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Is the NHL draft lottery system broken?


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#1 Langdon Algur

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 01:36 PM

With the Oilers set to pick 1st in the NHL draft for the 3rd time in a row, lately I've been thinking a lot about the NHL draft system.  Does anyone else think it is backwards for the NHL to reward failure?  Under the current system teams that finish 9th or 10th in their conference are punished for trying while teams that finish dead last get the best chance for the first overall pick.  So if you are looking like a seller rather than a buyer around trade deadline time, what's the incentive for your team to win?  Why bother even trying? Hence we hear terms like "Fall for Hall", "Fail for Nail" or "Stop winning for McKinnon" which frankly makes the league look like a joke.

Anyone else sick of teams like the Oilers being rewarded while teams that are constantly good like Detroit are forced to retool with late round picks? I understand the current system was developed in order to create more parity and fairness, but with the salary cap now in place I think we have enough parity already.  In fact I'm kind of sick of pariaty myself.  Anyone else miss the old dynasty day's of the Oilers, Isles or even the Wings.  It was fun to watch teams try and match up against those giants and see if they could pull off an upset.

My proposal is that we keep the draft lottery system but reverse the odds.  That way teams that just barely miss the playoffs get the best chance at the number 1 pick.  Consider this a sort of constilation prize for teams that come close but just miss the playoffs.  This new system will provide all teams with an incentive to keep winning all year making the regular season way more interesting to watch for fans of all teams.  Plus under this system you won't see GMs like Tamby rewarded with a contract extension after finishing last or near last year years in a row.

End rant.  What do you think?

Edited by Langdon Algur, 26 November 2012 - 12:50 PM.

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#2 Froggy Fresh

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 01:39 PM

That's a really good idea. I wouldn't mind seeing this implemented into the NHL. Maybe Calgary will finally get the prospects they need.
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#3 goalie13

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 01:48 PM

I don't like it.

One of the only things that gives teams at the bottom hope is that they might get that high pick to help them get off the bottom. Why kick a team when they are down?
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#4 Langdon Algur

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 01:52 PM

I don't like it.

One of the only things that gives teams at the bottom hope is that they might get that high pick to help them get off the bottom. Why kick a team when they are down?


why reward failure? What about teams like Calgary, Toronto and Florida who so often just miss the playoffs but at least are competitive. How often do we see these teams climb out of think funk and get good? Yet lots of former last place teams like Pittsburgh and Washington are able to become contenders all because they got high picks for losing. In my mind the just outside looking in teams need and deserve just as much help as the last place teams.
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#5 Hyzer

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 01:53 PM

Yeah if their team is last... they pretty much need the pick to save themselves (hopefully) next season. If we did this, Columbus will be screwed forever.
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#6 Tortorella's Rant

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 01:56 PM

Both have pros and cons depending on how you look at it.
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#7 TimberWolf

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 02:00 PM

With a cap system designed for parity and a league revenue sharing system, there is no excuse to fail. First pick should go to the team that just missed the playoffs.

If that were the case, those teams just missing the playoffs would battle for it

Edited by TimberWolf, 07 June 2012 - 02:01 PM.

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#8 ajhockey

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 02:02 PM

I like it the way it is. If the draft isn't the way it is, teams like Columbus stay horrible for eternity. Not good for the NHL or the fans.
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#9 Langdon Algur

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 02:14 PM

I like it the way it is. If the draft isn't the way it is, teams like Columbus stay horrible for eternity. Not good for the NHL or the fans.


The BJ's joined the NHL in 2000 and have made the playoffs once. They have yet to win a single playoff game. Is the current system working any better?

Edited by Langdon Algur, 07 June 2012 - 02:15 PM.

