There is no Hippocratic oath in the NHL, there is no solemn swear to always try to win especially if the prize for losing is such a benefit. Conner Mcdavid, a “Generational Talent”, who can be the Crosby/Tavares/Stamkos type player for your organization. Failing first overall you get Jack Eichel who is projected to be a first line center.
Pretty sweet deal for being horrible.
The issue is that when teams think they are getting a franchise player and instead just get pretty good players or even average players that the sucking at the teet of the first over all pick becomes addictive.
I’m of course talking the Oilers. Hall- Really good winger. Nugent- Hopkins- Matt Stajan with better vision. Nail Yakupov- potential total bust. This summarizes their first overall experiences. One could argue it’s the organization and not the players that are the cause of the mediocre play of these players but the point is how many first does a team need in order to improve.
Some would argue that in terms of play it doesn’t matter. There are organizations that haven’t had first in many years and still make the playoffs, this is true. However the NHL is more than just play on the ice. It’s a business and first overall picks generate seats and jersey sales, merchandise and lure other free agents.
So yet again we have the Oilers knocking for more draft help, mismanagement and poor drafting, bad business and outright lies to their fans are rewarded with all of the benefits I mentioned above. Hardly seems like a practice of a league that emphasizes parity.
Why does one city, in the frozen north of Canada, get players other franchises need to survive themselves. Every Year.
There is a very simple answer. A ruling that states that should a team pick first overall then they can not pick first overall again for five years. Should they win the draft lottery the highest they can pick is second. A more extreme version would be fifth. A forceful way to say to a team getting the cream of the crop, “okay, it’s time to pull your socks up now”.
Sadly this is only being talked about because of the tarnished legacy and embarrassment the Oilers dish on their fans yearly. “We’re going to do whatever we can to fix this losing” (*trades veteran winger), “We’re not going to make the same mistakes” (push rookie Draisitl too fast, burn a year of contract and demote him).
It is no surprise that many are calling for Bobby Orr to advise his client to “Lindros” the Oilers. Don’t put the jersey on, don’t sign the contract and publicly let everyone know that is the case. Trade the rights if you want but don’t feed the mismanagement machine the Oilers have become.
The old quote of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity and sums up the Oilers and their business model perfectly. Until they change, they may make the NHL take steps to ensure other markets are getting their fair share and not encouraging teams to publicly and purposely fail.