NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 29, 2020

by | Jun 29, 2020 | News, NHL | 45 comments

More reaction to the draft lottery results, plus the latest on Bruce Boudreau, Chris Kreider, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Bob Wojnowski believes the Red Wings got burned by what he considers the NHL’s draft lottery buffoonery. The Wings had this season’s worst record but fell to fourth overall in the draft order as a placeholder club took the top spot in Phase 1 of the lottery draw on Friday.

The results of the 2020 NHL Draft lottery has sparked criticism of the process (Photo via NHL.com).

You put your fate in random acts, expect random, inexplicable results,” writes Wojnowski, going on to call the lottery “an embarrassment”. He noted the Wings had an 18.5 percent chance of winning the draft lottery, yet the odds were a combined 24.5 percent that one of the eight teams eliminated from the qualifying round of the upcoming 24-team playoff tournament would get the prize. “And here’s the ridiculous part: it’s exactly what the NHL planned to happen.”

THE TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox believes the NHL Draft hasn’t made much sense for years. He thinks Friday’s lottery results destroyed the belief that it’s about fairness of competition, allowing weaker teams an opportunity to compete with stronger clubs.

Cox suggests there’s little evidence the draft helps weaker clubs. “In most cases, they’re weak because they’re badly run,” he said. Cox makes the case for a free market system allowing the top prospects to sign with whoever they choose once they turn 18. He feels it would motivate teams to improve how they run their operations as a way to woo the best young talent. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The anger felt by Red Wings fans over the results of the lottery is understandable, but even if this had been a normal draft year, there’s a good chance the lottery balls still wouldn’t have fallen their way. In 2017, for example, the Colorado Avalanche were the league’s worst team but dropped to fourth as the Devils won the lottery.

That’s cold comfort for the Wings and their fans, but they could still end up with a very good player, perhaps a potential superstar, with the No. 4 pick. Just like the Avs did when they selected Cale Makar three years ago.

Don’t expect the NHL to take up Cox’s suggestion to scrap the draft in favor of an open market. The last thing they want is the best prospects clustering toward a handful of clubs.

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Michael Russo reports former Minnesota Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau is hoping this season won’t be his last as an NHL bench boss.

The plan was when we signed here that this was it for me, and this is where we were going to end up. Even though I hope it’s not, it’s just tough when it goes this way.”

Boudreau has two years remaining in an advisory role with the Wild, but he doesn’t know if general manager Bill Guerin will take advantage of it.

NEWSDAY: New York Rangers’ Chris Kreider (broken foot) and Micheal Haley (torn abdominal muscle) have fully recovered from their injuries and ready to return to action.

STLTODAY.COM: Recently retired NHL player Chris Thorburn hopes to mentor young pros.



  1. In last year’s draft Ottawa had the worst record and the best % of winning # 1 … and that pick (which belonged to Colorado) … also fell to 4th. S*&t happens all the time. C’est la vie.

    • I’ve been pretty outspoken about my disdain for the current lottery format.

      I honestly don’t know what the solution is, but there has to be something better than S—t luck and or being terrible.

      NO team should have the opportunity Edmonton has had in recent years. And NJ appears to be going down that same lucky path. All for both organizations being run completely incompetent for YEARS.

      Yes… NJ, I know Lou is somewhat popular here but look how he ran NJ into the ground. One of the absolute worst cap era Gms out there imo.

      The cap was put in place to keep things “fair” , “competitively balanced” . If you want to keep all things fair, there needs to be a better distribution plan for the best young players available.

      Or just trash the cap and let the rich poach the best players available…. the way it’s supposed to be!

      • Letting the rich clubs poach the best available players didn’t work out so well for your Rangers, Nyr4life. Seven straight seasons of missed playoffs from 1997-98 to 2003-04.

      • I totally agree with that Lyle. It wasn’t until they took a middle of the ground approach that they found some success again. ( Trading for Jagr, Signing Nylander, Straka ) while letting go of the rotting aging Messier, Bure (injured) Kovalev, etc. and bringing in Lundqvist, Stepan, Anisimov, Callahan , Dubinsky, Giradi, Mcdonagh etc.

