With the trade deadline looming, there is a renewed focus on draft picks. And with talk about draft picks, you've got to have some talk about the draft lottery. There have been a lot of proposals that attempt to keep things fair - "the wheel" and the every-team-out-of-playoffs-does-flat-lottery are two favorites. However, I have a proposal for a lottery that's the most fair possible. Here it is, and I think you'll agree that it's as simple as it is fair.:
- Add together Team's first overall picks and Stanley Cups as "draft value"
- Arrange draft order from least draft value to most, every year.
This is probably the most fair way to do it. The draft is supposed to help bad teams become good ones, after all. For example, the San Jose Sharks haven't drafted first overall OR won a Stanley Cup, ever. Neither has, say, Nashville. So, both of those teams would end up either winning a cup or drafting first overall in the next few years. Makes sense, right? I thought so. Obviously, the "draft value" would change year-to-year as teams drafted or won. I've created a handy chart to show each team's draft value, and a calculation for how long until they get to pick first overall again:
|Team||1st overalls||Cups||Draft Value||Years until pick|
|San Jose Sharks||0||0||0||0|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||1||0||1||4|
|St. Louis Blues||1||0||1||4|
|Los Angeles Kings||1||2||3||27|
|New Jersey Devils||1||3||4||44|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||3||1||4||44|
|New York Rangers||1||4||5||64|
|New York Islanders||4||4||8||132|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||1||13||14||292|
|Detroit Red Wings||3||11||14||292|
Granted, this would be unfortunate for the Bruins. But any system which keeps Montreal at the bottom of the pick list for the next 700+ years is fair, right?