Perhaps he’s still salty about having to settle for Bobby Ryan instead of Sidney Crosby in 2005, but Brian Burke, like many hockey fans, isn’t fully satisfied with the current system the NHL has in place to determine the order of its annual draft.
Burke said during his To The Point segment this past weekend on Hockey Night in Canada that if it were up to him he’d make certain tweaks. The former NHL exec doubled down during a Wednesday appearance on The Starting Lineup, saying there are two main things he’d change about the draft lottery.
The first is the number of teams involved.
“The teams that need the most help, get the most help. That’s the theory of inverse order of finish,” Burke said. “Now you’ve got teams that openly talk about tanking, teams that clearly tanked, so we have to put in a lottery. I agree. I get it. But we’ve got all the non-playoff teams in the lottery and I think that’s a joke.”
A lottery system was first instituted in 1995 where all non-playoff teams participated in a weighted draw in which the winning team could move up a maximum of four spots. That meant a team had to finish as a bottom-five club in order to get the top pick in the draft. For example, the Devils won the lottery in 2011 but because of the rules they only moved from the eighth spot up to four.