        Teams that try and strictly build from draft aren’t exactly successful either. Edmonton, Buffalo, NJ, Arizona (up until recently) etc.

        Somewhere, there is a middle ground of FA all star team and a 12 year Edmonton rebuild.

  2. Sure would like to see Bruce Boudreau finish his career in Toronto. I know it’s unlikely but, as we learn every day, you never know what’s around the corner.

    • I’m curious why you’d want to see that? He didn’t have a very good playing career I. Toronto, and although his coaching winning percentage looks good on paper…. so did the teams he coached (up until Minnesota).

      I think 90%+ of Ranger fans would give Messier the key to the GM office , head coach, president, owner… but I’ll never understand it for the life of me.

      • Kinda personal for me, NY4, Boudreau came up playing junior in my home town, then to the Marlies and the Leafs.
        He’s always entertaining, never short of quips and expressions, but teams play well for him.
        It won’t happen but it would be fun if it did.
        Stay safe.

    • Boudreau has a consistently poor playoff record, which likely accounts for his being repeatedly fired. The mystery to me is why with his record he keeps getting hired.

      BCLF: If you like him because he has good quips and is entertaining then root for him to get a job commentating on hockey games. You’d get to hear more of him that way.

      • Apparently he’d have to lose 50% of his everyday vocabulary before they’d allow him to fulfill that role

  3. Yeah the folks in Vancouver feel just awful for Det and wonder where Wojnowski was with this “embarassement” talk when Canucks were last in the league for a good stretch yet never got a sniff of 4th overall or higher.

    Thankfully Canucks were lucky enough to select Pettersson and Hughes, arguably the best players of their respective drafts

    I do think the draft should be returned to older form and only include the bottom 5 worse teams. The ones just missing the playoffs should have no business being in a lottery imo.
    Yzerman inherited a crap team and is already screwed in the draft, he absolutely should be picking top 3, along with Dorian

  4. I like the rest of you have harsh comments on the draft but it is what it is. It takes more than one player to make a team and going forward Detroit is in the collecting draft picks at all levels stage.
    They should consider taking that 4th and moving back, several teams have more than one first round pick and others have clusters of 2nd rounders. If they could trade back once or twice just maybe they could end up with 3 or 4 picks in the first 2 rounds and put some bodies with potential in the farm system.

    • As was said before – and I believe this is the most logical solution – if there is a max number of position that a lottery team can fall, then there should be a max number of spots any non lottery team can climb.

      • Don’t toss logic into the NHL equation Mathieu. They have no grasp of the concept.

      • Mat, that’s a hell of a good idea!

    • Boom/Bust

      Strategy is good

      Not sure if Stevie Y goes there….

      But think about …. Wings/Jets…

      4th to Sens

      NYI pick (high teens) plus 33rd (Sens own) ; Abromov to Wings

      Sens get

      Byfield or Stutzle

    • They already have 4 picks in the first 2 rounds – so you think they should trade back and still end up with 4 picks in the first 2 rounds ?

      • Hi Iago

        Not sure if you were asking me or BoomBust

        As I said Stevie Y unlikely to do that; but I proposed converting the 4th overall into an up and coming prospect (Abromov) ; while shifting down 12-15 slots in the first ; AND getting 33rd pick (basically the same probability of NHLer as the last 2 or 3 first round picks …. 29th – 31st)

        Stevie Y may also be keen on a player currently projected 11-14… so he could look to the play-in teams that end up there to see if they’d like to move up; grab an extra prospect In the deal AND get the player he was looking at anyway

        Not saying that he’s looking at a goalie…. but Askarov is currently projected in that range …. so let’s say SY was keen on him… instead of taking Drysdale or Raymond or Perfetti or Rossi… he gets Askarov and a 20/21 year old prospect who is ready to step into NHL next season??

        Just sayin’

    • They already have 4 picks in the first 2 rounds – why trade back and still only have 4 picks in the first 2 rounds ?

