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NHL Draft lottery – what are the odds it was fixed?

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Canucks fans aren’t far removed from conspiracy theories, so here’s a hypothesis to comment on – what if the draft lottery was fixed? Could it even be possible?


Some facts to chew on:


We know the draft was in Toronto. We also know Brendan Shanahan, the NHL's former Senior Vice President, has admitted to being directly involved in the ball selection over the years, and was the Leafs’ representative at the lottery draft. (No surprise that he was the Leaf rep, as he is their President. But one might be suspicious of his seemingly conflicting background.)


We know Edmonton was the winner the previous year, adding more assurance that the process isn’t generally fixed, as there would be little incentive for the NHL to have Edmonton win. We also know Toronto had the best chance of securing first, so it shouldn’t be seen as a surprise if they won. But we also know Toronto had an 80% that they wouldn’t win the first selection.


We know the NHL doesn’t show the lottery process live. The main reason I’ve heard in terms of why not is because of the complicated formula of balls that determine the winner, rather than a team logo on each ball. Still, the lack of transparency in such an important process is puzzling. Even local radio stations livestream similar types of contests these days – not for ratings, but for transparency.


A Sportsnet page asks the daring question, “HOW DO I KNOW IT'S NOT RIGGED?” With a response, “The number-drawing process is supervised by accounting firm Ernst & Young.” http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/2016-nhl-draft-lottery-odds-simulator-auston-matthews-maple-leafs-oilers-toronto-april-30/


Well, we know Ernst & Young is a multinational professional auditing firm, one of the ‘big four’ audit firms in the world. Sounds very reputable, but a bit of digging also shows that Ernst & Young are included as being involved in one of the 10 top accounting scandals of all time.  http://www.accounting-degree.org/scandals/


In fact, on its wiki page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_%26_Young), Ernst & Young are involved in a laundry list of significant accounting scandals, which I’ll list below.


So, with all that in mind, I’ll admit that it seems like a far stretch that the NHL and / or Toronto Maple Leafs would manipulate the lottery results. But given all the money in this business, and all the incentive with that franchise, coupled with the lack of transparency in the process, and the potential conflicts of interest in Toronto’s / NHL’s roles and representation – is it possible? Does anyone feel even a little bit suspicious?




Ernst and Young has been involved in the following accounting scandals - Informix Corporation (1996), Sybase (1997), Cendant (1998), One.Tel (2001), AOL(2002), HealthSouth Corporation (2003), Chiquita Brands International (2004), Lehman Brothers (2010), Sino-Forest Corporation (2011) and Olympus Corporation (2011).


Equitable Life (2004)


In April 2004, Equitable Life, a UK life assurance company, sued EY after nearly collapsing but abandoned the case in September 2005. EY described the case as "a scandalous waste of time, money and resources for all concerned."[46]


Bally Total Fitness (2008)


Following allegations by the Securities and Exchange Commission that EY had committed accounting fraud in its work auditing the books of Bally Total Fitness, EY reached two settlements in 2008, including a fine of $8.5million.[47]


Anglo Irish Bank (2009)


In 2009, in the Anglo Irish Bank hidden loans controversy, EY was criticised by politicians[48] and the shareholders of Anglo Irish Bank for failing to detect large loans to Sean FitzPatrick, its Chairman, during its audits. The Irish Government had to subsequently take full ownership of the Bank at a cost of €28 billion.[49][50] The Irish Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board appointed John Purcell to investigate.[51] EY said it "fundamentally disagrees with the decision to initiate a formal disciplinary process" and that "there has been no adverse finding made against EY in respect of the audit of Anglo Irish Bank."[52]


Sons of Gwalia (2009)


In 2009, EY, the former auditors of Sons of Gwalia, agreed to a $125m settlement over their role in the gold miner’s collapse in 2004. Ferrier Hodgson, the company's administrator, had claimed EY was negligent over the accounting of gold and dollar hedging contracts. However, EY said that the proposed settlement was not an admission of any liability.[53]


Akai Holdings (2009) and Moulin Global Eyecare (2010)


In 2009, EY agreed to pay US$200m out of court to settle a negligence claim by the liquidators of Akai Holdings.[54] It was alleged that EY falsified dozens of documents to cover up the theft of over US$800m by Akai's chairman, James Ting - in some cases documents had been painted over with correcting fluid and then written over by hand.[55] In a separate lawsuit a former EY partner, Cristopher Ho, made a "substantial payment" to Akai creditors in his role as chairman of the company that had bought Akai just before it went bust in 2000.[56] Police raided the Hong Kong office and arrested an EY partner who had been an audit manager on the Akai account from December 1997, although audit documents had been doctored dating back to 1994.[55] The EY partner for the Akai account between 1991 and 1999, David Sun Tak-kei, faced no charges and went on to become co-managing partner for EY China.[55] A few months later EY settled a similar claim of up to HK$300m from the liquidators of Moulin Global Eyecare, an audit client of the Hong Kong affiliate between 2002 and 2004.[54] The liquidators described the Moulin accounts as a "morass of dodginess".[54]


Lehman Brothers (2010)


The Valukas Report issued in 2010[57] charged that Lehman Brothers engaged in a practice known as repo 105 and that EY, Lehman's auditor, was aware of it. New York prosecutors announced in 2010[58] that they have sued the firm. EY said that its last audit of Lehman Brothers was for the fiscal year ending 30 November 2007 and that Lehman’s financial statements were fairly presented in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.[59][60][61] In March 2015, EY settled Lehman-related lawsuits in New Jersey and California.[62]


Standard Water (2013)


EY Hong Kong resigned from the audit of Standard Water on when it emerged that although EY Hong Kong had signed off the audit, it had been effectively outsourced to the affiliate in mainland China, which had received 99.98% of the fee.[63] This was important because shareholders have less confidence in mainland auditors and because audit papers on the mainland are subject to state secrecy laws and can be withheld from outside regulators.[63] EY's quality and risk management leader (Greater China) even testified in the Court of First Instance that he was not sure whether there was a formal agreement covering the relationship between the two EY entities.[63] The court case in 2013 came as US regulators were taking an interest in similar cases of accounting fraud in mainland China.[63]


Hellas Telecommunications (2015)


In 2015, Britain's accounting regulator, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), reprimanded Ernst & Young (EY) for its involvement in the Wind Hellas scandal involving mainly TPGApax Partners & Nikesh Arora. EY agreed to become administrator of Hellas Telecommunications even though EY had been its accountant for the previous three years. The company was fined £250, 000 ($390, 850) for ethical breaches


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I'll always be skeptical after the Ovechkin, Crosby, and Kane lottery wins. Those franchises all won the lottery when they needed it the most.


As for this one, who knows. Wouldn't surprise me if it was, but at least the last place team won it and not one with the lowest of chances.

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2 minutes ago, inane said:

They didn't show that live, not to mention wtf does that bunch of numbers mean to anyone.... they didn't show us before hand which numbers linked to which teams as far as I know.


I'm not saying that it was rigged but that video after the fact doesn't give any kind of guarantee that it wasn't/ 

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Just now, Aladeen said:

They didn't show that live, not to mention wtf does that bunch of numbers mean to anyone.... they didn't show us before hand which numbers linked to which teams as far as I know.


I'm not saying that it was rigged but that video after the fact doesn't give any kind of guarantee that it wasn't/ 

The list is out there of all the numbers. 


Stop being silly.

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You think the lottery is fixed because the team with the greatest odds to win won?


You actually think the NHL would step in to benefit 1) Toronto and 2) Winnipeg? Two teams with hardcore fanbases who sell out their games despite losing records?


...Are you really that daft???

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