how much he would miss me terribly while I was in Columbus–but I made phenomenally good time, getting to Columbus right around noon.
The drive itself was pretty good–I love driving through the Appalachians, especially in early summer and especially early in the morning when the mist isn’t quite burned off yet. The I-77/81 corridor in Southwest Virginia is always my favorite part of any trip to that part of the country, if for no other reason than the cat-and-mouse game that so many drivers play with the Wythe County Sheriff’s Department. Wythe County is known as a giant speed trap, and the deputies use decoy cars and clever hiding spots to nab unsuspecting speeders–especially those with out of state plates like mine. Good thing I remembered to tap the brakes a few times right before I got to the top of the hill overlooking Wytheville!
Got to the hotel and met up with my friends Amy and Lisa, who came down from Michigan for the Draft, and we checked into the ‘otel. I’d elected to leave the jersey at home–for some reason I just didn’t feel it appropriate. Of course, I also left my red hat at home too–which was kinda annoying, especially since I didn’t realize I’d left it at home until I was crossing the Ohio River. DOH!
After chillin’ with Lisa and Amy and having a good (and cheap) lunch at the nearest Waffle House, it was off to the Arena for me.
Jackets fans, y’all have a pretty spifftastic barn by the way. Very nice looking place–but MAN do y’all have some hellacious one-way street action in your downtown! I thought Raleigh was lousy with one-ways, until I got to C-bus. Wow. I tried to find a parkplatz, and realized something:
In my excitement over being in a new town, I apparently forgot how to drive. That’s right, I almost turned into oncoming traffic on a two-way and cut across three lanes of traffic in downtown not once but five times. If you were driving around Columbus and got cut off by a beat-up brown Cavalier with an NC plate referencing a certain Big Czech Defenseman, that was me.
I also got lost a couple of times, but we won’t discuss that. Bloody one-way streets and exits on the left….
The blogmoot was pretty fun. I went walking into the BLAP after coming up from downstairs, and I walk past this unassuming cat sitting in the corner with a laptop bag on the table in front of him. Journalist, I thought.
Then I saw the kepi. I turn around and come on back.
Army of Ohio?
Hi, I’m the Acid Queen.
I sat down and we started rappin’. Then Drew showed up. Then a couple other folks showed up (Truthspeaker–one of the Jackets folks–and Kevin, who reads more than blogs), and we were off to the races!
So we’re all chillin’ in the corner, when this guy who looked like an exhausted (but tanned!) Tony Soprano comes walking past us. He looks around the corner, and then comes back towards us. “I’m looking for a guy who calls himself Tapeleg.”
Then I see the media cred around his neck.
Tapeleg’s not here yet Eric, but you’re welcome to come grab a seat.
Lemme tell you; for a cat with a Celtic surname, Eric McErlain looks more Italian than I do. Bada-bing!
Then Tapeleg showed up with his lovely lady friend Meg in tow, followed shortly thereafter by Greg Wyshynski and Emperor Paul I.
While we were all hangin’ out, we heard about the Vokoun trade. Hello, Major League anyone? And to FLORIDA, no less? I mean, I like Vokoun and all–BUT NOT IN MY GODDAMN DIVISION! Man. The talk about the trade led to talk about the on-again off-again (and hopefully off-except-to-local-investors) sale of the Preds, which led to talk about Charlotte vs. Raleigh–and boy, did I have fun explaining to Greg why it’s impossible to compare Charlotte with Raleigh when it comes to fan support for a team.
The festivities broke up about 6:30ish, and we all went meandering into the arena. I parked with Tapeleg and Meg upstairs in 312–and we camped next to two of the most annoying-ass Blues fans I have ever encountered. And drunk? Oh man were they hammered! And of course, after about pick five or six one of them went out to the concourse and honked all over himself–which I didn’t see, but I did smell it when he came back in the section sans jersey. Can’t hide the heady aroma of booze-yack that easily, yanno. Between those two losers and Annoying Blackhawks Fan, I think I’d take Annoying Blackhawks Fan–at least he kept his yelling to a minimum (though I did get a chuckle out of Tapeleg when Bettman said “Chicago, you are on the clock” and I belted out a lusty ALEXANDROOOOV!)
