BUFFALO — When the NHL announced changes to the Draft Lottery process on Wednesday for the 2015 and 2016 Drafts, it was considered a way to potentially combat against teams tanking in the upcoming season.
After all, with players of elite talent like Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel – possibly landing a franchise-changing player is something some might think stinking up the house for a season would be worth doing to land them.
McDavid doesn’t necessarily agree with that.
The 17-year-old star forward was in Buffalo on Thursday for the announcement that his team, the Erie Otters, would be playing a game in October at First Niagara Center. He was asked his thoughts on the NHL making the lottery changes and how it might all be because of him – a notion he doesn’t necessarily buy into.
“It’s pretty crazy,” McDavid said. “I don’t think too many teams are throwing seasons. I don’t think that’s how hockey works. I don’t think that’s how anyone who plays hockey thinks. Owners, GMs, coaches, players – no one just throws games away. That’s not how it works. Maybe it’s just a bit of a coincidence I guess, but we’ll see how it goes.”
Call it naiveté if you want, but the NHL began looking into fixing up the lottery process back in March.
While the threat of having multiple teams tanking to try and get the best odds is something the league is correct in trying to head off, keep in mind the team with the worst record hasn’t won the Draft Lottery since 2011 when Edmonton did it.