NHL plans to alter draft lottery system

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – The NHL plans to alter its draft lottery to help avoid teams earning the top overall pick on a repeated basis.

At a meeting during their annual Stanley Cup convocation, the league’s general managers tackled the draft lottery system in the wake of the Edmonton Oilers securing the No. 1 pick in three straight years, from 2010 to 2012.

“There weren’t enough guys to suggest we had to change the percentage or the odds of lower teams getting into it. As of right now it’s the same as it has been,” Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray said.

However, there are some GMs who believe teams getting the first overall pick in consecutive years should be prohibited.

The Buffalo Sabres own three first-round picks in next year’s draft, which features star prospects Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, and general manager Tim Murray said any changes won’t be taking place before next year’s draft.

“That came up too about changing the draft lottery system. Which we are going to do. But certainly I said it should be — I said five years out — so you don’t know who’s getting punished,” Murray said.

While a number of GMs were under the impression any changes would be beyond the McDavid/Eichel draft, league officials said it’s possible commissioner Gary Bettman could table the proposal, which would include a two-part change with different odds in place for 2015 and a lottery for the top three picks involving the bottom three teams as established by the odds lottery in 2016.

The Board of Governors could discuss the proposal at their meeting later this month before the draft in Philadelphia.

Also, the league’s general managers discussed further enhancing use of video replay to examine issues like whether pucks sent over the glass were tipped, whether pucks hit the mesh above the glass and came back into play and whether plays involving goals were off-side.

The issue of expanding the role of video review was the subject of a long and wide-ranging debate at the meetings, and it’s expected at some point there will be enhanced video review to tie to a coach’s challenge.

However, the league isn’t in a position to put these changes into place for next season. Instead, it’s possible the system could be tested in-house next season to see how it might work before being introduced to lives games.

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