Do I Feel Bad?

We won and they whined. We actually didn’t win, but still benefitted, and they whined. We won a 2nd time and the whining reached peak level. The Oilers picked 1st in the draft for three years in a row against all odds and the other teams cried foul. Rules were changed. We told them it was stupid. Now look at those idiots. And do I feel bad? Nope.

It is absolutely true that the reason the Avalanche and the Canucks are washing their tear-stained pillow casings today are because the Oilers were hella awful for way too long. They sucked. They even sucked on purpose for a while until they tried to stop sucking and found out that they were sucking because they just didn’t know how to do anything else. The end result was a team that scrapped the bottom of the NHL and in turn picked up the best odds to win the lottery.

But all they had were odds. It was a 25% chance for the Oilers to win Hall. They lost the lottery in the RNH draft but rules prevented the Devils from moving up any higher than 4th overall with their win. The Devils only had a 3.6% chance of winning. Edmonton only had an 18.8% chance to win in 2012 to take Nail Yakupov, but luck was on their side (debatable depending on who you ask).

Based on my advanced calculations (I’m not even sure I’m mathing correctly. I have Arts Degrees, people), the odds of those things happening the way they did were about 0.17% (25% x 18.8% x 3.6%). This is BEFORE the Oilers win the McDavid lottery on 11.5% odds. So this thing plays out on the slimmest of odds but instead of recognizing this, the fans, the broadcasters, and to a large extent the NHL itself freaks out and starts proposing changes to the NHL Lottery process.

Fine. No problem. And in their zeal to retroactively punish the Oilers for winning on a longshot they decide to remove protections to keep the worst teams in the NHL from drafting impact players.

Wait. What?

Odds are lowered even further at the top of the lottery eligible teams and expanded to teams who are significantly better. Um…OK. And the league baby steps towards a process that can see the absolute worst team in the league pick fourth. All because the Oilers hit on a 0.17% chance to do something crazy?! In a rational world there’s no way that happens because someone sits down the hysterical GMs and other club representatives to explain that the Drafts is *supposed* to help bad teams get better and sometimes weird things happen with luck but overall the process works. Maybe the NHL even had that guy in the corner trying to explain how these things work but he certainly wasn’t heard over the cries of the babies in suits wailing about how unfair life is.

“Waaaahhhhhhh. The Oilers keep winning. Wahhhhhhhhhhhh. NOT FAIR!!!” – 200 Hockey Men.

Well let’s fast forward now to the 2017 NHL Draft lottery and the Avalanche are a blight on the league that is an embarrassment to professional sport. They were worse than any team the Oilers ever iced and that’s probably the worst thing you can say about a team in the NHL. The team is being run by a man who once willingly shoved his hand in a snow blower and the results are as expected. Even their head coach bailed just weeks before the season after he looked at the final roster.

And the Canucks? The Godless Canucks? Ha! You might think it’s impossible for me to hate the Canucks since they don’t matter and probably won’t ever again, but you’d be wrong. The Canucks are still in my top three most hated organizations ever behind only the Flames and Moose Toys, the monsters behind the Shopkins craze. Their best players are old and their best prospects would rather play in Siberia than stay in Vancouver. Well done.

These teams ought to be drafting in prime positions and they probably NEED to do it if they ever want to break the cycle of failure and rise again in the NHL. But they won’t. They’ll draft 4th and 5th, which sounds like it’s still pretty good but everyone tracking the Draft knows there is always a massive drop outside of the top 3. And this is a draft that wasn’t exciting at the top to begin with.

But do I feel bad for these whiners who cried foul now that they’re getting exactly what they wanted?


Tough luck, Avalanche. Too bad, Canucks. It took three random events with an infinitesimally small chance of happening to change the rules and screw over the worst teams in the league and the other fans in the NHL can blame nobody but themselves for it. And the best part? It will probably take a decade or more for the implications these changes have on bad teams to become evident and recognized before we change back to a system that helps poor teams get better.

