Tilted Ice Alternate Universe: What if the Rangers Drafted Sidney Crosby?
Coming off of the 2004-2005 NHL lockout there were a lot of unknowns at the time. Coinciding with all the unknowns was the future of the league, and the future face of the league’s eventual destination hung in the balance of lottery balls.
Sidney Crosby was known far and wide at the time for years as “The Next One.” A generational talent that would alter his teams future. And as the 2004-05 season was canceled, the NHL decided to take a different approach to assigning the draft order.
Each team began with three balls in the lottery barrel. For every playoff appearance in the previous three years or No. 1 overall pick over the last four years, a team lost one ball. With that scenario, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Columbus and the New York Rangers had the best chance of drafting Crosby.
As luck would have it, only one of the teams with three balls ended up with a top-four pick, Pittsburgh. Picks 2, 3 and 4 (Anaheim, Carolina, and Minnesota) each had two balls. Buffalo dropped to the 13th overall pick, Columbus landed the sixth overall pick and the Rangers landed the 16th overall pick.
In Episode 13 of Tilted Ice: North of Penn (Available on iTunes), the guys take you to an alternate dimension where on July 22, 2005, the New York Rangers were assigned the NHL’s first overall pick.
You can listen in to this whacky world on iTunes by subscribing to Tilted Ice Podcast and listening to the Soundcloud below.
The Rangers did get crafty though and engineered a 3-team deal that sent their 16th overall pick (Alex Bourret) as well as their second-round pick, 41st overall, current Ranger (Ondrej Pavelec) to Atlanta for the 12th overall pick (Marc Staal) which Atlanta acquired from San Jose. Atlanta, who originally picked 8th overall (Devin Setoguchi) traded back in the round to San Jose swapping their 8th overall pick for San Jose’s 12th overall pick as well as San Jose’s second-round pick and a seventh-round pick.
By the way, Benoit Pouliot was the second highest ranked prospect in that draft after Crosby. Carey Price went fifth overall to the Canadiens, so maybe the balls fell alright for New York.