Back in October, it was reported that a number of the NHL’s general managers called on the league to increase the odds of winning the draft lottery for the teams that finish lowest in the standings.
And it sounds like they were heard. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed Thursday that the league is working on changing the draft lottery, which will be discussed with the Board of Governors when the time is right. This is how Pierre LeBrun reported the news on last night’s edition of Insider Trading on TSN:
“You may recall back in October, the GMs had a meeting or had a call, these days during the pandemic, and there was some grumbling on that call, that we reported on, where GMs talked about the need to change the Draft Lottery system. The NHL responded by saying OK, we’re going to go back to you guys and solicit some of your ideas and we’ll see where this goes. Well here is where it has gone, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirming to me that the league is working on changing the format for the Draft Lottery and something is going to be presented to the Board of Governors here sooner rather than later.
Now, that’s as far as he wanted to go, because they’re still working on it, so we don’t know exactly what those changes will be, but we assume from talking to other people around the league, that it’s probably going to augment the chances of the bottom teams of getting that first overall pick. There are a lot of people around the league that simply felt that a team like Detroit, undergoing a real rebuild, 23 points behind the 30th-place team last year, should not have been picking fourth. So, look for that type of change and perhaps other parameters in the lottery to also change and I think it’s a long time coming for some teams who felt the pendulum had gone too far the other way.”
Beginning in 2015, the NHL introduced a weighted lottery system to discourage tanking. Since then, the last-place team has chosen first overall twice: the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2016 and the Buffalo Sabres in 2018. The NHL has made some small changes here and there since 2015, giving the bottom-ranked teams higher odds of moving down and other lottery clubs better chances of moving into the top three.
But we expect more this time.
Bill Daly did not say or hint at any changes the league is considering.
As for the Draft itself and when it will take place, Darren Dreger reported last week that the plan is to move the 2021 Draft scheduled for July into the summer of 2022 and host back-to-back drafts.
Many changes coming! Get ready!