      • Pengy – I was answering Boom/Bust. I considered your proposal, and I’m not sure it is good enough. I am not familiar with Abramov, so all I could do was look up his stats and ratings as a prospect. His recent stats are just OK, and he was not rated in the top 100 prospects at mid season. On the face of it, Abramov+a late teen + #33 doesn’t do it for me to give up #4. I know SY thinks outside the box in the draft, but, unless there is someone rated in the late teens that he would consider drafting at #4 anyway, no thanks.

  5. Weak teams will have a chance to improve dramatically over the next three years. Many good players with iffy contracts will be had for peanuts. Salary cap won’t be going up much over that term and teams will need the room for their RFA;s. I can see some real head scratchers over the next couple of years. UFA,s should also be a great deal weak teams just have to be patient. Should be interesting going forward.

    • Obe

      Fully agree

      Sens could look extremely good in 3 years

      Oddly enough; the team that for many years “ate” highCap crappy contracts from other teams ; to get assets…. because they had the space …. Coyotes…. are now in Cap problems

      Stepan ($6.5M Cap) is only owed $2M after SB paid

      Sens have space

      Stepan + Garland for a 2nd ??

      Stepan has 1 year left; Sens get an up and coming good prospect that is definitely trending mid 6 ; 3C or possibly 2nd line winger

      Sens on the move; picking 3rd , 5th and likely high teens ; plus 33rd; AND 3 more likely in the 45th -55th range

      picks are never a certainty ;

      But if your picking

      2 of top 5

      3 of top 20

      4 of top 33

      and 7 of top 55….

      …. and 6 more picks after that!!!!

      the odds of getting 3 or more eventual career NHL players out of those 13 ….. very high IMO

      4 career NHL players…. fair IMO

      5 career NHLers is not impossible

      IMHO; Sens are in the driver seat; with some luck; prudent moves…. Sens are contenders for a 1/2 decade starting 3 years from now

      George…. just make sure you put a muzzle on “Melnyk the Interferer”

      • Actually, Pengy, he’s been pretty agreeable through the whole process so far. But watch out IF the Covid situation worsens to the extent where the whole playoff process has to be cancelled, the result of which the current draft results would need to be cancelled as well and, as rumours have circulated, EVERY team goes into an equal shot at # 1.

        How they’d handle that beyond the first pick is not clear, but if all 31 draft positions for round 1 are settled that way, a team like Detroit, Ottawa or L.A. (or anyone else for matter) could wind up with the 31st pick in each round!! Then watch the howls.

        Lyle, any scuttlebutt on which way they’d go IF the whole playoffs are cancelled? Surely they wouldn’t go down THAT road!

      • Hi George

        What interpreted from Friedman re full cancelation of season (no play ins done) was 31 teams have equal shot at first pick only ; then seeded by points percentage only after that … so if I understood him correctly… Bruins could only pick 31st or 1st ; Det only first or second; Sens worst case was 3rd and 4th

        I didn’t hear about any full 30 lottery ball drops

        I may have missed that … does anybody here know definitively?

      • Well, if that is indeed the case, Ottawa could get another crack at # 1 :), OR, it could then fall to another team in the re-build phase (like Detroit, L.A. or Anaheim) rather than a team like Edmonton, Toronto or Pittsburgh.

      • Hi George

        You know my answer wrt choice of first going to either Sens/Wings or one of Pens/Leafs…. 😁👍🙏🤞

        My gut feeling is IF they do resume …. Lafrenniere ends up at “home” (sort of)

        For this to happen…. Habs have to lose to Pens…. as at now not a strong possibility…. but if Sully has a brain fart and plays JJ combined with Price’s capabilities…. wellllllll ….. 😭😡

  6. Re draft

    I can’t buy in to the theory that the lottery balls actually dropping were fixed (known result pre-drop)

    I can be swayed to buy into the methodology and prescribed odds set to have strong probability to favour the outcome that happened…. playin team winning one of the top 3 spots

    Re who has best odds of winning Lafrenierre right now (maintenant) …. to Lyle , Howard and other Habs fans…. it’s Montreal

    All losing clubs in playins …. equal chance…. and per TSN, SN prognosticators and Vegas odds; as at right now; highest odds of winning playoff round is Pens…. meaning Habs highest probability of losing playin … thus highest odds of being eligible for the 2nd lottery … Saint Eustache lad comes home?

