Meet John Tavares. John is your average (soon to be) 17 year old wonder kid. John has got more hockey skill in his left knee than most of us have in our entire bodies, and he is only a teenager. So, John gets to not only enjoy the fun of being young and verile, but he's also really, really, really good at hockey. Sucks to be John, doesn't it?Well, all of this tradgedy can be made right. If only the NHL would change its rules, poor and out of luck kids like John would be able to declare for the NHL Draft earlier than the current rules allow. You see, despite all of his best efforts, John was born unlucky. This particular Wonder Kid was born five days too early (Sept. 20th, 1990) to be eligible to declare for the 2008 NHL Draft. League rules stipulate that you must turn 18 before September 15th, 2007 to be eligible for the draft.
Poor John. He's going to have to wait a year in Juniors, while he rips apart kids who are a year (or more) younger than him. Jeez -- they might even be as old as he is! He's going to have to watch all of his buddies, who are older than him mind you, get the tar beat out of them like college freshman pledging the most notorious frat on campus. He'll have to watch his stock for the 2009 draft rise, as he diligently pursues the retention of his title as CHL Player of the Year. Heck, he might even be a consensus #1 by the time the 2009 draft finally comes around. You might not know it, but as a 16-year old, Tavares broke Wayne Gretzky's OHL scoring record. Not only that, he finished 2nd in the league's scoring race to only Patrick Kane. Poor John. That's just terrible.
What is a kid to do?
Petition the league to make an exception, that's what.
According to TSN, Tavares and his agent have contacted the NHL about granting exemptions into the draft for certain players.
Tavares's agent, Bryan Deasley, says he has spoken with NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and Players' Association associate counsels Ian Penny and Stu Grimson about the possible creation of an exceptional player clause that would allow certain players to be drafted a year early.
Deasley said he has sent a memo to each party about the merits of a clause. He says he's not asking for a blanket change in the draft age.
''We are not looking for anything other than an exceptional status consideration from the league,'' he said. ''Every once in a while a player comes along that compels us to look at things more clearly and differently - outside the box.''
I mean seriously. With all of the hockey wisdom that people have imparted on this kid throughout his life, and I'm sure there's been a ton, couldn't someone have given him some practical knowledge and told him that patience is a virtue? Rules are rules. Like them or not, we've got to obey them. If they're unfair, the justice system will correct them (in a perfect world). If we start making exceptions for every John Tavares, then every other kid is going to be wondering, 'hey, where's my exemption?'
Seriously. This is all a fucking joke, right?
Hey kid, here's some advice; play in the CHL for another year. Kick the shit out of your opponents. Win the league scoring title again, a feat which you will probably accomplish pretty easily. Enjoy being a kid -- you're only 17. Time goes by faster than you can imagine. Then, in 18 months, you'll be ready to be the #1 selection in the 2009 NHL Draft. You'll be some franchise's savior and will get a major and deserved payday. Big bucks and colossal media attention? Sounds pretty sweet to me. The problem is, kid, the tortoise beats the hare. Take the long road. It's better. I Promise.