Last night never happened. Last week never happened. The Leafs have always been a draft lottery team, that’s how I’ll choose to look at it. So here we are, banking on the Leafs 12.5% chance at the first overall pick paying off better than it will for the Rangers, Penguins, Panthers, Jets, Oilers, Predators, or the Wild.
We’ll cut with the suspense and acknowledge that when it comes to ranking the best possible outcomes for winning the draft lottery is the Leafs winning it. So there’s your number one, you can move on, but aside from that what are the best possible outcomes for the Leafs when it comes to the draft lottery? Here are the rankings of 2 through 8.
8. Florida Panthers
With Dale Tallon out, and a potentially competent GM on the way in, the idea of a talented draft pick entering the Leafs division wouldn’t be ideal. Now, when it comes to Florida winning it, there is the comfort from the league perspective of at least the Penguins, Oilers or Leafs winning it, but that’s less ideal for the Leafs.
7. Pittsburgh Penguins
A team with Sidney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin being able to add a cost controlled winger would be damned unfair. And while the Pens aren’t in the Leafs division, the fact that Pittsburgh could become a cup contender is disheartening.
6. New York Rangers
The Rangers have been loading up on young talent in their quick rebuild. And the idea of the Rangers getting cost controlled top tier talent, and New York being able to throw money at free agents is not something the league needs.
5. Edmonton Oilers
Outside of Oilers fans I can’t imagine anyone wants to see the Oilers win another lottery. Even fans of chaos have probably had enough of the Oilers winning the lottery.
4. Nashville Predators
The Preds are always a solid team with a strong blueline. Adding a top tier forward makes them a top contender in the West. Plus does anyone really want to see Nashville do well?
3. Minnesota Wild
The Wild winning the lottery is completely harmless. It’s also incredibly boring.
2. Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg doesn’t even have an airport, they deserve a shiny new forward.
So really at the end of the day, it would be painful to see any of these teams win because they aren’t the Leafs. It’s been a rough few days, and it was a rough season. Winning the draft lottery would make up for the fact that we’re going to spend the next month watching playoff hockey in Toronto and it won’t involve the Leafs.