The Detroit Red Wings suffered a terrible defeat on Friday, this in spite of the fact that they have not played a meaningful hockey game in months and will not be doing so for several more months to come. I am of course referring to the National Hockey League's Draft Lottery, an event that took place on Friday and one where the Red Wings were favorites to walk away with the first overall pick. The Red Wings didn't get the first pick, or the second, or the third for that matter and instead fell all the way to fourth, but general manager Steve Yzerman was all class in defeat.
"We had an 18.5% chance of winning the first pick, so realistically I'm prepared to not be sitting here talking about the first pick," Yzerman said as per The Detroit News. "Anything I say will be self-serving. They got to do what they got to do."
It was the kind of response that you would expect from Yzerman, a player that has always been all class, but not everyone was as diplomatic after the result. Former NHL general manager and team president turned Sportsnet analyst Brian Burke took to the airwaves on Friday after the result was announced, a result that saw an unnamed team take the first overall pick, and absolutely blasted the NHL over the whole process. Burke's issue seemed to stem from the fact that the winner of the top pick will come from one of the 8 play in teams that have been added to the typical playoff bracket, an unusual situation to be sure.
"This result is nothing short of a disgrace," Burke said on Friday's show on SportsNet. "This makes no sense. It should've been just the seven teams that weren't in the play-in round in the lottery. Give the teams who need the most help the best players."
"Detroit had 39 points at the pause," he said. "You could have a team with 35 more points pick ahead of them. Detroit and Ottawa are both big losers. It's a deep draft and they're going to get a good player with their picks but if Lafreniere is the kind of player we all think he's going to be, he should be on one of those two teams."
No doubt fans in Ottawa and Detroit will appreciate Burke's take, and I suspect they might not be the only ones.