    Joking aside … my gut feel is that he DOES end up a Hab

    Re drafts lottery in general… can’t appease all but something must be done

    Some here have suggested the “points earned after eliminated” as a driver to odds and/or actual victor of first pick…. this solution ; albeit a pragmatic long shot, does have merit

    Allowing the 15th last team (who might have got there with a downside result of a tie-breaking formula and mathematically could have been first in their Div with maybe 4 more regulation wins [tight tight Div standings]) a chance at first overall pick; IMHO is ludicrous

    The lottery drop is done (normal years) in a room watched by representatives from each team (cell phones checked at door so they can’t communicate to world before Bill Daly announces) and is actually over in seconds

    I propose 3 sets of lotteries done in that same room; non playoff teams grouped in sets of 5… decreasing odds; can’t shift more than 2 spots….

    Bottom five teams ….. odds 35; 25; 15; 10; 5… two lottery drops to determine 1st and 2nd … worst case for last placed team is to pick 3rd ; and 5th last team picks 1st; 4th last team picks 2nd

    Teams 6th last to 10th last… same odds like above …. two more ball drops… 10th last placed team could pick 6th and 6th worst team can’t drop more than to 8th pick

    Repeat for 11th to 15th last spots (next year 10th-16th last with expansion… just change odds slightly)

    Result … 5 extra minutes spent to do 4 extra (total ball drops) lotteries; resulting in max movement UP in lottery of 4 spots; max down , 2 spots

    Odds of Gary accepting that methodology…. about same odds as back to back (‘20 & ‘21) Cups being Blackhawks vs Habs


    • Ooops typo

      Should have been odds:

      35; 25; 20; 15; 5

  7. Strange. My Blue Jackets had the worst record many times and the only time they had the first overall pick, they had to trade up for it. No beating of breasts or gnashing of teeth. One season, the Red Wings have the worst record and lose the draft lottery, suddenly, the pundits act like the Four Horsemen are riding. Advice to said pundits: Pull on your big boy pants and try to act like a man.

    • Paul and not to forget Jarmo Kekalainen was probably the only JM that didn’t have Jesse Puljujarvi in the top three of his draft.

      That decision didn’t work out to badly for the Blue Jackets, considering how wildly scrutinized it was at the time. Quote like “Puljujarvi fell into Edmonton lap” as we know often when you place things on your lap, it tends to slide off.

  8. I went to 2018 to get an idea of the draft odds in a “normal” year.

    Odds of the last place team getting #1 overall: 18.5%. Odds of last place team getting one of the top 3: 49.4%.

    Odds for the second worst team getting #1 overall: 13.5%. Odds of second worst team getting one of the top 3: 38.8.

    So the Wings odds of getting the # 1 draft pick this year were the same as a normal year, which is to say they had an 86.5% chance of not getting the # 1 overall. The ‘fairness’ in the draft is that a last place team is guaranteed to get a very high draft pick.

    I’m a Habs fan. My team went from having a great chance of picking # 8 overall in a strong top 10 draft year to picking, what, 16th? Yes, there are issues with the format in a normal year, let alone this season’s goofy one. But from my position the Wings with a guaranteed # 4 pick are sitting pretty.

  9. I’ve suggested in the past that the draft is about 3-4 rounds too long. Eliminate rounds 4 through 7 and make those players ufa. Still with elc restraints. The players drafted would get higher Elc salary’s with 1st rounders getting the most and then descending. Teams with the best scout teams facilities etc would build their team through both the draft and the signing on young players. Those players could target the teams they think would be best for them.

    Bad teams still get help from the draft but we’ll run teams get the best chance at finding those mid to late round gems.

    • Imagine paying Yakupov big $$$’s right out of the gate … or a lot of 2012 draftees … or any given year 1st rounders?

      Me either. And I doubt owners would ever agree to it.

      NHL development isn’t exactly a fast process. Few players belong in the NHL straight out of the draft.

      I don’t ever see this as a valid option for owners and GMs.

      • Wouldn’t be big money. Still would be a rookie max. Just a higher one than the ufa rookies would get.

