Red Wings Opinion: Draft Lottery Takes Precedence

Octopus Thrower

Let’s face it: at this point, Detroit Red Wings fans are quietly rooting for the “L.” Though it could be argued that fans are always hoping for the win, it’s crucial that Detroit finds a way to slide down the scale as the season comes to a close.

As one Red Wing after another seems to be shelved for the season, a dual goal is being met: The organization is getting a long look at younger players while the losses equal a better chance at a lottery pick.

Are Red Wings fans conflicted?

I’m not to be honest. Mathematically eliminated from the playoffs and the team on fumes, wins really don’t help anything at this point. Blame the NHL for this. In a system that is utterly ridiculous, one that rewarded Pittsburgh into what is now a fifteen year playoff streak, it’s been apparent for a long while that the only way to build sustained success is to have a top pick in the draft. Of course, draft rules have been tweaked and the Red Wings stand a lesser chance now of getting that top two pick since it’s only two draws instead of three now.

This of course implemented because Detroit slid down three spots in the draft last season. Now, with only a couple shots at the top two picks, here’s what Tankathon predicted after I simmed it ten more times:

1st overall – 1
2nd overall – 1
6th overall – 1
7th overall – 5
8th overall – 2

Sitting sixth still saw the Red Wings choosing beneath their own spot 70% of the time in this simulation.

It only doubles down on the idea that losses–not wins–benefits Detroit more.

Rooting Interests in the last Four Games

Development and sadly, a loss are the keys at this point. Until there’s a real fix that fixes the draft system into one that doesn’t reward losing, it’s hard pressed to find a solution that doesn’t involve losing to improve the future.

It’s frustrating and ridiculous. But it’s where we’re at as a fanbase.

Here’s hoping there’s a little luck–along with some Steve Yzerman magic, that will have us rooting for playoff wins a few years from now.

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