The NHL is chaos. At certain times it’s embraced fondly by the fans and the top level execs. Just look at how the NHL has embraced the weirdness of no fans in the stadium for playoffs. Jokes about how today’s attendance is zero, how concessions are open the entire game cause they’re just in our fridges at home, even jokes about exiting your couch safely post game. The NHL has some great dad jokes and has embraced the chaos, they have the best fans in the world too.
The NHL has the best fans pic.twitter.com/Hpy8qcTwnU — DR (@DylanRyanFT) August 9, 2020
The chaos of the NHL will be front and center tonight as the Draft Lottery Part II will be on tonight at 6pm Eastern. The first part of the draft lottery was chaos as well. The first overall pick went to a placeholder team. One of the eight teams eliminated in the qualifying round will have a 12.5% chance at the first pick in the draft. Alexis Lafreniere will be drafted by either, The Oilers, The Maple Leafs, The Penguins, The Wild, The Predators, The Rangers, The Jets, or the Panthers. If chaos reigns supreme, always seems like it does in the NHL, than the first overall pick will go to the Oilers, Leafs, or Penguins. The three teams the majority of the league doesn’t want to see get the first pick. The three teams almost everyone said wouldn’t be eliminated in the qualifying round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs has an equal shot at first pick as the teams the majority of fans said would lose.
There really is no such thing as bad publicity if you play your cards right. Just look at how Kim Kardashian’s career got started. If chaos reigns supreme an already good team that shouldn’t have had any chance at the first overall pick will be picking first come draft day. Lafreniere could be taking one timers from either, Crosby, McDavid, or Mathews. It’ll be extremely easy for the NHL to market how much fun it will be to watch this stud develop on a superstar team. It would also be pretty easy to market how Lafreniere will make a playoff contender even better.
Toronto, Edmonton, and Pittsburgh already have a solid fan base. Toronto has one of the largest fan bases even though they haven’t won a cup since 1967 or a playoff series since 2004. A team that can’t win anything significant in over a decade has one of the largest fan bases in the NHL. They don’t need another superstar to market their team. Same can be said for the Penguins and Oilers. Although their cup drought and playoff victory drought is nothing compared to the Leafs. Of all the teams that could use a superstar for marketing and marketing alone, it would be Florida.
Every team that’s been eliminated wants Alexis Lafreniere on their team. If they can’t win the cup at least they can win the lottery, but the team that needs him the most so they can build a better fan base is the Florida Panthers. This isn’t a dig on The Panthers. They do have fans. I’ve never met one but they have to have some fans. Adding a superstar to the line up that the franchise can rally behind, and market like crazy, would for sure bring in more fans to the Panthers, and in turn the NHL as a whole.
The parity between teams in the NHL is much smaller than people realize. Look at how the qualifying round played out. Both 12 seeds have advanced to the Stanley Cup Playoffs by defeating the heavily favored 5 seeds. The Maple Leafs top line is getting paid $33 million dollars to lose a series to a team that pays their top 9 players $33 million dollars. Having top paid superstars doesn’t automatically mean a winning team, especially come playoffs. It does make the team more marketable and watchable during the regular season though.
Each of the 8 teams eliminated have an equal chance at the first overall pick. The draft will be held live. So no rigging it to make sure it does, or doesn’t, go to Edmonton or Toronto. I’d very much like to see the first pick go to Florida, but in all reality I just want it to go to anyone but the Oilers, Penguins, or Leafs.