Morning Rumors: Draft Lottery, Sabres, Panthers, Flyers, Oilers, Kovalchuk and the Devils

  • Elliotte Friedman: The NHL is looking into altering their draft lottery process. Under the current system, any team in the lottery could ‘win’ the lottery and select first overall, as well as not being able fall back more than one draft slot. There are talks of altering the systems so that teams could drop to the fourth or possibly the six slot. Odds of winning the lottery are 25 percent for the worst team to 0.5 percent for the 14th seed. This could be altered too. They are also looking at the possibility of looking at a team over a five year span.The NHL may get rid of having ‘lists’ for shooters taking part in the shootout.Illegal testing of draft prospects could be $250,000.

    Sabres GM Tim Murray will look to start contract extension talks with Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno to see if they are interested in signing on long-term.

    Murray said there were no offers that were remotely close for Tyler Myers or Christian Ehrhoff at the deadline. Cap recapture on Ehrhoff’s deal are a concern and affects trade scenarios.

    Five years ago the Panthers asked the Flyers for Claude Giroux when the Flyers inquired about Jay Bouwmeester. The Flyers obviously said no. The Kings asked the Flyers for Sean Couturier when they were shopping Jonathan Bernier.

    Oilers owner Daryl Katz is thought to be the driving force behind the Oilers draft Nail Yakupov over Ryan Murray.

    Friedman asked Ilya Kovalchuk at the Olympics if he would return to the NHL, Kovalchuk laughed and said he has three years left on his KHL deal and we’ll see.

  • Mike Harrington: “No shock the NHL is worried about tanking for top picks, given what’s gone on in the NBA and the charade #Sabres pulled in October.” … “@JeremyWGR et al — charade was starting season w/4 teen-agers, first team in NHL to play a single game in 18 years. Trading UFAs is fine. The Sabres have traded their UFAs and have bad NHL players now. Fair enough. Starting 4 teen-agers was an open tank. That’s my point.”
  • Randy Miller of Devils Martin Brodeur said back when he, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter were unrestricted free agent in 2012, Parise was “pretty close” to remaining with the Devils and luring Suter. Brodeur signed a two-year $9 million deal with the Devils, Parise and Suter signed with the Wild.

    “Listen, I was on the phone with Zach while I was doing my thing two years ago,” Brodeur said. “We were in the same boat. We’d talk and he’d ask me, ‘Are you going to come back?’ We had a lot of conversations. I was supposed to get on the phone with Suter. I never got to the phone with him, but we were talking about it.”

    “Zach was pretty close to coming back here,” Brodeur said. “It’s not something that he wanted at no cost getting out of New Jersey, like other guys when they hit free agency you knew it was all over for them. He and Suter were pretty close, and anywhere they were going to go, it was a package deal probably.”


  1. Shane

    March 18, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Kovalchuk is a dirtbag… he had 12 years left on his contract when he left the NHL and signed a new deal less than a week later! Do svidanya Ilya.

  2. Tom

    March 18, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News is a hack and terrible excuse for a journalist. To remotely say the Sabres planned to tank on purpose from Game #1 is irresponsible journalism and far fetched. The Sabres knew they would be bad but thought they would be somewhat competitive not Keystone Cops show we see night in and night out. Mike Harrington should resign from the Buffalo News and “write” for some other rag of a newspaper.

  3. PatHoffman

    March 18, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Tom – The guy is extremely opinionated to the point where he thinks he is right about everything. I remember seeing how he acted during a press conference where he acted like a three year old demanding Ted Black bring him Pegula. Everyone deserves a little respect as a human being but he lost it there that day.

  4. Chris

    March 18, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    The fact remains that there is zero incentive to improve your team. If Buffalo weren’t trying to tank at the beginning of the season they sure were by the midpoint when they traded Vanek and most definitely at the deadline when they traded away everybody they could.

    I like the idea of providing an incentive for teams to win games or at least not to tank. I look at the Flames who have been trying to win games all year. They didn’t unload everybody at the deadline and if they keep winning the consequence will be that they get the 5th overall instead of the 3rd overall. Why would you NOT tank?

