Beware name brand coaches and draft lottery tanking
The natives are restless in Colorado. Avalanche coach
Roy carries baggage -- his temper, especially -- but a lot of that luggage is high-end,
The one thing Roy does not have is the ability to sell tickets.
This is a fact of life so many organizations miss when they hire a coach for the marquee. While a "name" like
If Colorado does want Roy, it should be because they think he can remake the team, run a bench and handle players. The Avalanche should want him for the right reasons -- as a coach, not a marketing tool.
In the hubbub over the 100th season of the Montreal Canadiens, another noteworthy anniversary has been unfairly overlooked: the promotion of minor league goaltender
Twenty-five years ago, Tremblay was recalled from the AHL to replace
The Penguins didn't want wins. They wanted
Lemieux was the catch in the '84 draft. While
There was no draft lottery in those years, of course, which allowed all kinds of shenanigans. Some were marvelously creative, like the handiwork of Canadiens GM
Some plots were hopelessly ham-fisted, like the meeting between four players and Ottawa Senators board chairman
Indeed, after they became public, Ottawa's musings on the subject of tanking prompted the NHL to introduce a lottery system for the 1995 draft. The current method allows the five worst teams to have a shot at the first pick. (No team can move up more than four spots or drop more than one.) The odds of the 30th place team getting the No. 1 pick are 48.2 per cent. All of which brings us to the temptations of the
Unless a team prefers a tall Swedish drink of water named
While there is no pressure on any bottom feeder at this point in the schedule, the New York Islanders have been playing with a sense of purpose, the Atlanta Thrashers put together a franchise-best winning streak, and the Toronto Maple Leafs gamely soldier on because, as coach
The bad news is the weighted lottery still does not do enough to ensure probity. Finishing 30th this year guarantees you Tavares or Hedman -- and it does not quiet the chatter of fans who have tumbled through the rabbit's hole and view losing as winning.
The solution is simple. Instead of weighting the lottery, the NHL should open it to all 14 teams that fail to make the playoffs. Random order. If you happen to be, say, the Carolina Hurricanes and you finish ninth in the Eastern Conference, you should have as good a chance as adding the top draft-eligible players as the Phoenix Coyotes or Colorado Avalanche. At a time when the integrity of games should be the NHL's top priority, altering the draft would remove any incentive for a team to even ponder the idea of failing to play its best lineup, and stop the talk-radio noise that is poisonous to the league.
Unless those socialists on the NHL Board of Governors want to continue to reward incompetence, they owe it to the league to change the system.