Detroit Free Press
the 2020 The NHL Draft Lottery was revealed for its faults, rewarding a team deemed good enough to be in the playoffs and punishing the worst NHL team.
The Detroit Red Wings, which won only 17 games in 2019-20, were pushed as far as possible, picking up fourth place in Friday’s lottery. They participated in the event with an 18.5% chance of winning first choice in the general classification, but the draw for 15 teams also included eight places reserved for the teams which form part of the playoff scenario of “return to game “to 24 teams. One of them obtained the right to write first in the general classification.
“I’m not surprised,” said Wings general manager Steve Yzerman on Friday evening after finding out the results of the phase 1 draw. “We had an 18.5% chance of winning first choice . The eight playoff teams had a combined 24.5% chance of getting the pick, so the odds were better that the first choice went to the bottom eight than it was for us. “
The Los Angeles Kings moved from fourth to second place, and the Ottawa Senators will select third place.
[[[[The Red Wings’ bad luck in the draw continues: here’s who they could choose at number 4]
The NHL reorganized the lottery in response to COVID-19, which forced the league to suspend the season with three weeks before March 12. The Wings were the only one of the 31 teams to have locked in one place, their 17-49-5 record securing the last place.
The league announced in late May that the lottery will feature the seven teams that were at the bottom of the standings at the time of the save, plus eight losers from the qualifying round. Since Friday’s Phase 1 saw a play-in team land at the top pick, there will be a Phase 2 draw after the qualifying round to determine the identity of the team.
That is to say that a team that the NHL has deemed good enough to participate in the 2020 Stanley Cup can also earn the right to draft Alexis Lafrenière, the first consensus choice. Meanwhile, the Wings, who fell from the 25th in 2016-17, the 27th in 2017-18 and the 28th in 2018-19 at the lowest, were trapped.
“They have to do what they have to do,” said Yzerman. “Everything I say will be selfish. They have to do what they have to do. “
[[[[NHL Draw Countdown: What the Red Wings Could Do With Fourth Choice]
This is the fourth year in a row that the Wings have been pushed back. In 2017, they went from seventh to ninth; in 2018, from fifth to sixth; and in 2019, from fourth to sixth. They missed defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (2018, Buffalo) and striker Jack Hughes (2019, New Jersey).
The 2013 draft was the first time that all teams that did not qualify for the playoffs had the chance to win the first overall choice. From 1995 to 2012, the team that won the draw only progressed by four places. Since 2016, the first three spots have been determined by lottery.
The lottery was adopted to discourage teams from deliberately tanking, but the Wings did not land in 31st place on purpose. It was a one-line, one defenseman and one goalie team in desperate need of the first choice. Instead, it goes to a team that, in the event of a pandemic, is also deemed good enough to compete for the Stanley Cup.
Contact Helene St. James at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Learn more about the Detroit Red Wings and subscribe to our Red Wings newsletter.