What if the draft went away?

Discussion in 'National Hockey League Talk' started by TheOtherOne, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. TheOtherOne

    TheOtherOne Registered User

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    Please at the very least think this through before knee-jerk reactions. I've been wondering about this for a bit now.
    - I honestly don't know if this would be a good idea.
    - I know it won't happen anytime soon.
    - I understand it's a complicated ask and brings a lot of issues that I haven't considered (and that's why I want to start a discussion on it).

    Here's the foundation of my idea: There is no longer a draft. All players everywhere are UFAs until they sign their first NHL contract, which can be with any team the player chooses, but then they become an RFA with that team with the normal rules intact.

    What would this do, and what additional rules would we have to add to make it work?

    What is the purpose of the draft?
    - To fairly distribute incoming talent to all teams, giving everyone a fair chance.
    Is this wrong? Are there more goals?

    "But how will bad teams attract top prospects?"
    Here is the key, and I'm not sure how well it will work, but let's think it through. The salary cap still applies! Top teams competing for the Cup are already paying top dollar to the best players in the world, so they simply won't be able to offer an 18-year-old Connor McDavid a king's ransom and still make the cap work. If your team legitimately believes they can compete for a Cup in 19/20, are they going to be able to clear the space necessary to pay Jack Hughes, who has never played an NHL game in his life? Or at least that's the idea. Maybe more restrictions need to be added to ensure it?
    Phoenix or Arizona or whatever, they're not competing, they have a bunch of cap space laying around, they can make a kid rich making him the face of a franchise's rebuild.

    This means landing top talent requires certain skills now. You can use money, but everyone is on the same playing field so a franchise will have to sell itself in other ways too. The franchises who can afford the young talent has to also convince them that they'll be the ones capable of doing the best rebuild. I think this is great because it removes the luck of the lottery balls and makes every aspect of team development controllable. Instead of applauding your luck at landing the number one pick, you get to applaud your management's ability to lure the number one pick to your team!

    Here is the main benefit for me and I really think it's huge. Fans will never have to cheer for losses again. Losing more games will not help a team get better. The games themselves will be separate from the salary structure. Each and every time your team wins a game, it will be a good thing, something to cheer about. But at the same time, if your team does bad overall, that means you either have free cap space, or you have mediocre players to let go of to make room for promising kids who can turn your franchise around.

    I could probably go on and on for a while longer but it's probably a better idea to just open it up for discussion and see where it goes. Anyone interested?
     
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  2. Foo Fighter

    Foo Fighter The Flames won the Lucic trade

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    It’s not a good idea. In fact,it’s a horrible idea. The draft is one of the best parts of NA sports.
     
  3. TheOtherOne

    TheOtherOne Registered User

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    I already know people are going to think that. The point of this thread is to discuss why? Do you actually have good reasons, or are you just appealing to tradition? I don't care much about tradition for tradition's sake.
     
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  4. Bieber fever

    Bieber fever Registered User

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    Oilers would still be terrible
     
  5. Foo Fighter

    Foo Fighter The Flames won the Lucic trade

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    It’s the best way to distrubute talent that is coming into the league, cheering for losses or tanking aren’t big issues at all. The lottery is there for a reason. If there was a bidding war for Jack Hughes in July fan interest in the sport would quickly decline IMO, mainly because there would be no excitement. He’s not signing in Arizona or Edmonton, because Arizona couldn’t afford him, and Edmonton doesn’t have cap space. See where I’m going? ELC’s are there so rookies can’t demand 10M a year.

    Edit: it would **** up the foundation and structure of the league too. It’s really not an idea worth considering IMO.
     
  6. Hellraising Senator

    Hellraising Senator Registered User

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    The Ottawa Senators wouldn't even be a team anymore if not for being able to draft the league superstars
     
  7. probablywrongbut

    probablywrongbut Registered User

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    I don't like it. It means more risk for the bad teams in small markets. Okay, especially for the Jets. We don't have the weather, we don't have the big lights like New York or LA or even Toronto, Vancouver. Sign cheaply in LA they'll help you get money another way such as acting gigs where you get overpaid for a single line.
    So what does that mean, we have to overpay the Jack Hughes and good chance a team built on those guys with no vet stars to groom them.
    Right now we can spend money on our scouts and draft well. If a player like Connor wanted out after his 3 years and wouldn't sign at a reasonable rate, something that's happening with Trouba we can trade him for draft picks. That way we can get another great talent at the draft who we'd control cheaply for the next three years. In that time we can try and make them as happy as possible so they'll sign a cheaper contract.
    Without the draft we'd have to overpay to get anyone to come and couldn't just get them happier once they already have roots in the place.
     
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  8. jimmycarter

    jimmycarter Registered User

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    Oilers would still suck and a lot of American teams wouldn’t exist.
     
  9. aufheben

    aufheben as if

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    So what happens when every team is out of cap room?
     
  10. Shaman464

    Shaman464 #FireHolland

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    The point of the draft is so that teams like New York, LA, Chicago, Toronto, Quebec, Hartford or Atlanta don't rule the world as hockey destinations.

    Seriously though, its so that a few teams don't collect all the good young players because they are better places to play/live/or the player's home. Imagine the Rangers or Kings in this situation? Would I rather be 18-25 in LA or in Calgary?
     
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  11. Shaman464

    Shaman464 #FireHolland

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    This would be a boon for them. They let role players walk, and sign high talent kids at cheap ELCs
     
  12. Mud the ACAS

    Mud the ACAS St. Louis Blues: 2019 Stanley Cup Champions

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    Please show your work on that last part.
     
