from Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News,
Steve Yzerman could’ve spewed some juicy expletives and fired a can of ginger ale at the TV screen. I mean, that’s what most Red Wings fans were doing Friday night.
But after the Wings suffered the sting of the NHL’s lottery buffoonery, Yzerman did the honorable thing, said he wasn’t surprised, and promised the Wings would get a great prospect with the fourth pick of the draft. And they probably will.
But this is the treacherous nature of rebuilding in the NHL, NBA or anywhere. The Pistons are next, and with the fifth-worst record, they have a 10.5% chance of landing the No. 1 pick in the Aug. 25 lottery, only a 44.3% of staying in the top five and a small chance of falling to ninth. Lesson: You put your fate in random acts, prepare for random, inexplicable results.
In the NHL, the random acts too often are comical and dumb. The draft lottery was an embarrassment, and I know the rest of the sports world doesn’t care if a Detroit team got jobbed. And maybe it’s our fault too for not shrieking loudly about the possible consequences before the disaster unfolded.
But with one of the worst regular-season records in franchise history, the Wings dropped from the No. 1 slot — and prized prospect Alexis Lafreniere — to No. 4. And here’s the ridiculous part: It’s exactly what the NHL planned to happen.