The first bit of news I got this morning was this story about the tragic death of Canes' RW Jeff O'Neill's brother. I don't know what to say. I've said some really negative, even mean things about Jeff before. His play is lackluster, he's out of shape, he's a drunken clown, and in many different ways I've said that I don't want to see him in a Hurricanes sweater ever again. As much as I don't like the guy, he doesn't deserve, nobody deserves, to lose his brother in a tragic accident like that. My thoughts will be with him as he deals with this terrible ordeal. Maybe Jeff will be able to get himself back in shape and dedicate his season to the memory of his brother. He's already said that he doesn't expect to see a qualifying sheet from the Hurricanes and that if he had his druthers, he'd play in Toronto. Of course Jeff will be spending some serious time with his family over the next few weeks and months. If I'm not mistaken, they live near Toronto. If he decides to stay there near his family, that transition would be really easy for him and the Leafs. Whatever he does, I wish him the best.
According to some talk I've been hearing on the Canes message boards, there's a chance that the draft lottery will be a "reverse draft", in which Buffalo, the Rangers, the Penguins and the Blue Jackets will each have ONE ball (instead of three). The Ducks, Flames, Thrashers, Canes, Blackhawks, Oilers, Kings, Wild, Preds and Coyotes would each have TWO balls. The other sixteen teams will have THREE (instead of one) balls. In the system we've been hearing about for a week or so, the worst teams (three ball) had a 6.25% chance at the FIRST pick, the two ball teams had a 4.17% chance, and the one ball teams had a 2.08% chance. In this new "reverse draft", they'd actually be drawing balls to see who gets the LAST pick, and work their way from 30 to 1. So the 16 teams with 3 balls each have a 4.17% chance of the LAST pick. 2-ball teams have a 2.78% chance and the worst teams have a 1.39% chance.
I don't know how I feel about this. I'm pretty sure that I don't like it. I think the three ball system is dumb. Especially since the system is based on three years of playoffs and four years of draft position. There should be more balls. The really cruddy teams should have, say, five balls while the Detroits and the Torontos of the world should have one. I'm not even sure if I agree that every team should have a chance at the #1 pick.
In addition to the rumor about the "reverse draft lottery", I heard some talk about the draft order reversing in even numbered rounds, making a snake. Just like we all do in our fantasy football and baseball drafts. I don't think that's a good idea, either. It might work out just fine for amateurs like you and me, and in a 12 team league, but I don't know that it would work out in the real world.
Has anyone else heard these rumors? Thoughts?
5 years ago