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WWYDW: Fixing The Draft Lottery

It’s no secret that the results of the NHL Draft Lottery never seem to be in the Canucks’ favour. It’s hard to get too bent out of shape about it in a year where the team finished with the 9th best odds at the first overall pick, but it’s looking increasingly like the highest the Canucks will pick over their 4-year run of being the team with the worst accumulated record is 5th overall.

It’s not as though the Canucks are the only team with reasons to be frustrated by the current draft system. The Colorado Avalanche have now dropped down in the draft by three spots and missed out on the first overall pick twice.

Are you satisfied with the current Draft Lottery system? If not, what changes would you make?

Last week I asked: Do you agree with the final results [of the team awards]? Why or why not? What did your ballot look like?

Kootenaydude:

The Rodney Dangerfield / No Respect award should go to Horvat. Heck he is so unsung, he didn’t even get an award!! Played every game this season. Plays against the toughest opposition. Played over 22 minutes a game when injuries struck the other players. Took more faceoffs than anyone in the league. Takes equal defensive and offensive zone face-offs. Leads the team in goals, even though he’s played with a dozen different wingers. Yet never complains. Shows up to play every night and leads by example. No respect.

Jabs:

Horvat should be MVP with all of the heavy lifting he has done this year and at times seemed to carry the team on his back. Albeit, I suppose some could make that argument for Marky as well so I can accept that.

Forever1915:

Horvat should be recognized for leading the league in face-offs while maintaining a winning FO%.

Jim “Dumpster Fire” Benning:

Jim Benning deserves an award for “Greatest Genius” for his efforts to be the first pro sports GM to attempt to rebuild a franchise with absolutely zero focus on draft pick accumulation.

Props for trying (despite his own coach’s statements that this isn’t the “try league”).

Kudos Jimbo!

      • oh…except I don’t agree with the limit thing. If a team wins the number one 5 years in a row…so be it.

        High picks are obviously important for building a strong team, but they’re not the only thing.

  • Eliminate the lottery all together. Pro sports is the only industry in the world that colludes to control the lives of its employees from the time they’re teenagers until they’re in their late-20s. When you actually spend the time to think about what’s being done here, it’s grotesque.

    Allow teams to sign players to contracts on their 19th birthdays. Limit teams in the number of contracts they can sign. Leave it up to teams to scout players and develop talent. If you’re bad, well, fire your scouting staff and hire more competent scouts.

    • Totally agree with you on this one goon. I wonder how many people thumbing you down here would be OK with their job place being determined for them and them having absolutely no control over where they work or what their salary will be.

        • Easy for you to say from the outside. I suggest checking out the median average NHL career length, and salary numbers, combine that with the taxes, agent’s cuts etc…and general end of career health of an average player. Might not be quite as rosy a picture as you probably think it is.

        • It is a lot rosier than what I’m doing now and every time I look at an NHL players life, it seems pretty good man, regardless of which city they are ‘sent’ to and which position they are ‘forced’ to play. Can you imagine how difficult of a life a guy must have who had dreamed of playing Centre for the Leafs his whole life but it turned out he had to play the wing in New York? That must be rough man.

    • The problem with doing away with the draft is that it would create a league of haves and have nots…not good for business.

      (1) Location, location, location – most of the best players would be attracted to a smaller group of teams (NY, LA, etc.) and (2) although the player arms race might be held in check (limiting contracts) the richer teams would ridiculously boost up their scouting department (this already happens when it comes to TO, etc. but the draft evens things out).

      • Maybe.
        1) there are only so many roster spots on teams in NY or LA. Do you think one of the top centers in the league is going to want to be buried on the 4th line with limited minutes simply because there are a handful of guys better than him? Just so he can be in a big market? Would teams pay superstar dollars to a guy to play 10 minutes a night as a 4th liner? Guys will choose the places with opportunity as much as they will go for salary. Most of them will be able to get both from many teams.
        2) The NHL is a gate revenue based league. It will be up to the fans to support their team to provide the dollars for smaller market teams to be competitive. Along with good management. Why should failure be rewarded?

    • I like it from a fairness point of view. The challenge would be that teams like Edmonton would be at a huge disadvantage and forced to overpay for their prospects perpetuating their bottom feeder status. Imagine how the Oilers would look if McDavid and Draisaitl had a choice about where they went.

    • Eliminate the draft, but also eliminate restricted free agency. Free movement of players out of contract would be fair to labour. But it might also bring salaries down given that there would be a much larger pool of available players — perhaps one of the reasons why the players union agrees to it.

      I’d miss the spectacle of the draft and all the media and fan analysis that goes with it, so as a fan I am glad it will never happen.

      • This would kill the league. Top teams like Toronto, Canadians, New York would buy up all the best players, and all the marginal teams like Arizona or Carolina would die off. Teams like Edmonton would die off too, since they are undesirable locations to live in. Just look at baseball, where the New York Yankees are perpetually in the play offs, and so are all the other rich teams.

  • Id like to see more movement in the draft. Go for top 5 instead of top 3 allow teams to only pick top 3 once in 3 years. Make the odds easier for nonplayoff teams to move up. Ottawa sold the farm still ended up at 4, even though they lost it in a lousy deal.

    If you look at how are season ended trying to win games and bump back a spot while other horrible teams still have a top pick, would be even less tanking this way.

  • Several people have suggested a tiered system that is weighted (ie: the worst 4 teams are only eligible for the top 4 picks, the next 4 for spots 5-8, ect…), therefore the 15 teams (soon to be 16) can only move up 3 spots max within their group of 4.

    I don’t mind this but would prefer what Goon has suggested in completely doing away with the lottery and just going in reverse order like back in the day. Does this solve tanking issues? No, but who cares. Just make a rule that if you draft #1, you can’t draft #1 again for 5 years.

      • Would your suggestion not take us back to essentially before the salary cap where the richest teams would just offer more $ to players than smaller market teams could afford? Or are there caps on max contracts?

        • As I said above, you limit the number of contracts, and you maintain a salary cap.

          Apply a draft to any other industry. It’s completely and utterly absurd. Then realize the only reason we have a draft is because “that’s the way it’s always been”. It’s contemptible, exploitative, and only serves to further line the pockets of billionaire owners.

        • I’m going to assume there are 16 teams that don’t make the playoffs seeing the Seattle expansion is just around the corner. Bottom 8 with weighted odds go lottery style. A free for all with the chance any team can end up in any of the 8 positions. The 9-16th place teams draft in reverse order. Now the teams that draft 1st, 2nd and 3rd can not draft any higher than 8th, 7th or 6th the next year. This would ensure no less than 5 new teams drafting for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd pick every year.