    I would never suggest that you can tell players to lose on purpose but you certainly can create the conditions. Teams can dress their least experienced players, put them in special teams situations and dress their backup goaltenders and tell the media that they are ‘seeing what we have for next year’ when in reality they’re icing the worst lineup they can. Under the current system this make sense.

    I’d love a system where the 14 teams that miss the playoffs all get an equal shot at the top pick or that if you get a top pick one year you have significantly less of a chance at getting a top pick the next year.

    What bothers me is that teams like Buffalo, the Isles, Florida etc. have zero incentive to try to be competitive. All the rich teams pay for their lost seasons in revenue sharing while feeling the pressure to be competitive in their own markets. People think the rich teams have the advantage.

    Maybe in free agency sometimes but not in team building. Think about the following
    – Poor teams can be bad while rich teams pay for them to stay afloat. They don’t have to win to entice fans to come to games.
    – Poor teams can develop their prospects with zero pressure on them
    – Most of the poor teams are in nice sunny places where Canadians seem to want to play.

    Rich teams have to be far more selective about who they pick in the draft. A weak kid with a lot of skill won’t survive in a Canadian market but will be just fine in Florida because nobody cares how fast or slow he’s developing. Rich teams play in high pressure markets and a lot of the time in colder places which means they have to win to appease the fans, they have to give a lot of their revenue to poor teams, free agents don’t want to play there because they’d rather wear sandals to practice and play with zero pressure and because rich teams have to be competitive they often don’t finish at the bottom of the league. I think if your team does everything that it can to win but doesn’t make the playoffs they should have every opportunity to improve their team by drafting at or near the top of the draft.

  5. PatHoffman

    March 18, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Didn’t teams like Pittsburgh and Chicago get better through the draft? Why is it that Buffalo is under such fire for basically wanting to do the same thing?

    Buffalo has a plan to get better with the draft. That’s why all the players of value were traded out to accumulate picks and prospects that could be used either as is or packaged together to improve the team through trades. Vanek and Miller were both going to leave during the summer so they had to go, no one wanted another Drury/Briere situation.

    They tried just going the free agency route a few years ago and it didn’t help the team.

  6. hotwings

    March 18, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    debating about “tanking for draft picks” is a fools errand and media talking point at best.

    at the opposite end of the spectrum, we have teams that are competitive and who trade draft picks for players who can help them deliver a cup, which ignites another meaningless debate about “mortgaging the future”.

    In reality, a team like Buffalo in recent years tried to spend to get better (ernhoff, myers, leno) but that didn’t pan out. So, in the span of about 5 years, Buffalo has been spending money to get better, and now they just need to get better via the draft, because their previous plan didnt work out. Big deal… no controversy there — it’s just business cycles…

    Chicago and Pitts got damn lucky w/ their draft picks compared to the Isles, Oilers and Panthers who have also been stock piling many top 10 picks for years now…

  7. hankbemis

    March 18, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    @Chris: this: “What bothers me is that teams like Buffalo, the Isles, Florida etc. have zero incentive to try to be competitive. All the rich teams pay for their lost seasons in revenue sharing while feeling the pressure to be competitive in their own markets. People think the rich teams have the advantage.”

    is the best thing I’ve ever seen on this website, hands down. you are so right. I wrote a piece on this on my now defunct website during the lockout, in which players (players!) were proposing relinquishing revenue shares in exchange for setting up an emergency fund for teams that lost money. that’s called having your cake and eating it too, and can only be done if someone gives you another cake for free (in essence incentivizing you to eat the cake).

    and since we are talking about the market economics, let’s not forget the real reason players go to florida – NO INCOME TAX! that and no pressure to win, if your name is roberto luongo.

    on another note, remember when tim thomas’ jersey was the NHL top-seller when he returned after his hiatus? there is no doubting what thomas did to cause that spike in sales. then the netminder gets shipped to texas… i’m thinking this could be the best-selling jersey in NHL history!