NHL and team executives sharing ideas for adjusting the draft lottery


  • While so much of the conversation on what an eventual NHL season might look like focuses on potential playoff formats for the teams at the top of the standings, those at the bottom might have a different focus.
  • For those outside the playoff bubble, it’s all about the NHL Draft.
  • And the eventual draft lottery.
  • As it stands right now, it’s very possible the lottery looks different than what fans (and executives) are currently refreshing on Tankathon.
  • According to an NHL source, at least one team has submitted a lottery proposal that would include a tournament in which lottery teams play for the first-overall pick. At its face, the idea sounds radical but structured the right way this has the potential to be a real asset for the league.
  • Without knowing the exact details of the proposal, there would have to be some assurances for the teams at the bottom of the standings that their odds of winning a lottery tournament resemble their odds of winning the lottery drawing now.
  • That would mean home games for Ottawa and Detroit, with a fairly easy path to the championship. And likewise, a bubble team would have to go on an all-time run of games to win the lottery.
  • This proposal would accomplish a couple of things.
  • It would get all players back playing, rather than just playoff teams, which would help level the playing field for next season in terms of rest and time off between games.
  • It would also engage fans of both playoff teams and lottery teams alike if games return.
  • Imagine for a moment a lottery tournament final between the Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks for the rights to draft Alexis Lafreniere.
  • Or a final between the Senators and Montreal Canadiens for the same thing.
  • The television ratings in those markets would be off the charts.

“Radical times call for radical measures,” said one NHL source.

  • It’s fun to imagine.
  • Even if it’s hard to imagine it actually happening.
  • But right now, these are the kind of ideas being thrown around.
  • People have the time and motivation for creativity.
  • At this point, nothing should be off the table.
  • From playoff format to lottery ideas.
Sources & Credits: Craig Custance, The Athletic
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