The first phase of the Draft Lottery does go Friday night 8 p.m. ET and is being held this year for the first time in the NHL network studios in New Jersey, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, of course.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly will both be there in their normal roles, but no team representatives will be present on site.
It’s a lot of work, and some say it could be all for nothing. TSN’s Bob Mckenzie explained on the eve of the event that the NHL has a plan what would happen to the draft lottery/order of selection in the event the 2019-20 return to play plan doesn’t materialize but has not yet shared it with the member clubs.
One general manager suggested to McKenzie that all 31 teams should be in the mix for No. 1, a la 2005 and the Sidney Crosby draft. It would be easy to see that scenario when it comes to the projected first overall pick Alexis Lafreniere, after all some say he is the next Crosby…
We don’t know if that’s what the NHL is planning to do, but it could be an option.
Other GMs believe that they should let the results of Friday’s draft lottery stand and just plug in the teams ranked 8 to 15 based on points percentage at the pause.
A lot on the table, especially if play cannot resume this summer…