Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Who will get Sidney Crosby?

Gee, you post a little spreadsheet graphic and the masses go crazy. My thanks to the well over one thousand visitors who stopped by the past two days.

So, the question hockey fans have been wondering will finally be answered for all by 4 p.m. Friday afternoon and we'll get it in an after-school TV special after all (and only on TSN™). That said, we've still got nearly three full days to speculate, and I'm going to give a very elementary breakdown of the odds.

There will be 48 balls in the NHL draft lottery, 12 of which (25%) will be for Buffalo, Columbus, the Rangers and Pittsburgh. While much has been made of this foursome, the reality is that each has only a smidgen over a six per cent chance at getting the wunderkind (yes, yes, I know, it's not exactly breathtaking arithmetic so far). Here's a painfully obvious graphic to help those who have seemingly fallen in love my visual aids.



Ahem. As we can see class, in terms of who to place your money on for who will win the lottery, the chances that a team with two balls in the draft will take it are fully 42% (red-coloured thingy). Teams with one ball round things out with a 33% chance (nasty yellow-coloured thingy).

The thing is, while the four teams with three balls in the lottery technically have a greater chance, this is not a very heavily weighted lottery. With so many teams (30) —— i.e. variables —— at play and only 48 lottery balls, teams with the lone hope, so to speak, could easily walk away with Crosby.

As we've seen in past years with the NHL's draft lottery, no team has finished in last and received the No. 1 pick. Four successive teams (Atlanta, Florida twice, Washington) have jumped into the top pick from other positions, despite the fact the last place finishers had a better chance at picking first.

In short, expect the unexpected. With the field this slightly weighted, they might as well be deciding this thing with coin tosses.

Crosby ending up with the defending Stanley Cup champions is even a possibility (in what I believe would be a first for the league).
  • Ben over at the recently resurrected Net Files has asked me and a few others for our thoughts on where Crosby could most benefit hockey, something I'll dedicate an entire post to here relatively soon. Jes Golbez has already weighed in on this matter over at his digs. I bet some of my picks will surprise you.

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