As the uncertainty of when (or if) the NHL resumes play continues, the longer it takes, the more likely the regular season will be cancelled. The NHL has been listening to every possibility, even one that included a 20-24 team playoffs for the Cup. Well just this week, an NHL team proposed a tournament for the 1st overall pick, which I am sure delighted the Red Wings who are dead last with the best chance at Alexis Lafreniere.
Setting up a Lottery Tournament
The first thing the league will need to decide is if they will be expanding the playoffs from 16 teams to 20 or 24. If so, that will greatly improve the odds of teams like the Red Wings and Senators. Then they will need to bracket it in such a way the lower seeded teams and higher seeded teams are facing off against each other. That way those bottom feeder teams have a better chance to advance. Just imagine what teams like the Rangers and Panthers will do against the likes of Detroit and Ottawa. That is of course if the Rangers and/or Panthers aren’t in the playoffs for the Cup. Just for some context, when you sort the entire league by points, the Rangers are 16th.
In a semblance of fairness, teams like Detroit and Ottawa should be picking in the top 5 at the very least no matter how they fair in the tournament. Maybe the play the tournament for the top two picks only and sort the remaining by points percentage. Also what do you do with lowly San Jose who traded away their pick? Do they even compete? The bottom line for fans not in Detroit and Ottawa, or NJ is that this would be incredible. The NHL could comeback and keep the interest of all their team’s cities. And who knows, if this is a smashing success, could it become a staple of the off-season? You never know,