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#10 avelanch

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 02:21 PM

i propose that every team that misses the playoffs should have an equal chance to get a top 5 pick. the lottery should have 14 balls in a cage, one with each team's logo. then 5 balls are pulled in consecutive order, picking spots 1-5, then the rest of the picks are determined by final standings as it sits today.
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#11 Legend Killer

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 02:25 PM

i propose that every team that misses the playoffs should have an equal chance to get a top 5 pick. the lottery should have 14 balls in a cage, one with each team's logo. then 5 balls are pulled in consecutive order, picking spots 1-5, then the rest of the picks are determined by final standings as it sits today.

This works. Less incentive to lose.
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#12 avelanch

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 02:29 PM

This works. Less incentive to lose.

exactly, it doesn't reward failure (top 5 pick no longer a guarantee) and it doesn't handicap teams good enough to perennially challenge for a playoff spot, and actually push themselves to try to make it, but just fall short, dooming them to the middle of the pack for eternity.

Also, it doesn't ignore the bottom teams as they will still get good picks if they don't get a lottery spot, good enough to help their future, and it might give a fringe team the small boost they need to finally make the playoffs/succeed.

Edited by avelanch, 07 June 2012 - 02:31 PM.

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#13 250Integra

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 02:41 PM

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Edited by 250Integra, 07 June 2012 - 11:55 PM.

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#14 ice orca

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 03:21 PM

Reward losers what is it now 4 friggin 1st picks.
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#15 Dion Phaneuf

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 03:27 PM

Brocken ? LOL.


I agree that the system is BROKEN but giving teams that finished just out of the playoffs like Buffalo a top 5 pick wouldn't be fair either.

There really isn't a perfect solution thus the problem continues to linger on.
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#16 avelanch

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 03:49 PM

Brocken ? LOL.


I agree that the system is BROKEN but giving teams that finished just out of the playoffs like Buffalo a top 5 pick wouldn't be fair either.

There really isn't a perfect solution thus the problem continues to linger on.

why not? at least they tried to make the playoffs.
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#17 Dion Phaneuf

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 04:01 PM

why not? at least they tried to make the playoffs.


Add a Nail Yakupov to the team and then they become instant contenders.

It's defintely not a bad solution but the problems would still be there.
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#18 Tony Romo

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 07:26 PM

Teams can't have be in the top 5 for back to back years.


Edited by Tony Romo, 07 June 2012 - 07:28 PM.

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#19 ajhockey

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 10:46 PM

The BJ's joined the NHL in 2000 and have made the playoffs once. They have yet to win a single playoff game. Is the current system working any better?


They still aren't doing great, yes, but there's no doubt that they'd be doing better in the current system than if they changed it. I can't see how being forced to draft lower would help them.
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#20 Ghostsof1915

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 10:59 PM

There's more to the draft than just position. People are forgetting the idea of the draft in the first place. It's to help teams that don't have good players get better. If you have a draft lottery the weak teams don't improve. If anything the whole lottery concept is a failure from guys in the NBA and Bettman who are failures.

The NFL has a simple set up. Worst team drafts first. There's no dynasties. Good teams and good managers keep them competitive through great scouting. Just getting 1st overall when you have a bunch of monkeys running your franchise could still be a disaster. The NFL is arguably the best league in the world of sports in terms of profit. Random draws could mean a Stanley Cup winner gets a franchise once in a decade player, how fair is that for a team trying to improve itself just to get INTO the playoffs?

In fact with the draft lottery, notice there's teams in the NBA that NEVER get good?

Dump the lottery in my opinion. In fact dump the lottery and dump Phoenix and the Islanders, hold a dispersal draft and have a 28 team league. Then everyone wins.
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#21 Jaku

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 11:02 PM

Both have pros and cons depending on how you look at it.


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#22 Argon

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 11:49 PM

exactly, it doesn't reward failure (top 5 pick no longer a guarantee) and it doesn't handicap teams good enough to perennially challenge for a playoff spot, and actually push themselves to try to make it, but just fall short, dooming them to the middle of the pack for eternity.

