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"Go Leafs Go"
Mississauga, ON • Canada • 29 Years Old • Male
After watching the NHL draft lottery tonight, I realized that I had wasted about 20 to 30 minutes of my life and that I will never be able to get those minutes back. It got me thinking that there has to be a way to make this more of an event, something that provides the fans of non playoff teams something to cheer for in the spring. Afterwards the final of the NCAA basketball tournament came on and my brain went into overdrive and I thought what about a tournament to determine the draft order? As hockey fans, we all love the NHL playoffs so why not have two sets of playoffs? The league could run a bracket style one game elimination tournament with the winner getting to pick first overall.

This is how I envision the tournament working. Since there is an uneven amount of teams that finish out of the playoffs, the NHL would give the two bottom teams a bye in the first round. I would give this to the bottom teams because they would be the teams losing out the most if the NHL was to change to the tournament format. I would also give the lower placed teams a little more of an advantage by giving them home ice advantage throughout the tournament. The tournament would start with teams facing the team directly above or below them which should make the games that much more competitive and entertaining. Using this season’s final standings, here is how I see things starting out:


9 Car
10 Buf

11 Fla
12 Tor

13 NYI
14 Atl

Bye 15 TB

(The west would use the same format in a separate set of brackets)

After the first round is over the 15th placed teams would enter the tournament and face the winner of the 13 vs 14 game, the tournament continue on from there until the brackets are complete and there is a winner.

Of course the draft is more then just the first overall pick so the rest of the order would be determined by when teams are eliminated. The loser of the tournament final would get the second overall pick; with the losers of the semi finals getting the third and fourth picks. The team with the lowest point total would be given the higher pick
With every major change there are always going to be issues as well as advantages and disadvantages. The main issue would be the scheduling. Personally I would have the tournament start the day after the regular season ended. The tournament is four rounds long and could be played out over seven days. With this being the case the Stanley cup playoffs would start the day after the tournament ends causing the NHL season to last about a week longer. Now I like many others love hockey and would have no problem with this, but there are those who think that the season is already too long so some tweaking may have to be done. There is also the issue of teams that are on a role heading into the playoffs could lose some momentum but I think that is offset by the fact that teams would have more time to prepare and allow bumps and bruises to heal. With that being said I think there are more advantages to this setup than disadvantages. The main advantages would be the potential for extra revenue that the non playoff teams miss out on while being spring spectators. This is also something that none of the other major sports leagues do, and for once the NHL could be the league that starts a trend instead of being followers.

In closing it would be easy for the NHL to keep things as they are with the draft, but there is an opportunity here to be innovators and provide something to the fans that no other league offers, and that is meaningful hockey for all when the regular season ends.
Filed Under:   NHL   Draft lottery  
April 8, 2008 7:57 AM ET | Delete
I Like your idea except I would make a small change. The team in 9th place should get the bye to the 2nd round. I think it is time we end the tanking so teams can get the best draft pick... the goal in the NHL should be to win, by rewarding the last place team they don't play competitively. This is not fair to the teams they play. For example lets say Team A plays through half the season and then says, hey we have no shot, lets tank and try for the #1 pick. Now Team B and C are in a fight for the 8th playoff spot, Team B played Team A two more times than Team C did at the start of the season, well at that point Team A was still be competitive, so Team A won both of those additional games. Now Team C comes to play Team A, and since Team A is tanking, they collect an easy 4 points. See where I'm going with this? Tanking affects all teams, not just the losing team and the incentive for it has to be removed.
April 8, 2008 9:10 AM ET | Delete
Great Idea actually!
April 8, 2008 10:20 AM ET | Delete
Speaking of wanting 10 to 15 minutes of your life back
April 8, 2008 11:00 AM ET | Delete
This blog wasn't all that long.......It took you 15 minutes to read it? LOL
April 8, 2008 2:29 PM ET | Delete
I saw Unholy Goalie propose this ridiculous idea last night. I can't believe people would think it would be a good idea...besides the fact that 82 games are already played to determine the draft order, this would be viewed as a joke next to the actual playoffs, the only fans who would care would be those who have teams in the lottery and the revenue would never be worthwhile. I'm not saying the lottery system isn't flawed, it could definitely use some tweaking but this idea is ridiculous...
April 9, 2008 1:11 AM ET | Delete
Last time I checked teams play 82 games to make the playoffs not determine where they are going to draft. It would be NHL hockey so no it wouldn't just be the fans of the teams that were in the tournament that watch especially since it wouldn't conflict with the Stanley Cup playoffs. I'm a Leafs fan and I don't stop watching hockey because the Leafs aren't in the playoffs. There are people out there that love the game not just their team. As far as the revenue comment, I've never seen an owner of any successful business deam the opportunity to make money not worthwhile.
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