PITTSBURGH – Anthony Stolarz tried to drink in the biggest moment of his life.
The crowd inside Consol Energy Center never gave him a chance, booing the lanky 6-foot-5 goaltender the moment he stepped onto the stage after being selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round of the NHL draft.
Hey, it’s what happens when you wear orange and black at the home of the Pittsburgh Penguins, even if it’s over a suit. And Stolarz knows it’s only going to get worse if he ever makes it to the big club.
“It’s good to know there’s such a passionate rivalry there,” he said.
The not-so-friendly welcome to the NHL for Stolarz was about as eventful as it got during a quiet final day of the draft. Six drama-free rounds whizzed by without the fireworks produced Friday night, when the Pittsburgh Penguins shook up the league by sending center Jordan Staal to Carolina and defenseman Zbynek Michalek to Phoenix.
“Starting in the last week, some of the things going on behind the scenes felt more like free agency or a trade deadline than a draft,” Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said.
Maybe for the Penguins. Not so much for the rest of the league. The only trades Saturday consisted mostly of an exchange of draft picks as some of the biggest names out there – namely Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash and Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo – stayed put.
“I’m not surprised,” said Canucks general manager Mike Gillis. “You need a lot of synergy to get trades done. You need compelling reasons to do them. If we’re considering trading a very high end player, you need compelling reasons to do it.”
Besides, it likely won’t remain quiet for long. There could be more movement over the next week before the free agency period begins July 1.
The Blue Jackets opened the second round by taking Swedish goaltender Oscar Dansk with the 31st overall pick, though he was quickly followed by a number of Americans. There were 56 Americans selected in the draft, including nine in the second round.