A proposal to change the Draft Lottery

This year’s race to the #1 draft pick has underlined the fact that teams do their best to improve their chances at getting the #1 pick. Case in point- Tampa Bay lightning icing Vincent Lecavalier with an eighth of the season to go. With the playoffs out of reach, Tampa decided it was best to schedule their best player for surgery so that he has time to rehab for next season. I don’t see it as that, I see it as a way to improve their chances to the #1 draft pick. I think this tanking of your team is against the idea of sport, a slap in the face to your fanbase and just generally uncool and square.

What do I propose? A playdown for draft seeding. This would happen immediately after the regular season and involve the teams that missed the playoffs. It would take a week to complete and allow the playoff bound teams some rest before the grind of the playoffs.  Seeding would be based on how teams performed in the regular season and home ice advantage would always default to the team with the worst  record.  When everything is said and done the draft positions would be based on how far teams made it in the playdown.

The bracket would set up in an eastern and western bracket and teams would be reverse seeded based on how they finished in the regular season. This is what I propose with teams for the 2009 season to show the seeding (click on image for larger view):

NHL DRAFT BRACKET

NHL DRAFT BRACKET

A draft playdown has some great possibilities:

  • Gives fan bases of poor teams something to cheer for
  • Opens up hockey to a fanbase that loves brackets
  • Reduces the risk of teams tanking it and resting their best players to get a good draft seed
  • Gives all non playoff bound teams a chance at the # 1 pick
  • Generate more revenue for non-playoff bound teams
  • Allows teams to try-out prospects in their farm system
  • Gambling potential!!!

I like it and I hope you do to.

Rock on.

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2 Responses to “A proposal to change the Draft Lottery”


  1. 1 toblerusse April 10, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    This idea is pretty interesting. How does it work with regard to the other picks after #1. It seems as though the islanders and avs would have an edge in this format and an inside track to locking down a top 4 pick…. Am i misunderstanding something there?

    With this format, there might still be some tanking down the stretch but the pros you listed outweigh the cons for sure.

    You should send this link to some bigger nhl related sites and spread the word. Could change the game.

    One thing you need to remember to factor in is the international hockey that takes place overseas at this time of the year. Lots of players go straight their after game 82 if they aren’t in the playoffs.

  2. 2 H April 10, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Toblerusse-

    The seeding once the playdown is completed would be that the 2nd place team would get the 2nd pick, 3rd place team (on goals differential) would get the 3rd pick, etc…

    I suppose it wouldn’t really stop teams from tanking, but at the least would make it that the team would have to earn the #1 pick.

    I think that the international tournament isn’t that big of a problem. I would hope that teams would take this opportunity to test prospects and would let their better players go on overseas duty.


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