Also, it doesn't ignore the bottom teams as they will still get good picks if they don't get a lottery spot, good enough to help their future, and it might give a fringe team the small boost they need to finally make the playoffs/succeed.

kind of like my idea, where all the teams are in the lottery for the 1st pick, but it still favours those who are lower in the standings. maybe have the last place team with a 25% chance instead of a 49%, and go down from there to the remaining 13 teams out of the playoffs
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#23 goalie13

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 12:01 AM

why reward failure?


I guess that's the difference. I don't look at it as a reward. I look at it as leveling the playing field.

If it wasn't for bad teams getting top draft picks, the Canucks may have never got the chance to sign Linden... or either Sedin.
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#24 Butters Stoch

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 12:12 AM

Pisses me off to see the Oilers get 3 1st picks in a row, I hope they all ask for a huge raise as soon as they can to screw the Oilers over.
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#25 MoneypuckOverlord

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 12:29 AM

I'm ok with the draft lottery. Nothing wrong with it. I just didn't imagine the OIlers will do such thing.
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#26 Tortorella's Rant

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 12:39 AM

You could just make the entire draft order a lottery. Nobody is guaranteed any position. Put the balls in the machine, draw names from a hat, whatever, and pick the order. That way the draft order is consistently inconsistent because it's changing every single year and nobody is rewarded for sucking.

Of course people will cry conspiracy, etc..
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#27 NZCanuck

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 03:45 AM

There's more to the draft than just position. People are forgetting the idea of the draft in the first place. It's to help teams that don't have good players get better. If you have a draft lottery the weak teams don't improve. If anything the whole lottery concept is a failure from guys in the NBA and Bettman who are failures.

The NFL has a simple set up. Worst team drafts first. There's no dynasties. Good teams and good managers keep them competitive through great scouting. Just getting 1st overall when you have a bunch of monkeys running your franchise could still be a disaster. The NFL is arguably the best league in the world of sports in terms of profit. Random draws could mean a Stanley Cup winner gets a franchise once in a decade player, how fair is that for a team trying to improve itself just to get INTO the playoffs?

In fact with the draft lottery, notice there's teams in the NBA that NEVER get good?

Dump the lottery in my opinion. In fact dump the lottery and dump Phoenix and the Islanders, hold a dispersal draft and have a 28 team league. Then everyone wins.


That's an interesting view and you're right, the NFL model has worked extremely well from parity, to advertising revenue and so forth. I've posted the below on a couple of ocassions and would be interested on your thoughts.

I wish the NHL would change it's Draft seeding rules. In the days of parity when all teams have equal opportunity through the cap why do the bottom teams consistently get the best draft picks and the opportunity to field the best teams at entry level contract dollars. We're starting to see a swing now where the teams that have built the hard way i.e. Detroit, are starting to fade and teams that have been consistently average, such as the Oilers are becoming the new teams of stars purely through incompetence.

There is potential that in a few years time the Canucks will fade back into obscurity because outside of the top 5 it's a real challenge to get a 'sure pick'. Yes it does happen i.e. Rinne (and any player ever drafted by Detroit haha) but the chances are slim. In the last 13 years the Canucks have had 1 top 5 pick (traded for the second pick to get the Sedins) and they have then complemented them through later picks in Kesler, Bieksa etc. No team should need or should get multiple top 5 picks year on year because a ) their ownership isn't willing to pay for a full team or b ) their GM handcuffed the team with dumb signings.

The draft should be a lottery with all teams having 1 shot at the top pick and maybe give the bottom 5-10 teams 2 shots in the draw.


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#28 .Naslund

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 10:55 PM

Just make the lottery like the NBA's.
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#29 Pears

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 11:02 PM

Not bad. What about if the team that loses in the Stanley Cup Final gets the 1st overall pick, and the team that finished 30th gets the 2nd overall pick?
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#30 thegodcreation

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 12:12 AM

How about simply having the non playoff teams draft in order of their final standings. In other words, the 9th place team gets the 1st pick and the 30th place team in the entire league gets the 14th pick
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