I am livid. I am pissed off. I am not happy.
I am a few days removed and I am still trying to process the utter embarrassment that was the NHL draft lottery. That was an absolute joke and one that sadly was all too predictable. And it really ticks me off.
The Red Wings got screwed over. Straight up. After having a historically terrible season all they had to look forward to was the NHL draft lottery in hopes of getting the chance to select first overall. They now sit at pick four while they get to watch Alexis Lafreniere go to a playoff-calibre team.
I knew this lottery system was questionable from the moment they announced it. The more that I understood what could actually happen continued to frustrate me. -Knowing all too well this was set up to be rigged one way or another.
Here's the real irony: the NHL primarily did the draft lottery tonight so that the non play-in teams could have something to talk about, generate some buzz in those markets. The only buzz generated tonight was in the play-in markets, and it's the wrong kind of buzz.
— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) June 27, 2020
I am not upset at the fact that the Red Wings got screwed over. It’s more so that we know who is going to be drafted at number one, but we don’t know who holds that pick. And we won’t know for quite a while.
This marks the first time in NHL Draft Lottery history that a team without 1 of the league's 7 worst records will grab the 1st overall pick
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) June 27, 2020
What the NHL should have done was just hold a seven-team lottery consisting of the seven teams that didn’t make the playoffs/play-in series. That way we would have been able to see Lafreniere help turn around a struggling team beginning next season. Instead, there is a chance that we see Lafreniere on the same line as Sidney Crosby next year.
Yes, you read that correctly. That is a serious possibility. The kid that was once getting comparisons to Crosby could potentially be his linemate next year after Pittsburgh finished the regular season in the top 10 in total points.
Or hell, can you imagine Lafreniere next to Conner McDavid and Leon Draisitl? That is just as deadly, if not even more so. Or what about being to the left of John Tavares or Auston Matthews? Because that is also a possibility.
It seems that the NHL wants so badly to push Lafreniere onto a team where he will have instant success team-wise. Why else would teams such as Pittsburgh, Toronto, and Edmonton have a realistic shot at a clear plug-and-play left-winger?
Perhaps, I would have less of an issue if the odds were staggered amongst the remaining teams, but as it stands, all eight teams that will be in contention for that pick will have the same 12.5% chance at that pick.
One of the eight teams that loses in the #NHL's play-in round will have the No. 1 overall pick in the Draft. Each of the eight losing teams will have an equal 12.5% chance in a second lottery draw to be conducted at a later date.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 27, 2020
That right there is just flat out stupid. Did the first seven teams have equal odds of getting the first pick? No. Did they get equal odds of getting a top-three pick? No. So then why should the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins have the same odds of getting the first overall pick? Those two teams were separated by 14 points when the regular season concluded. And if both teams get bounced in the play-in round they will both have a 12.5% chance at 1st overall.
I would be perfectly fine if the odds were in favour of the team with the lowest point total and the team with the most points has the lowest odds. Because that’s how it is in every other draft! So why is it different this year? Because the league fixed/is fixing the draft…and until I see a good reason to believe otherwise, I’m sticking to my guns.
It’s ridiculous, it’s a joke, and this lottery is foolish. And while the NHL’s master plan still needs to have the right dominos fall into place, I wouldn’t run it past them to have a back-up plan in case they can’t put Lafreniere on the Penguins.