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Report: NHL pondering more draft lottery changes

Mar 17, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

Connor McDavid Getty Images

The NHL is considering more changes to the draft lottery, according to the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman.

Click on the link to read all the details, but basically the league is pondering an expansion of the lottery, where instead of just the first overall pick being decided that way, it could be the top three, or even top five.

The NHL may also use a “rolling” five-year period to determine the lottery odds, as a way to diminish teams’ incentive to field less competitive rosters during seasons when potential franchise-altering draftees (like, say, Connor McDavid and/or Jack Eichel) are available.

Writes Friedman:

No one wanted to use the word “tanking.” But there is concern about how competitive things will be with McDavid and Eichel available next summer. If you’re an owner or a general manager, would the adoption of this policy change the way you approach the 2014-15 season?

The list of first overall picks in the last 10 years includes Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos, and John Tavares.

Related: Burke on why the Penguins are a good team: “They won a goddamn lottery”

  1. lowenni - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    I don’t know, I’m kind of 50/50. This would definitely prevent the idea of “tanking”, but at the same time, I don’t want the 15th place team picking 1st and the worst team picking 15th, continuing their problems while bolstering a team that doesn’t need it. I’d leave it the way it is.

    • mttzakr26 - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:48 PM

      I agree with all you said Isn’t this funny when you think about it???

      Why do we always assume that the players on every team are gonna tank and go with the program….the players are playing for jobs in the NHL and yet we always forget that?

      How many times in the past have the GM’s of teams in the NHL tried to tank and then made a late season surge of hope???

      If GM’s were going to coach’s and players and saying listen, “Dont try, just throw the game”….then we’d have an issue?…or if GM’s were assembling rosters of AHL calliber players, selling off star players and even selling off “ok” players and a team puts out a first line of grinders and fighters with hands of stone,,….then i’d say it’s really blatant

      The teams may be awful, but the players have something to play for…..jobs in the NHL….especially the very young guys and the vets trying to hang on.

  2. nj666 - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    So I take it Edmonton will get McDavid…

  3. mattypbillsmafia - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    Of course this happens when the Sabres are the worst team in the league, and not when they were just mediocre and missed the playoffs. Where’s the emoji gun to the head when I need it?

    • mttzakr26 - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:39 PM

      I dont think this is a conspiracy though….there is a legit concern from the NHL that a million teams will tank

      Look at the bottom 7 teams : Nashville, Carolina, Calgary, Edmonton, the Islanders (who’s pick could be owned by the Sabres), and Florida along with the Buffalo Sabres

      Does anyone think the NHL wants Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel in any of the above cities???
      Especially Florida….thats a nightmare scenerio..

      Buffalo is one of the NHL’s leaders in ratings and despite being the worst in the NHL…..guess what? the Sabres still sell out while I can still fit the Carolina Hurricanes fanbase in my living room, and the Niagara U hockey team draws more people than the Panthers….if anything, the NHL would want McDavid or Eichel in Buffalo

  4. bsaures - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    I think there does need to be some changes to the system. One part I dislike is how the order goes for the teams that make the playoffs. The order as it stands now is

    30. Stanley cup winner
    29. Stanley cup finalist
    28. Conferance finalist with best record
    27 Conferance finalist with worst record
    26. next highest record not to make it to the conference finals

    why does it stop at the conference finals? If you look last year Ottawa beat Montreal in the first round. Yet they get to draft 17th while Montreal drafts 25th.

    It should go

    worst to best regular season record of teams that lose 1st round then,
    worst to best regular season record of teams that lose 2nd round then,
    the rest as it is currently laid out

  5. getadealdonealready - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Wish there was a way to fine and take draft picks from teams who are tanking it. I would imagine the fans there would like to see a quality effort even in a losing season. It would be hard to enforce though, and where do you draw the line of playing youngsters vs trying not to win.

    Easiest solution game checks decided by winners of games. Maybe it’s time to rethink the pay structure of pro sports. Hockey would be the one to start it, as with the extra points for going to OT there is very little incentive to win in regulation any more. You see it in these playoff race games teams are content to not do anything to exciting in 3rd periods, just trying to get the guaranteed point.

  6. esracerx46 - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    Why even ave a lottery? I never understood the purpose of it. Team with worst record picks first, team that won Stanley Cup picks last.

    • alliceishome - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:25 PM

      Might I suggest reading the article, which clearly discusses why there is a lottery?

  7. jaxsoa83 - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    I love the NHL but this is y its a bad league right now just do it like the NFL that’s how its supposed to be. Y is that such a hard concept?

  8. atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    The KHL has an interesting solution, when the playoffs start the teams who miss the playoffs have their own tournament called “the cup of hope” the winner of that tournament gets the first overall pick.

    Not sure if I like it or not but it would eliminate tanking because you have to be good enough to win the B tournament, and it also eliminates the chance of any fixed lottery occurences such as the NBA allegedly had the year the Knicks won the right to draft Patrick Ewing.

  9. live4hockey - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    So under that model, how does a terrible team could ever become competitive…unless they get really lucky in later rounds, etc…?

  10. dutchman1350 - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    Its best for a “rebuilding” team to suck REALLY bad for a couple years and get an elite player, a la’ Pittsburgh who were lucky to be bad for Malkin, and Crosby (and Fluery). However, it doesn’t always work out as with Edmonton with all the #1s and still sucking.

    The teams who are bad, but try usually suffer the most. They end up with picks 5-10 where there is a bit more risk and not get an elite player (Columbus, Atlanta, Islanders,).

  11. kangarooparm - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    The Rangers should automatically get the 1st pick every year independent of the place they finish.

  12. djshnooks - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    If the NHL screws Buffalo out of McDavid or Eichel…the league offices, and Bettman’s house will probably be burned to the ground. And I personally will NEVER watch another NHL game again.

    Pat Lafontaine’s little girly ways will probably find a way to get the league offices to screw Buffalo either way…so put his house on that list as well.

    They’ve screwed us once to give Dallas a Stanley Cup…watch them do it again.

  13. travishenryskid - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    Sounds like a few big market teams who are on the decline are throwing a hissy fit because they won’t make the playoffs and they aren’t yet bad enough for a full rebuild. I’m looking at you Vancouver.

    If you think the top of the draft is such a prize, maybe you should have to put your fans what Sabres fans are dealing with.

  14. bencia823 - Mar 17, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    I just got the chance to watch Jack Eichel this weekend in a back to back with the Cedar Rapids Roughriders. He’s good, but I don’t see how people are acting like he’s going to be the future of the league. He’s a big right handed guy who is a little less physical and skilled than a guy like Rick Nash. He’ll probably fit in the league somewhere between Blake Wheeler-Rick Nash, but not much more than that. Obviously, that makes him very valuable, but I wouldn’t look at him in the same way that people see McDavid

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