NHL lays out case for June Draft and Rangers not a fit for Mikko Lehtonen

The NHL just laid out its case for conducting the Draft in June prior to completing the season. This in the face of league wide opposition and with Detroit’s Steve Yzerman publicly saying, “Why would we do that?”. Still, Bill Daly sent out a memo explaining how difficult it will be for them to stick with a conventional approach under these circumstances.

In a report by Elliotte Friedman the NHL Deputy Commissioner tried to make the case in the face that this season could still be cancelled. Now there are plenty of questions around how to seat teams, deal with conditional picks, and more. Here is how Friedman explained it.

  • Using each team’s points percentage to determine the Order of Selection. (That’s under the current playoff format, so 16 teams would be out of the lottery and 15 would be in.)
  • Changing the lottery format this season only — picking just one winner, and limiting any move-up to a maximum of four spots.
  • For conditional trades, the league would propose solutions. The teams would have seven days to either reform the deal on terms acceptable to both, or accept the NHL’s idea.
Daly and Bettman (NHL/Getty Images)

In the end, when you analyze this it still doesn’t seem like something many teams would sign on for. Of course, there could be even more issues trying to squeeze in a draft in between the short window of awarding a Cup in September and training camps in November.

“My thought is why would you do that? Why would you need to do that? There’s a lot of things that are affected. Obviously, the draft position hasn’t been established. We don’t know who’s in the playoffs, who’s out of the playoffs in some cases. So there’s a lot of questions and ultimately, if (the draft) needs to be done prior to, we’ll figure it out but at this time my own opinion is I haven’t heard a good reason why we should do it prior to the end of the season, if we do conclude the season.”

Steve Yzerman via MLIVE

Rangers not a fit for Lehtonen

After a day of speculation, including some interesting Instagram activity, Mikko Lehtonen and the Rangers aren’t a match. What isn’t fully clear is if the two sides had any compelling conversations, but the Rangers are loaded on defense with a deep prospect pool. Players and their agents are also very well aware that the team will be looking to develop and get both Nils Lundkvist and K’Andre Miller on defense. Add other prospects like Libor Hajek, Tarmo Reunanen, and Matthew Robertson, it makes it even less appealing for a player looking to get top 4 minutes and a future beyond a year or two. This was all confirmed with a team source this evening.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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