Welcome to my first ever blog, I hope you enjoy.
I remember a sense of relief coming over me when the Leafs won the draft lottery. Excitement and anticipation have taken over since, but at that time it was simply relief. Relief in sports is the worst; it usually means even though you can always sink lower, rock bottom is so very close!
Hockey fans love to hate the Leafs, but the NHL is just not the same when they aren’t competitive. The Leafs have been close to rock bottom for a long time, they are starving for a franchise player and potentially have one in Austin Matthews.
The changes the NHL made to the lottery did not disappoint, especially from where the Jets sit. No team had a shot to obtain that 2nd overall pick, via trade, you had to win it in the lottery. The Jets have won themselves a beauty, I hope Patrik Liane is the character he appears to be and brings more colour to this league.
But here is when I’m going to tell you that I despise teams that tank, they make me sick to my stomach. I get the same feeling when thinking about them as I do when I hear The Imperial March. I would blow their death star up if they didn’t already blow it up themselves! There are teams out there leaving it all on the ice, pursuing a playoff dream, just to watch a team they’re chasing grab easy points from a professional tank job. Also fans rooting against their team to try and give themselves the best odds. It is all around pathetic, you know who you are!
There is a way to end tanking once and for all while adding a bit of excitement for fans that have cheered for their non-playoff team. How would you feel about a DRAFT ELIMINATION TOURNAMENT at the end of your team’s dismal season to determine the draft order? I’m not sure if this idea is simply a fantasy of mine, or if there is actual merit. I can confirm this would be AmazeBalls!
Here is what the bracket breakdown would look like:
If you are in the East and displeased with the disparity in the number of conference teams, here is what a combined bracket would look like:
I know a lot of logistics would have to be ironed out to make this possible (the tournament needs to be completed by the end of the first round, there would be extended travel in a short period, getting the NHLPA on board, etc), but sit back and think about how cool this would be for a few minutes.
I'm imagining William Nylander and Max Domi battling it out to determine who gets Austin Matthews as their centre next year, the drama will write itself. If you told the Coyotes all they had to do was win four games to get Matthews, they would have shown up for that crusade with blaster pistols, lightsabers and all the Jedi mind tricks in their artillery! This idea would be the end of embarrassing teams and seasons; every team has something to play for right until the end.
Force teams to grow some balls instead of awarding them lottery balls for sucking please!