The NHL board of governors approved new rules for the NHL lottery drawing that will help last-place teams but restrict perpetual losers from winning multiple lotteries, a source confirmed to ESPN on Tuesday.
The rules will be implemented starting with the lottery 2022. TSN was the first to report the approval.
The biggest change in the current system is that the lottery will only determine the first two selections in the draw, rather than having three different lotteries for the first three selections.
This change was influenced by the 2020 lottery, in which the Detroit Red Wings, who had the worst record in the league (17-49-5) and the best odds for the first overall pick (18.5%), ended up picking fourth in overall, as the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and Ottawa Senators won the lotteries for the top three selections.
“There are some clubs that think it is important that the teams that are struggling the most get the most help. There are other teams that think there is nothing wrong with the current system,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said recently. “Our competitive balance is so extraordinary that some clubs feel that the difference between a team that misses the playoffs and a team that actually misses the playoffs is really not that great. To try to reconcile those opposing opinions, we thought that maybe a little retouch [was necessary]. “
Another change to the lottery draw is that teams can only promote a maximum of 10 sports by winning one of the two lotteries. Therefore, only 11 of the 16 teams that miss the playoffs will be eligible for the first overall pick.
Ultimately, the NHL ruled that a franchise cannot win the lottery more than twice in a five-year span. That’s not unique to the first overall pick – it means a team can’t advance by winning the lottery more than twice in a five-year span.
The Edmonton Oilers and New Jersey Devils have been the cartel franchises for this rule-setting, having each won the lottery three times since 2010.
“I don’t think there is a tank in the game. I think our players and our organizations, our coaches are too professional. But there is always speculation,” Bettman said recently.