By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
The National Hockey League Playoffs begin tomorrow night, or put another way, the Toronto Maple Leafs quest to return to the level of Stanley Cup Champions resumes yet again.
It also means that tonight the annual SMHLPA Playoff Hockey Pool at the Gillespie Gambling Garage will be conducted.
Of course, before the first picks are made, the payouts for the regular season results have to be distributed, BUT that might take some time as the committee will be presented with a formal protest pertaining to the 2018-19 pool.
Jeff Wilkins, who apparently does precious little on a day-to-day basis other than follow NHL scores, was the regular season pool winner with 657 points.
......However, Fred Wallace finished 2nd, 27 points back, BUT is appealing the final tally.
Back in early October when the Gillespie Gambling Garage staged the Regular Season Pool, Fred Wallace had the 3rd overall pick.
The most obvious picks; Connor McDavid of Edmonton & Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby went 1-2 & there I sat with the 3rd overall selection, virtually the entire hockey universe in front of me.
Quickly, I informed the podium that with the 3rd overall selection, I was taking, from the Tampa Bay Lightning.......Nikita Kucherov.
But the podium people were consuming beverages & chomping on chips, paying little attention & instead of Nikita Kucherov, they wrote down...... Anze Kopitar.
Now Kopitar is a very good player. He led the offensively challenged LA Kings in scoring with 60 points.
BUT, Kopitar's point total was 68 less than Kucherov's and the swing in points would have EASILY given me the Regular Season title and bragging rights, which are so important on a night like tonight.
Thus, the protest will be filed this evening.
The NHL Playoffs begin tomorrow & the fun will run for months
I'm Fred Wallace