Good news though, you Canuck and Avalanche fans can watch Connor McDavid rip through your garbage teams for the next decade while you wait. And I’ll remind you that this is exactly what you deserve.


    • TruthHurts98

      The NHL is an awful lot like the political mess in Washington that changes “leaders” but the same crap keeps happening. I hope some day they (NHL) pull their heads out of their rears and start making changes that will help the game like protecting stars in the playoffs and not letting teams get away with choke holds, cross checks and all the hacking/slashing. You’re spot on: the odds of the Oilers winning were so slim it’s a miracle they ended up with Connor. But the idiots.. I mean masterminds… that run the league can’t even do simple math and want to appease some of those crying foul. So they are creating a bigger mess. What happens if Crosby, Connor or any other super star gets significantly injured because they refuse to make the game more fun for fans? The players nowadays are so talented we should be having high scoring, thrilling games to watch! Maybe the day will come again, I for one will relish it. But not holding my breath. Just glad the hockey gods smiled on Edmonton in the decade of darkness and we’re through it. Not much hope for Canucks and the Avs. It’s nice for once to not even care who is at the top of the draft. Lord Stanley awaits.

      • ricardo2000

        I agree with you that the NHL needs to address inference penalties and injuries to star players. For the good of true game, hacks shouldn’t be allowed to hold the stars down.
        Everyone should remember the NHL also removed matching penalties so the 80’s Oillers couldn’t score at will on 4-on-4’s. Their aimless, cretinous rule changes insult every real hockey fan.

  • 5 years ago
    “Oilers are pathetic for tanking. League should balance out the odds to prevent teams from tanking”
    Now they’re saying
    “NHL IS SO RIGGED!! Such a stupid system, the worst teams deserve to be locks for the top 3 picks”
    I love this new system, it actually makes the draft lottery worth watching instead of the order being almost automatic. Don’t like then don’t tank lmao

  • Hemmertime83

    It was actually 48.2% x 48.2% x 18.8%. Because the team could not move up more than four spots if they won the lottery like New Jersey their percentage has to count towards ours. So it was 4.4% chance of happening not 0.17. Sure 4.4 is small yet still 30x more likely

  • Alberta Ice

    No doubt the Oilers draft lottery over the past 10 years of futility and decadence was rewarded with a heavy arsenal of ‘beating the odds’ for the first round first choice draft picks -which peaked in 2015. The McDavid Effect has changed this franchise from the top down and all around. It’s amazing I haven’t heard of some sort of a ‘conspiracy theory’ from all the haters out there.

  • FISTO Siltanen

    I’ve said it elsewhere and I’ll say it here:

    Matt, imagine the article you could have written had the Devils insisted on the Oilers first to complete the Larsson. Imagine if Chiarelli held out and agreed to a lottery unprotected swap of both teams picks.

  • Mo-Larr

    I really really wanted the Devils to fall to eighth. Now unfortunately we have to hear how Hall is playing with an inexperienced centre and THATS why he will never ever never never ever score 35 in the NHL.


  • freelancer

    I laughed Matt nicely done! It was hilarious to see all the ‘Nuckleheads whining to Oiler fans after the draft didn’t go in their favor. Looking forward to seeing that organization flounder for another 5 years!

  • CMG30

    Bwahahahah. Yup. The best part is they kept tinkering AFTER the oilers won the picks because even the whiners knew that changing the rules mid-stream is a no-go.

  • Matt Turner

    It’s considered immature to laugh at the misfortunes of others.
    So, when I saw that the Canucks and Avalanche had dropped to forth and fifth I put on my Propeller-hat and let out a load belly-laugh.

  • O.C.

    These things all have a way of working out as they should. Note to the Twitter / Blog Commenters whining on the Internets that it was Edmonton who ruined it for everyone: “ummm, No.”

    It was Buffalo that made a travesty of the whole thing by trading away everyone in expectation of getting first overall 2 years ago.

    The NHL responded. You can’t “tank to a draft choice” at all. Odd are against you to stay in the bottom 2 spots.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    i have zero problem with the Cansuks falling….it made my draft !! also great was the Avs, Wings and Yotes all falling. it’s going to be fun listening to these teams fans whine until draft time.

