By Joseph Hayes
It was a night of frustration.
Being a Detroit Red Wings fan, you knew your team needed the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft.
The Red Wings were by far the worst team in the NHL last season. It wasn’t even close.
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But entering Friday night’s draft lottery, the league evened the odds and the Wings didn’t necessarily even have the greatest chances of securing the top pick.
But they still needed it. Desperately.
So when Detroit fell to No. 4 overall, you could feel the frustration.
And all you could really do was shake your head. It was yet another year where the team had suffered a major setback.
And although this setback might have been the greatest of them all, losing out on top prospect Alexis Lafreniere feels more like the biggest injustice the team could have possibly faced.
Lafreniere seems comparable in his youth to Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sydney Crosby and would have given the Wings an immediate breakthrough talent.
But all of that came to naught Friday night.
“We had an 18.5% chance of winning the first pick, so realistically I’m prepared to not be sitting here talking about the first pick,” Detroit Red Wings General Manager Steve Yzerman said after the disappointment of Friday night.
“Anything I say will be self-serving. They got to do what they got to do.”
But what the NHL has to do is fix their system. Enough frustration is enough.
Entering the draft lottery, the Red Wings had a 50.6 perfect chance of drafting fourth, despite finishing with the worst record in the league.
How does that make sense?
Meanwhile, a team that qualified for the playoffs will pick first overall?
The NHL has to somehow get this right. The draft is supposed to be a way for teams to progress and where you choose should be based off your success of the previous season.
The constant incompetence of the NHL even regarding the draft continues to prove that some things are even too easy to get right.
The NHL has proved it once again.