Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators fans are naturally unhappy, while suddenly those looking for one of the 16 qualifying teams in the NHL return-to-play plan became much more interested in the odds as we focus on the game turn followed by the second phase of the lottery project.
If you supported chaos, you were the biggest winner on Friday.
There are so many possible results now, as we contemplate the second phase, which will follow the qualifying round once the NHL resumes play.
We have sixteen teams, eight of which will officially go into the playoffs, while the losing clubs could ultimately change the fortune of their franchise with a 12.5% chance of winning the first overall draft pick this year.
Each possibility is accompanied by a mixed reaction bag. So we put them in order of outrage.
” YOU HAVE EU TO REDUCE ME. ”
Pittsburgh Penguins, Edmonton Oilers
First of all, a warning: no sensible hockey fan is at least a little curious to see the vast world of puck possibilities that would open up by placing Alexis Lafrenière on the wing of one of the two major centers all time. Seeing the likely first choice in the general classification alongside Sidney Crosby or Connor McDavid would be a constant highlight… But it would also be a constant reminder of the biggest flaw in this year’s lottery system, gift wrapping the best perspective in the sport for a team that needs him the least.
Three losses to Chicago this summer would give the Oilers an even better shot at Lafrenière than they had gotten at McDavid.
Hockey Twitter could actually burn.
The Penguins, meanwhile, are still living off the riches of the ultimate lotto of 2005 when they landed Crosby. Three Stanley Cups later, Crosby & Co. ranked fifth in the Eastern Conference and seventh in the league.
We knew that this lottery system couldn’t be perfect. But this result would only make the rich much richer.
SORRY, SENSE FANS.
Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Islanders
The 2020 NHL Entry Draft was to belong to the Senators.
Between their penultimate place in the standings and the third best lottery odds for the San Jose Sharks (via the trade of Erik Karlsson), the club entered the draw on Friday evening with a combined chance of 25% of pick up number 1. – global selection. It seemed quite likely that they could come out of the draws with two choices from the top three. As we all know by now, they ended up with choices # 3 and # 5.
In a crazy twist of fate, the first choice of the Senators who could still Actually winning the lottery wouldn’t end up being theirs after all.
As part of their agreement with the Islanders who sent Jean-Gabriel Pageau to New York, the Senators received a first-round pick in 2020 – a protected by lottery choice of first round. If the Islanders – who, when the season ended in March, were only one point away from a wild card spot – lose their game streak to the Panthers and continue to win the second phase of the lottery with this very choose… that might be too much for a fan base.
And in a wild knife twist … the provincial filing for the Senators in Toronto now has a better chance of winning first place overall than they do.
NOT EXACTLY FAIR… BUT DEFINITELY FUN
Calgary Flames, Nashville Predators
After successes, Calgary and Nashville find themselves in the middle of the league table in 2019-20 and need a makeover. While neither should be able to claim the first choice, it appears that a lottery win for either club did not register the amount of the indignation like, for example, the Penguins or the Oilers or the Maple Leafs.
Dropping a young playmaker into one of these lists would be just the ticket to revive one of these winning clubs for, well, win now.
THE HOCKEY GODS TALKED
Winnipeg Jets, New York Rangers
Friday, those who deepened the results of the lottery learned that it was officially Team E who won first place in the general classification.
If you were to (very unofficially) align the March 12 ranking with the lottery odds, Team E would technically be the Winnipeg Jets. A defeat and a second phase win for Winnipeg would mean that the Hockey Gods would not mess up.
Swap the “hockey gods” for the “league marketing gods” and you get a New York Ranger victory. Seeing a future NHL star help bring an Original Six franchise back in the running would be a better scenario for the NHL – and it would also be perfect for Lafreniere, as another piece that can significantly speed up New York’s reconstruction.
A SNEAKY-FUN RESULT
Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes
From a league perspective, the Panthers aren’t exactly a dream destination for the NHL’s best hope considering Florida’s status as a smaller club. But in strictly hockey terms, this could actually be a good choice. The Panthers seem a bit stuck between struggle and reconstruction, and landing Lafrieniere would suddenly give them permission to go all out on their young prospects coming down the pipeline, like Grigory Denisenko, Owen Tippett and Aleksi Heponiemi – especially at one point where two of the team’s top scorers (Mike Hoffman and Evgenii Dadonov) approach free will. DG Dale Tallon was not afraid to make bold choices, bringing in goalkeeper Sergei Bobrovsky last year, and would suddenly have a cap-friendly star he could get around.
Although Carolina is in much better shape to win now than Florida, seeing Lafreniere in uniform and the storm with the Hurricanes would be incredibly fun to watch. The fast-paced young team conquered the world of hockey last season and one of the smallest markets in the game would continue to grow, with the best young prospect joining its ranks.
SOME GUYS ARE LUCKY
Arizona Coyotes, Chicago Blackhawks
After acquiring Taylor Hall of the Devils in search of a Stanley Cup round, it is entirely possible that the Coyotes will get the top overall pick.
After being first overall in Edmonton for 2010, Hall watched his Oilers pick the top picks (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in 2011 and Nail Yakupov in 2012) and was still there in 2015 for the McDavid sweepstake. His luck accompanied him to New Jersey, where his Devils won the lottery in 2017 and 2019.
The Chicago Blackhawks, on the other hand, can double their chance in the lottery and get their own streak if they end up winning first place. They jumped into third place overall last year with the 12th best rating – the same rating that “Team E” had this year.
Okay, they really deserve it
Vancouver Canucks, Columbus Blue Jackets
The Canucks have not been known for their lottery luck in recent years. In 2017, they went from second best to fifth and also lost a place in each of the last two lotteries.
It would be a pretty bold reversal to see the Canucks, if they lost their qualifying round streak, finally see the balls bounce in their favor. In addition, put Lafreniere in a team with Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and Quinn Hughes and we are counting the days until 2020-2021.
Although the Blue Jackets were not burned in the lottery, they suffered large losses on the front line of the free agency. Columbus could have pulled back last year, with UFAs waiting Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky heading for the door, but instead loaded on the deadline and gave us one of the first laps the craziest we’ve ever seen. They could have pulled back this year as well, after seeing their three biggest stars walk away for nothing, but despite a series of injuries, the blue-collar club was fighting for a playoff spot in the home stretch. Choice # 1 would be the ultimate reward for not giving up.
THE LOGIC WINS
Montreal Canadiens, Minnesota Wild
Imagine if, after all this, a real lottery team wins the first choice? Suddenly, everything would feel a little more normal, right?
The 24-team NHL return-to-play format and two-phase lottery wreaked havoc on the luck of the Montreal lottery, potential owners of the eighth best odds at the end of the season. It could work after all. You have to admit that it would also be a great story – a local kid lands with the home team, in a project that was to be hosted in Montreal. It’s just a little fair … right?
Another deserving second-phase scenario would be Minnesota – although the Wild actually had a pretty hot streak before the season ended, it was not enough to catch up with their Central Division peers in the Wild Card race. A youth boost for the aging club would go a long way in this hockey market.