  • testyesty44

    Man you sound like an angry keyboard warrior over there. Other fans complained about us? who cares.
    being so angry and poo pooing on other teams isn’t very Albertan, or even a decent human being of you. But this is the same guy that went through a 12 year olds ( Mitch Marners) twitter and retweeted it to make him seem like some sort of villain? remember that? that’s the day I blocked you. Matt you are a nut job and I hope you seek help.

  • I’m a little sad to see these new rules hurt a new team like Las Vegas, who is already going be awful. And also it’s nice to see an organization like the Avalanche and Canucks who are where they are because of poor management, but not at the cost of strengthening already strong teams like Dallas and Philly. That is totally crazy that bubble teams can now snag top players, making good team who may just need some tweaking, into juggernauts for a few years until they run into cap trouble. Like what if the Bolts would have won? That would be really crappy and I think really unfair. So I guess suck it Dallas and Colorado, but now we all have to suck it against Dallas, who lost mainly due to injury this year.

  • oldTymeOilerfan

    Detroit made a living [the past 20 years] by finding/picking excellent players in later rounds of the Draft. Sure, choosing at no. 1 overall can work out “surefire” (McJesus, maybe Eichel and Matthews) but a successful team requires a host of players -whether acquired by Draft or trades – plus competent, consistent coaching, plus steady direction from ownership/management. Pittsburgh looked to be going off the rails in Oct-Nov 2015 but won the Cup in June 2016. It takes some good fortune, maybe even some luck, but the “formula” for success is just that: a formula. The entry Draft could be conducted as a pure lottery (31 teams awarded their draft-order at random) and nothing much would change on the ice, imho.

  • btrain

    Stayed with you until you limited Joe Sakic to a guy who stuck his hand in a snow blower. As one of my favourite players of all time, I find that offensive. Otherwise good read and valid points. Rather amuzing that so many who were upset with the Oilers winning have ended up screwing themselves. That said I do like this new set up as it will help to limit those keen on tanking.

  • Sammy p

    Well Mr Henderson that is a rant that will resonate well with all of your 14-15 year old fans I’m sure,next time try and show a little class in your rambling dissertations.

  • LOL. Much love for this analysis. Its like the people (200 concussed individuals) who decide these things don’t know what they are doing. *gasp*.

    How about sportsnet giving general fanager the cold shoulder in the lottery coverage. LOL. a lesson in grudge delivery. So petty, but also, quite funny.

  • Fkoilersforlife

    Can’t wait to watch Mcjesus get rocked by an open ice check. Then he can be just like his idol. Crosby and him can be concussion buddies together hahaha that will be the most glorious day in professional sports!! Edmonton deliberately tanked for nearly a decade strait and the NHL gift wrapped them top pick after top pick. What Edmonton really deserves for destrying the draft lottery as we know it by purposely tanking for a decade is a McWondernuts going head first into the boards!! Can’t Wait!!!

  • Fkoilersforlife

    Or a nice little 100mph slap shot to the head would sefice just fine!! What’s hilarious is that you inbread oilers fans truly believe the drafts weren’t rigged lol. Ya like it was just a coincidence that you got 4 1st overall picks a 3rd overall a 4th overall a 7th overall and then miraculously McJesus is gift wrapped the year before a new building opening… hummm nope nothing to see here lol

  • Fkoilersforlife

    Riddle me this one oilers fans.. your team is supposedly always in the top 10 in terms of attendance and ticket sales every year yet for the last decade before McJesus showed up your team was always in the bottom 10 of team payroll.. so your team makes money and has it but doesn’t spend any of it on the roster of course until the roster has 4 1st overall picks and another 4 top 10 picks did your team actually start spending money on payroll. That is basically the definition of tanking on purpose.. have money but won’t spend it until you have all the 1st overall picks possible lol but logic of an oilers fans says it’s the fault of the other 29 teams for the lottery rules being changed haha.