Today is the day, all fans of the tank have circled on their Barbie Calendar’s, as the draft order will be finally be revealed. The excitement of not knowing where McDavid will end up, and the hopes of winning the lottery will come to a close at 8:00pm.
Imagine the Florida Panthers beat the Sabres for the second straight year in the lottery. The Panthers just missed out on a playoff birth in 2015, and battled all season long, until a Roberto Luongo injury derailed their chances. The Panthers won the lottery in 2014 and landed a superstar defenseman in Aaron Ekblad. Ekblad was a staple in his first year in the NHL, a rare sight for defenseman. The tough transition from Juniors to the Professional level takes some top picks a few years to pull off, making his rookie season, a huge success. He grabbed 39 points(12 goals, 27 assists) which had him tied for 28th. The 19 year old is a future stud, and is already big impact on the blue line.
Putting McDavid on that roster will make not only Sabres fans skin crawl, fans of the Coyotes, Oilers, and Leafs will all be extremely jealous. A team that has trouble getting more than 2 thousand fans into their arena, lands two number 1 picks in back to back years.
The Panthers foundation is ready built for a playoff run, with young cornerstone players such as, 22 year old Nick Bjugstad, 21 year old Jonathan Huberdeau, and 19 year old Aleksander Barkov. These 3 are former first round picks, and seem to be close to hitting their stride.
Winning the lottery would give the Panthers the best young core in the NHL, and would no longer be a easy win on the schedule.
As a Sabres fan, I’d hate it if any team outside of the bottom 4, winning the Lottery. The jump from 30th to 26th is 17 points, which shows the difference in the depth of NHL talent. A team outside of the bottom 4 winning, would easily push them to a playoff position next year, as the excitement of McDavid joining them alone would help secure a playoff position.
The discussion of who will win the Lottery, and where the other pieces will fall has been an interesting debate and a fun one.
Some fans want the Leafs to win the lottery to nab McDavid, and the Sabres getting the services of Eichel. Instantly renewing the rivalry of Toronto and Buffalo, Canadian prospect vs American prospect.
The other group of fans do not want to root for the Leafs to win the Lottery, because of the rivalry still being there, just not as strong as before. “The Leafs are the Sabres number 1 enemy, how can you root for them to get the better player of the two?”
Let me clarify. This scenario is only in the case, very likely though, that the Sabres do not grab the top pick. I am by no means, rooting for Buffalo to miss out on the top pick, in order for another franchise to win the McDavid sweepstakes. In the even that the Sabres don’t win the Lottery, I would like the Leafs to win, as it would be fun to watch Toronto and Buffalo both have top picks being compared to each other for their NHL careers. Most will do it anyways, regardless of where they end up.
Top 5 Places I’d hate to see McDavid end up
The Blue Jackets, Avalanche, and Panthers are all teams I would prefer that didn’t win the Lottery. These teams already have top talent making an impact in the NHL. Heck even the Oilers winning would make me uneasy. The Oilers will not finish in the bottom 10 next year, bank on that.
Add in the Bruins, because what Sabres fan likes any sports out of Boston? The Bruins are one of my least favorite NHL teams, and I would be devastated if the Bruins ended up with McDavid
The last team, is an easy one, the Los Angeles Kings. They have 2 cups in 3 years, and always find a way to sneak into the playoffs. I do not want them getting another player that can impact their franchise like “the Great One” once did. If he ended up in a Kings uniform, he would grab that comparison so fast, it wouldn’t be funny. It would make me so jealous of the Kings, as they have 2 recent Stanley Cups. The Kings winning McDavid would make me despise this franchise.
What are the teams you would hate to see win the Lottery tonight, if your franchise misses out on the top pick?
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