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Time For A New Draft

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Sabres. Panthers. Oilers. Islanders. Flames, Canes. Jets. The Welfare Class of an NHL whose administration promised the cap would mean anyone could win. Well not quite, no more so than the introduction of the cap meant ticket prices would become more affordable.

By the way, these teams are living proof bottoming out is not its own reward.

It’s time to revamp the system and get these perennial losers off the dole. In my perfect world, the draft would be eliminated altogether, with each team receiving a designated allowance for signing players to entry-level deals. Or, each player could be drafted by, say, five teams, and choose among them. But there’s less chance of the league adopting those suggestions than of Mike Gillis and John Tortorella sharing a meal. 

So, I would suggest modifications to the draft of the following nature: Any team that drafts in the top seven for three straight years should not be eligible to select higher than eighth for the following three years. Any team that drafts in the top 10 for five straight years should not be eligible to select higher than 11th for the following five years.

I also would recommend two additional annual drawings, one for all playoff teams and one for all non-qualifiers, with the winner of the former replacing the “winner” of the latter in the Grand Losers’ Lottery for the chance to select first overall.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Red Winger's avatar

The article makes a good point. Almost a decade after the ‘new’ NHL was instituted (the one that would make sure the Edmontons, etc, of the league would get a fair shake) and it’s the same old teams at the bottom of the barrel. Again.

Maybe sometime soon we can place the blame where it belongs: shoddy management and overall poor running of a professional franchise.

Obviously I kid. No way that will happen in our hyper-sensitive society, where everybody gets a trophy, and no one should accept any blame at all, because that’s judgmental. And it hurts feelings.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 04/20/14 at 09:28 AM ET

Savage Henry's avatar

My proposal: the best lottery odds go to the team that came closest to making the playoffs, then go down from there.  That way you reward effort all the way through the season, even for teams that are eliminated from the playoffs.


Have a brief, single-elimination tournament of all the non-playoff teams.  The winner picks first.

Posted by Savage Henry on 04/20/14 at 09:54 AM ET


Savage - that was the same thing I was thinking, with a slight modification. I’d suggest the reverse the lottery odds - the first team that missed the playoffs (i.e., closest to making the playoffs but didn’t make it) gets the highest odds. The worst team in the league gets the lowest.

I think that creates a situation where teams have to fight and play hard the entire season.

I do think Brooks’ suggestions are also interesting. It would be interesting to have multiple teams draft a guy or allow teams to just sign dudes. But there also seems like a ton of possible unexpected/unpredicted consequences of those systems.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 04/20/14 at 10:08 AM ET

WingFanFormerlyInLA's avatar

If you draft 4 years in a row in the top 5, your franchise is subject to relocation or contraction. 

Bet teams put a little more effort in that way.

Posted by WingFanFormerlyInLA on 04/20/14 at 01:10 PM ET


Hard not to notice that 4 of those teams have had the same people in charge of running them into the ground year after year. I don’t like Brooks’ solutions that appear aimed solely at letting the Rangers get the best prospects but something has to be done about these perennial bottom feeders. I like giving the best lottery odds to the team closest to the playoffs but ultimately the problem is the people making the decisions not their draft position. If those owners ever do make real, meaningful changes shouldn’t the new guys get the same chance to build the team that the old guys got?  Punishing the new guys for the mistakes of their predecessors doesn’t make those jobs real appealing, so you end up with bad decision makers, so the whole thing repeats itself. This is about owners and accountability.

Posted by RoneFace on 04/20/14 at 01:13 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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