I readed this article early today, thought it was an interesting idea. What do you think?
Simply put – the NHL draft lottery in its current state heavily rewards failure.
Besides rewarding failure, the current system also leaves middling teams (those narrowly missing the playoffs) in a sort of hockey purgatory. Just ask Calgary Flames fans.
However, sports should be inherently about striving for success and aiming to win. While that is often an ever evolving process, it should not involve losing with a resultant enhancement of draft position.
Single Elimination Tournament of Non-playoff Teams
Here’s a quick rundown of how this option could be executed:
- 14 non-playoff teams would partake in a single game elimination tournament.
- For the first round, the two teams closest to making the playoffs (i.e. 17th and 18th in overall standings) would have a bye.
- Thus, the first round matchups would be: 19th Vs 30th, 20th Vs 29th, 21st Vs 28th, etc.
- The team with the better regular season record does get home ice advantage.
- There would be then the quarter finals of the 8 remaining teams.
- Note: In order to move up in draft position, the 17th and 18th place teams (1st round bye) would have to win their quarter final match-up (otherwise falling back to the 13th/14th draft slot)
- Next would be the semi-final round of the 4 winning squads, followed by the final matchup.
- Therefore, 1st through 8th draft position determined by how the team finishes in the tournament (this likely means consideration for 3rd, 5th and 7th place games).
- Slots 9th to 14th determined by reverse order of overall standings.
- Thus, the two worst teams in the league’s overall standing would draft no later than 9th to 10th, and therefore assured a top 10 draft pick.
This system would give non-playoff teams something to cheer for. It will also be a revenue generator for these teams.