      • Oh, got ya. I misread that completely.

  10. So if bottom 8 lottery teams had a 24.5% chance at top pick, first that mean the other 7 had a 75.5% chance? Seems fair to me. The 4 worst teams ended up occupying 4 out of 5 top spots. Maybe not in the order of records, but it accomplishes it’s purpose.

    • <“Doesn’t that mean”

  11. A lottery is the only sensible option.

    I don’t agree with the last place team automatically getting the choice pick.

    Getting the biggest and best prize for being the worst of the group is hogpoop.

    It’s an unjust reward for professional clubs who can’t figure out how to run it’s business as well as others.

    All of this tanking for the best shot at the 1st pick is bastardizing the whole spirit of the process.

    The draft wasn’t invented to level the playing field between good and mediocre clubs. It’s supposed to supply the entire league with new players. Not just the best players on the worst clubs.

    A lottery evens things out a little bit more.
    Not perfect, but better than rewarding intentional losing.

  12. Re Detroit; or any last place team; losing on all three ball drops (shifting to 4th) … the odds were 50.6 % of that actually happening …. basically flip of the coin…. 18.5 % chance of first; 16.5 % 2nd; 14.4 % 3rd…. so the balance of all drop possibilities … as I said …50.6 % … 4th… is mathematically the most likely outcome

    Again…. change needs to happen… as I posted above …. a team in a highly competitive and very tight division may finish as 15th pick odds ….. but could have been a strong team in that Div (marginal points out of first)… and Cupwinner ends up from their Div; so that still strong for following year…. and that team could win first pick???? WTF

    Remember … in ‘15…. Bruins finished 4 points out of 3rd in Atl; missed playoffs by 1 single win…. and they had a chance (low odds but chance) at McD… they snagged a nice forward in DeBrusk ; still made SC finals 4 years later AND tops in league this year…. imagine if they had McD!!

    • Imagine what their cap would be like! 🙂 And who they’d have to jettison in order to pay it.

      • Hi George

        Oh so very true … 1/2 of the McD cap would have come from Backes as there is no way they would have signed him (Backes)

        Perhaps if they did get McD.. they might have moved Krejci after the 15/16 season???

        Would they have kept Dougie if they scored McD???

        Either way… McD on Bruins…. scary

  13. part of the process is to NOT reward tanking, to remove certainty from of best draft results for teams with worst records. My only issue with this year’s process is putting top 16 teams in position for top 3 picks; if they ‘win’, place them after 7 excluded teams…. (and btw i am not a LAK fan …_

  14. Sometimes the draft works out in your favor and you look good even though you didn’t get that the guy you wanted.

    Example in the 2016 draft it was reported by some Boston insiders that the Bruins were targeting Jake Bean; fortunately for Boston, Bean was drafted one pick before Boston pick, so the Bruins settle for Charlie McAvoy.

    Today it looks like Boston got luck; but, we don’t know how Bean will develop.

    The same way the Islanders, Jets and Senators are thanking the Bruins for their 3 consecutive picks in 2015.

  15. Drafting isn’t an art it’s best guess going forward who knew Pasta at 25 would turn out to best young sniper in the league.

  16. Much has been made of Detroit dropping to the fourth overall pick. Here is the players selected 4th overall from 2005 to 2018

    2005 Benoit Pouliot
    2006 Nicklas Backstrom
    2007 Thomas Hickey
    2008 Alex (Pengy) Pietrangelo
    2009 Evander Kane
    2010 Ryan Johansen
    2011 Adam Larsson
    2012 Griffin Reinhart
    2013 Seth Jones
    2014 Sam Bennett
    2015 Mitch Marner
    2016 Jesse Pujujarvi
    2017 Cale Makar
    2018 Brady Tkachuk

    Other then 2012 and potentially 2016 all players have been and are established NHL players and most are above average.

  17. It’s enough help in my opinion that the last finish team can pick no later than 4th in the draft every single year

    But I often felt the top pick should go to the bottom 5 in a lottery. The 2nd pick should got to the other non playoff teams in an even lottery to give those teams a boost from bubble to actual contender. The third pick to any non playoff team.

    But I’m weird.