BUT! The one thing more annoying than the Booze fans–who were finally escorted out by the securebots after the 10th pick or so–were the Blue Jackets fans that kept howling acclamatory phrases down toward the TSN setup where former CBJ GM Doug McLean was camped with Bob McKenzie and James Duthie. Yes, DM(F)GMHCP knows the Jackets Nation hates him–but please, we’re kinda trying to hear what’s being said if you don’t mind.
Apres Round 1, there was to be an afterparty of sorts at the Hyatt–I was there before anyone else (so I missed seeing Yzerman get booed by the Jackets fans when it was Detroit’s turn to pick), and I was chillin’ with a Diet Coke when I started to get on the nods thanks to the combination of my back meds and the wearing-off of the adrenalin in my system…and no way was I going to conk over around my fellow bloggers, because with my luck I’d have woken up dressed in a Red Wings jersey with I HEART CHRIS CHELIOS XOXOXO tattooed on my forehead or something and the picture would be the header for Abel to Yzerman by now. Them bloggers, they’s some sneaky folks. Can’t trust ‘em, I say! (just kidding, of course.) So I went back to my hotel and zonked until about 8:00 AM or so.
Saturday was pretty laid-back for me. I opted out of Rounds 2 and on because I wanted to see The Cup more. It’s a ritual for me: Every Draft I go to, I go see The Cup. Pay my respects to the spirits, say a prayer, and leave. I went and stood on line with my little camera in hand, and saved the last picture on the roll for the names of the 05-06 Champs.
Driving home was a little anticlimactic, in a way. I was tired because I’d had little sleep on Thursday night or Friday night, so I was more interested in getting home than I was in sightseeing–and I wound up having to pull off the road a few times so I could grab a catnap. But I am of course home now, which is good.
I’ll be back in the saddle sometime tomorrow. See y’all next year in Ottawa.
….well at 4:00 AM, anyway.
Tomorrow at this time I’ll be heckling Annoying Blackhawks Fan as he tries to tell the Hawks’ scouting staff who to pick, quacking at the Red Wings fans (like I did in 2003–man, was that ever fun), and generally chillin’ out.
A little news before I go, courtesy of my boy Luke DeCock at the N&O:
And that’s it–I’ll pry find some laptop somewhere and make a post from C-bus. Either that, or I’ll just take a metric assload of notes and post ‘em up here when I get home Sunday morning.
See y’all in C-bus.
Before I blow an artery spraying yet more bile and invective about Versus and the completely craptacular way they handled the Awards show tonight (Aside to Vinny Lecavalier: tell your girlfriend to stop shoving her fingers down her throat and eat a sammich every now and then willya?), I’m going to turn myself to something more fun–like the Draft:
Looks like I’ll have to leave the trojniak at home–either that or leave it in my hotel room, take your pick–cos somehow I don’t think I’ll be able to smuggle the bottle into the Gnat. The cork-popping sound would kinda give things away.
See y’all next weekend.
So Michael Turner from Army of Ohio and Drew from End of the Bench are planning a blogmoot for Barbarossa Day (that’d be 22 June), and being the sociable sort that I am I’ll be putting in an appearance.
Bring yer friends, bring yer neighbours, bring yer riot gear. I’ll be showing up with a bottle or two of fine Bernardynski and a beisbol bat with which to beat down any uppity Sabres fans, with some appropriately obnoxious techno music blasting from my speakers.
Here’s a link to Michael’s Guide to Columbus and the Draft. Go check it out, and leave an RSVP in the comments.
See y’all later this month.
Back in ’04 when the Draft was held here in R’lyeh, I went with my dear friend Jenny from Nashville. She and I hung out and had a great time amid all the pomp and circumstance and what have you–including joining the Sharks table in laughing at a Red Wings scout that got hassled by one of the securebots because the picture on his credential didn’t look like him. It was very funny seeing Ken Holland have to get up from the table to go over and tell the NHL Security guy “yes, he’s one of my people. No, no really, he is. Seriously, I’m not kidding, he does belong to us. Yes, I am who my cred says I am–now will you let my guy come back to my table? Thank you.”
