After a lockout wiped out the 2004/2005 season the NHL had to come up with a plan on how to decide the draft order for the "Sidney Sweepstakes." Sidney Crosby had been heralded as the #1 choice for the 2005 draft since he was 14 years old, and now the NHL had the dubious task of trying to come up with a "fair" process to determine which franchise would choose him first overall.
Some have suggested the actual lottery was rigged to allow Pittsburgh to draft the league’s next great player. Regardless of that
fact rumour, the rules they came up with prior to the lottery were as follows:
2005 DRAFT RULES
Each team began with three balls in the lottery barrel. For every playoff appearance in the three previous seasons or No. 1 overall picks in the previous four years they lost a ball. No team would end up with less than one ball.
Under that scenario Buffalo, Columbus, NYR and Pittsburgh had the best chance of drafting Crosby with each of them having the maximum three balls.
Even though Columbus had a first overall pick in the previous four years, 2002, they didn’t lose a ball because they traded up to get that pick. Florida won the lottery that year and traded the pick to the Blue Jackets.
Anaheim, Atlanta, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Nashville, and Phoenix had two balls. Atlanta lost a ball due to the Kovalchuk pick in 2001, while the rest all lost one due to one playoff appearance in the previous three seasons.
While Boston, Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, Florida, Montreal, New Jersey, NYI, Ottawa, Philly, San Jose, St.Louis, Tampa, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington had one.
Florida ended up losing two balls because they won the lottery in 2002 and 2003. They ended up trading both picks away, so not only did Florida screw themselves by trading down from #1 both years, and losing both deals, they also lost two balls in the 2005 lottery. Fail.
Here are the results of the 2005 lottery.
|1||Pittsburgh Penguins 3 balls|
|2||Mighty Ducks of Anaheim 2 balls|
|3||Carolina Hurricanes 2 balls|
|4||Minnesota Wild 2 balls|
|5||Montreal Canadiens 1 ball|
|6||Columbus Blue Jackets 3 balls|
|7||Chicago Blackhawks 2 balls|
|8||Atlanta Thrashers 2 balls|
|9||Ottawa Senators 1 ball|
|10||Vancouver Canucks 1 ball|
|11||Los Angeles Kings 2 balls|
|12||San Jose Sharks 1 ball|
|13||Buffalo Sabres 3 balls|
|14||Washington Capitals 1 ball|
|15||New York Islanders 1 ball|
|16||New York Rangers 3 balls|
|17||Phoenix Coyotes 2 balls|
|18||Nashville Predators 2 balls|
|19||Detroit Red Wings 1 ball|
|20||Philadelphia Flyers 1 ball|
|21||Toronto Maple Leafs 1 ball|
|22||Boston Bruins 1 ball|
|23||New Jersey Devils 1 ball|
|24||St. Louis Blues 1 ball|
|25||Edmonton Oilers 2 balls|
|26||Calgary Flames 2 balls|
|27||Colorado Avalanche 1 ball|
|28||Dallas Stars 1 ball|
|29||Florida Panthers 1 ball|
|30||Tampa Bay Lightning 1 ball|
* Sharks traded the 12th pick (Marc Staal), the 49th (Chad Denny) and #207 (Myles Stoesz) to the Thrashers for the #8 pick (Devin Setoguchi).
**Thrashers then traded down again. Moving the #12 pick (Marc Staal) to the Rangers for the #16 pick (Alex Bourret), and #41 pick (Ondrej Pavelec).
***Flyers traded down. They moved the #20th pick (Kenndal McArdle) to the Panthers for the 29th pick (Steve Downie), 2006 second round pick (Cory Emmerton. 41st pick).
****Capitas acquired the #27 pick (Joe Finley) from the Avalanche for the 47th pick (Tom Fritsche) and the 52nd pick (Chris Durand).
Outisde of the sheer lunacy of this lockout, it is eerie how eight years later the consensus first overall pick is from the same hometown, Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, as Crosby. Nathan McKinnon is lighting up the QMJHL with 17 goals and 26 points in 14 games. While some will try to hype a McKinnon/Seth Jones battle, Mckinnon will be the first pick next summer.
We don’t know for sure if the NHL would use the same scenario as 2005, but I don’t see any reason why they would change it. Going off of the 2005 rules the Edmonton Oilers, despite never making the playoffs, will have only one of the fifty balls in the barrel.
Seventeen teams will have one ball:
Six teams will have two balls:
Seven teams will have three balls:
WORST CASE SCENARIO
Hopefully we see hockey and not another league-wide lottery, but if we do have a lottery three Canadian teams have the best odds of winning.
The Flames have never had a top-five pick. They’ve picked sixth three times, Cory Stillman in 1992, Daniel Tkaczuk in 1997 and Rico Fata in 1998.
The Jets have had four top-five picks. They took Dale Hawerchuk 1st overall in 1981, Dave Babych 2nd overall in 1980, Stu Barnes 4th overall in 1989 and Aaron Ward 5th overall in 1991.
The Leafs have had seven top-five picks: Wendal Clark 1st overall in 1985, Scott Thornton 3rd overall in 1989, Gary Nylund 3rd overall in 1982, Lanny McDonald 4th overall in 1973, Al Iafrate 4th overall in 1984, Luke Schenn 5th overall in 2008 and Morgan Rielly 5th overall in 2012.
Let’s hope there is hockey so we can mock the fans of the team with the worst record, rather than complain about how the NHL rigged the lottery and gave Phoenix/Quebec the first overall pick.
**Keep in mind there has to be a new CBA before they can hold the draft. In 2005 the draft was held on July 30th at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa.**