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"Quietly making the playoffs, year after year"
Halifax • Canada • 30 Years Old • Male

A Non-Playoff Playoffs?

Posted 9:28 PM ET | Comments 18
This past season in the KHL a format was introduced to non-playoff teams vying for top spot in the KHL Draft. The teams that failed to reach the post season would do battle in a consolation tournament, with the winner being awarded the first overall pick.

What if the NHL did that?

It would almost certainly increase competition and avoid “tanking” during the regular season to obtain a high lottery percentage. Most teams won’t admit to tanking, but it’s pretty evident in some cases that teams just aren’t putting an effort in to rise in the standings. Teams looking at a basement apartment often deal away the skilled pieces of their lineup for youngsters with the assumption they have a chance at a high pick.

What if the NHL completely removed the lottery system and introduced a format similar to the KHL? It would add more games for non-playoff teams and increase revenue, as well as give fans of said teams some more hockey to watch.

Imagine a 14-team format with the 30th and 29th ranked teams getting the first and second seeding, earning a buy to the second round. That gives the worst two teams in the league increased odds, sticking to somewhat of an advantage to coming last, but surely not as enticing as the current format.

This bracket can’t go as long as the Cup playoffs, that’s for sure, but how about something like this:

Round 1: Single Game Elimination

Quarter-Finals: Best-of-Three Series

Semi-Finals: Best-of-Three Series

Finals: Best-of-Five Series

The higher seeds would have home ice advantage, which in this case would be the worst teams from the regular season. The bracket would look something like this:



I would be in favor of this. It gives every team some extra hockey, and something to play for. The LA Kings proved two years ago that it doesn’t matter what seed you are in the playoffs, or how well you did, or didn’t do, in the regular season. Could the worst team win the non-playoff tournament? Of course they could. Anyone can put together a string of games.

The mindset could shift from “let’s get in the lottery” to “push for the playoffs at all cost”. Why would teams settle for a consolation tournament when they could push for the real deal and chase Lord Stanley?

I think it increases the competitiveness of the NHL without altering any rules, or making any changes to how the game is actually played. It increases revenue for all teams due to the extra games and treats fans to some extra puck that otherwise wouldn’t be available.

What are your thoughts? What would you change if you think it’s a good idea?

Thanks for reading!
Filed Under:   NHL   Playoffs   NHL Draft  
August 9, 2013 10:40 PM ET | Delete
Great idea
August 9, 2013 10:55 PM ET | Delete
Love the idea. I think it would definitely get rid of tanking. But a really good team like Philly could come in and lose like they did this season and win the consolation which is 1st pick overall and then they would be better than they were before.
August 9, 2013 11:00 PM ET | Delete
True bradstar but could they beat Bobrovsky this season who went on a 17 win 2 loss tear at the end? I think it opens a whole new can of worms. Id love it to happen.
August 10, 2013 12:14 AM ET | Delete
And on a side note I think most fanbases would want a Cup run over a 1st Overall Playoff.
August 10, 2013 12:52 AM ET | Delete
great idea, but not for another 2-3 years tho hehe
August 10, 2013 6:00 AM ET | Delete
Will never happen under Bettman... Also, who would watch the losers duke it out other than their own fans? Especially if this was going on at the same time as regular playoffs... I do not think it would get the views outside of that teams particular fan base... It is a cool idea though but it could legitimately hinder horrible teams rebuilding who are not trying to tank
August 10, 2013 6:01 AM ET | Delete
could lead to a perennial non playoff team who is not good enough to make regular playoffs and not good enough to win the consolation playoffs... and if that team is in a questionable market, goodbye franchise!
August 10, 2013 8:14 AM ET | Delete
keep it in the khl...makes no sense when the worst teams in the league will stay bad by drafting mid-lower top-10
August 10, 2013 11:51 AM ET | Delete
I like the idea to help make teams competitive and to resist tanking. But this will make it impossible for teams to "rebuild threw the draft". Using the edmonton oilers as an example....where would they be without their 4 first round draft picks? Most small market teams would not be able to stay competitive if they were not feeded these first overalls. This would cost them lost ticket revenue because of a poor product on the ice (they cant all stick it out for 50 years like us leaf fans). Smaller market teams will become worse and worse without an influx of young highly talented players. This would cause them to go out of business and then make the nhl worse...lets face it we all hate bettmen but 30 teams is more exciting than 6. I do not condone tanking by any means but sometimes teams need a leg up...where would Pittsburgh or Washington be without the great 8 or sid the kid?
August 10, 2013 12:01 PM ET | Delete
I think they should do this for mcdavid! :D
August 10, 2013 12:35 PM ET | Delete
walktalk I think Edmonton would be right where they are currently. Not in the playoffs lol. bradstar imagine how hard teams would play in a tournament with the winner getting McDavid!
August 10, 2013 12:58 PM ET | Delete
yea i know edmonton is still not a play off team but they are a peice or two away from a playoff team...and by team i mean a great team for a good 8-9 seasons...gotta admit with hall eberle hopkins and yakpov....not to mention shultz and nurse they have building blocks for something great none of which they would have not gotten if not for failing so much to get great picks lol
August 10, 2013 1:25 PM ET | Delete
Edmonton definitely has a very bright future but I just like the idea of fighting for the selection vice rolling over and playing dead for it.
August 10, 2013 1:29 PM ET | Delete
i love this idea, It would give us non-playoff team fans something else to look forward to. Shorter offseason, more money for each team, happier fans because who actually likes the lottery? I want this to happen
August 10, 2013 1:30 PM ET | Delete
So being a devils fan instead of getting 9th overall like we did this past draft we could of gotten MacKinnon haha
August 10, 2013 1:39 PM ET | Delete
i love the idea to...but it would degrade the nhl...we would lose franchises and i cant go back to only a handful of teams or relocating excising teams to more shitty usa markets.
August 12, 2013 12:06 AM ET | Delete
Nah the teams that finish in the bottom would just fold after a couple years of losing and getting mid 1st round picks
August 15, 2013 7:00 PM ET | Delete
i dont mind it. but then what happens if the 17th or 18th seeds always win year after year, and the teams that JUST missed the playoffs keep getting 1st overall? Just some food for thought. Maybe have the 17th seed face off vs 18th seed, 19th vs 20th, then go from there.
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