One of the highlights of the day, however, came after the first round was over and the people who don’t geek on Draft left the bowl to have fun perusing the card-show on the concourse and engaging in all the fun and games outside:
I got to heckle Annoying Blackhawks Fan (hereinafter referred to as “ABF”). This guy looks like Detroit goofball Mo Cheese, except he doesn’t wear a tinfoil hat, his jersey fits, and he neither has a terminal case of plumber’s butt nor does a lame dance where he flashes crack at the opposing bench in the hopes that they’ll be so wigged out that they’ll all die and let the Menses Munchers win.
But he’s equally annoying. Actually, no. He’s MORE annoying. This guy, so I was told by a couple other Hawks fans in attendance, goes to every Draft and stalks the Hawks scouting staff, trying to tell them who to draft and in what round. He shows up at the arena with laptop and clipboard in hand, and hollers out the names of guys to pick whenever the Hawks are up–I know, because I was sitting three sections over from him while he did it.
I and my buddy Erik started crackin’ on him in the second round, when the Hawks had something like 238972439827 picks and were up every other turn or so. Longest second round in history, I swear. ABF started in hollering out the names of guys to pick, and the Hawks table just blithely ignored him each and every time. He’s getting more and more upset, and Erik and I are getting more and more amusement.
When it got to Pick 68 in the third round, ABF calls out from his perch in Section 128:
The Hawks, of course, selected Adam Berti from the Oshawa Generals. ABF was mightily upset, and Erik and I were just laughing and laughing at him because there was no way in the Nine Worlds that anyone was going to listen to this guy (and it was obvious from watching the Hawks’ table that they were all having a chuckle at his expense too).
Next pick went to the ‘Canes. I called out “DEFENSE!”–and the ‘Canes selected Casey Borer from St. Cloud State University (true* story: when Borer was selected, ‘Canes defenseman Bret Hedican got so excited that he completely dorked out and called EVERYONE on the whole frakkin’ team to gush about it). I called out “THANK YOU!” and turned to neener at ABF, who was not at all pleased.
Soon it got to pick 83, which was held by the St. Louis Blues–who selected Viktor Alexandrov, the guy that ABF wanted the Hawks to pick. ABF was pissed. He threw his little clipboard and pencil down, stamped his feet, and looked like he wanted to drill his laptop in the general direction of the media section (where, if he managed to get it that far, it would have beaned TSN’s James Duthie). Erik and I kicked the heckling into high gear at that point:
Me: OH NOEZ! GUESS YOU BETTER BECOME A BLACKHAWKS FAN NOW!
Erik: LET’S GO BLUES, EH BUDDY?
(The next pick went to Montreal)
Me: ALEXANDROOOOV! OH WAIT, THE BLUES ALREADY TOOK HIM!
Erik: LET’S GO BLUES!
Not our most inventive, but it worked for us and was funny. ABF was all set to come over and throw down, but one of the RBC Securebots hauled ass down to the middle of 128 and tried to get him to chill out–and when that failed, Securebot just told him “You don’t have to go home, but you gotta get the heck up outta here.”
I got so much mileage out of that joke for the rest of the weekend, seriously. I actually got Bob Gainey to crack a smile (and made the whole table chuckle) on Day 2 (when I was sitting near the Habs and Preds tables) when it was Chicago’s turn to pick and I said “Hey, they should pick Alexandrov–oh wait, St. Louis took him yesterday. Doh!”
Of course, the best part of that was ABF hearing me from the other side of the arena and knowing that he couldn’t do a thing about it because the securebots would be all over him like Marek Malik on an empty net.
What was the point of this story? Well none really–I just wanted to share the mirth with all y’all. The Blackhawks won the Draft Lottery today, and since my car hasn’t blown up like it did last year at this time (knock on wood) I’ll actually be able to go to the Draft. We’ll see if I’m able to go and hassle ABF again–and y’all know that if I get to do it, I’ll be SURE to post it here.
*:true as in, “read in the N&O and not denied by Bret”. YMMV, void where prohibited, yadda yadda.