SBD/March 18, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NHL Lottery Could Be Extended Past No. 1 Choice With Two Top Talents In '15 Draft

NHL execs are considering having the top three or five picks determined via lottery
The '15 NHL Draft includes two players "that have scouts drooling" in Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid, and the league is "considering a system that could see the lottery going beyond just the No. 1 overall choice," according to Elliotte Friedman of CBC.ca. There are "discussions about having the top three picks, or even the top five, selected this way." Although odds would "continue to favour those teams with the fewest points, a decision to go in this direction would mean the worst team could potentially pick fourth -- or sixth." The last-place team currently gets a 25% chance "of snaring the top choice, with the best non-playoff finisher" at 0.5%. That "may be different, too." The odds "would be weighted by how positions 17 through 30 in the NHL standings finish over a five-year period relative to the final playoff qualifier." The exact formula has yet to be determined, but it "would be a 'rolling' five-year period," so that as teams "moved into the next season, the oldest would be dropped." Friedman wrote no one "wanted to use the word 'tanking,'" but there is "concern about how competitive things will be with McDavid and Eichel available next summer" (CBC.ca, 3/17).

DIVIDING THE PIE: The GLOBE & MAIL's David Shoalts cites NHL governors as saying that talk of adding two expansion teams is "media-driven and there is practically no talk about adding teams." The "problem in adding two teams is splitting up all that new revenue" NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and NHL COO John Collins produced. However, the "lure of expansion money is usually too much to resist." At least "some NHL governors think it will take three years for an announcement, which just happens to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the league." Three years also would "give the league time to assess the chances of the Coyotes and Panthers surviving in the long-term" (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/18).
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