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  13. aufheben

    aufheben as if

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    That's not enough to accommodate a yearly 250+ player free agent class
     
  14. Mud the ACAS

    Mud the ACAS St. Louis Blues: 2019 Stanley Cup Champions

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    This is the "if we contracted teams, role players would lose jobs and the league would be more highly skilled" argument. It's wrong, the guys most likely to get squeezed are the mid-tier ones because every team will still have a defensive-minded checking line full of role players, but it sounds great and totally plausible.
     
  15. MikeyMike01

    MikeyMike01 U.S.S. Wang

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    You have this backwards.

    Why should the league get rid of the draft?

    Your job is to argue why it should be different. No one must argue why it should stay the same.
     
  16. Shaman464

    Shaman464 #FireHolland

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    So, if you add a group of people who can't for some reason make a lot of money doing a job, what happens to the overall wages in that market? Overall, for non-top players, it would depress the market, because now you have 200-300 18 year old players entering the job market every year who can't make more than 900k a year. Its a great bargaining chip for management to depress the wages of bottom 6 forwards and bottom pairing D-men.
     
  17. Hierso

    Hierso Time to Rock

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    Melnyk would be happy. Imagine a whole team of ELCs. So cheap :naughty:
     
  18. DolanPlsGoSabres

    DolanPlsGoSabres スカンデッラ

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    The NPB (Japanese Baseball League) Draft isn't done the same way as North American Sports.
    It goes like:

    All 12 clubs will simultaneously reveal their 1st round choice.
    If a player is selected by just 1 club : player gets drafted by that club, player will not be eligible for re-selection.
    If numerous clubs select a single player: The selecting clubs get put into a draw/lottery, whoever wins draw gets the player. All clubs missing out will re-select from whoever is left on the board. Process repeats until all teams draft a player.

    So if 11/12 clubs wanted Dahlin and 1 wanted Svechnikov, the team who wanted Svechnikov would get him, the teams wanting Dahlin would go into a lottery, and the 10 losing clubs of the lottery would re-select from the pool minus Dahlin+Svech.

    There would be no tanking/rooting for losses, and it wouldn't be like European Soccer where the rich clubs could load truckloads of money for rising stars. Absolutely everything depends on luck.
     
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  19. SotasicA

    SotasicA Registered User

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    Essentially you're asking if the league would be better if every 1st overall would sign their ELC with Toronto/NYR instead of a random lottery team.

    ELC:s are cheap, so of course the most coveted destinations would benefit hugely. By the time they hit RFA, those teams would also have huge amounts of trade assets in the form of blue chip young stars.

    Let's say in the last decade all of McDavid, Hall, Seguin, Matthews, Laine, Eichel, MacKinnon, Dahlin and now also Hughes and Kakko would all have signed their ELC's with the Rangers. Would that be a good look for the league?
     
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  20. SotasicA

    SotasicA Registered User

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    This sounds like fun. And since it's Japan, I can't help but imagine the "draw" is actually a silly game show where GM's compete for the player they picked:

     
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  21. BobbyShehan

    BobbyShehan Registered User

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    I don't think it's such a bad idea. Going back in time, teams used to own junior league teams and develop their own talent. It'd force all teams. rich and poor, to focus on drafting and development. You'd have a lot more teams like Chicago reaping the benefits of their hard work instead of losing their players to free agency. Let the teams put the $$$ where it really counts, which is drafting and teaching... If you suck at it, too bad! Change management. Don't let the less common denominator rule the league and reward the incompetent.
     
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  22. Marshy71

    Marshy71 Registered User

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    Would it just end up like european football where the big clubs with the history and the glory attract all the top talent? Those leagues are a waste of time from a competitive viewpoint. Look at the tables, there are only 4 or 5 teams who have a shot at winning. A top player always goes to the top club. You would get a random team winning once every 20 years or so.

    Would it mean clubs form links with other nations? If you put structures in place to better aupport finns for example, would a club be able to attract the top finnish talent?
     
  23. Goptor

    Goptor Registered User

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    The league wouldn't be able to support 32 teams if a bunch of teams have no talent and fans refuse to follow them. drop the league to 10-16 teams and the talent pool should be strong enough to allow upsets of the super teams.
    Look at the NHL in the original 6 era when the draft didn't exist. Toronto and Montreal got tons of cups but the other teams were able to squeeze wins here and there.

    Ignore the financial aspects and there is still too much risk of marginalizing the sport and losing all the good athletes to other leagues.
     
  24. SotasicA

    SotasicA Registered User

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    Getting rid of the draft would force teams to focus on drafting? Ok.
     
  25. Mud the ACAS

    Mud the ACAS St. Louis Blues: 2019 Stanley Cup Champions

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    What's ironic about this statement is that in the absence of a draft, the Blackhawks never would have offered a contract to Toews or Kane in the first place because of Bill Wirtz, who refused to pay his stars much money to begin with and he sure as hell wasn't about to spend money on any young, unproven player if there was someone else available willing to take less. [Fun fact: while the max AHL salary for entry-level players at the time was $62,500 per year and scaled up gradually, and while most players signing ELCs got that amount while in the minors, Wirtz ordered all Hawks ELCs to pay no more than $50K per year for a minor league salary - and so both Kane and Toews signed ELC's that only gave them $50K per if they happened to be in the AHL. I think Keith's contract had the same provision, but I'd have to dig into a hard drive I don't have on me to check.]

    So, the Blackhawks would have never had either guy, or the 2010 Cup [or the 2 Cups that followed] and there wouldn't have been any problems with losing their players to free agency because some wouldn't have been there and others would have not developed into the superstars they became because of the lack of help around them.
     

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