The Carolina Hurricanes have never had much luck in draft lotteries. Even after the 2002-03 season, when they had the worst overall record and fewest points earned in the entire league, they were jumped over by the Pittsburgh Penguins, who over-came the odds to win the lottery that summer as well as the rights to the number one overall pick in the 2003 Entry Draft.
In 2004, the Caps won the lottery and jumped the Penguins as they selected Alex Ovechkin number one overall. But the consolation prize of Evgeni Malkin at number two was nothing to complain too loudly about.
In 2005 the Penguins won the jackpot again, this time winning a special, post lockout lottery and earning the right to draft the player everyone deemed to be the league's next generational talent, Sidney Crosby. The Canes finished third and ended up drafting Jack Johnson. (Yes, there is a little difference there).
More recently, the Edmonton Oilers won the lottery three consecutive years, in 2010, 11, and 12.
There has always been some suspicion about the legitimacy of the Draft Lottery process and conspiracy theories abound.
With another generational talent or two available this summer in Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, apparently the NHL is trying to be proactive and attempt to eliminate any look of impropriety.
According to Ken Campbell of The Hockey News, league sources tell him that a video of the complete process will be made available to the public, after the fact.
"There will be full disclosure," a source said. What form that disclosure takes is not yet known because both the league and its broadcast partners – Rogers Sportsnet, NBC Sports and TVA Sports – are still working out the details. We do know that the lottery will be held the night of April 18, which is the first Saturday of the playoffs. It will likely be held as part of the pre-game show for that night’s national game, which will be decided once the final playoff seedings have been determined. All 14 teams that have a chance of winning the lottery will be invited to send a representative to the event.
The league is already setting itself up for scrutiny. Normally completed in the league offices in New York City, this lottery will be performed in Toronto. If the Leafs win the rights to draft McDavid while the lottery is conducted in the local, home town offices, the NHL will need more than video after the fact to convince most naysayers that the results were legit.
Hopefully, the released video is not in black and white, with the participants walking in slow motion and speaking incoherently. In my opinion if the league really wants to get this right, they should televise the actual lottery on live television, not offer up a video after the fact.
It will be interesting to watch this play out.