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A Draft Lottery Could be Held if Season is Lost

nhldraft1As the lockout looks to be continuing in to the new year, the deadline to get a new CBA agreed upon and have an NHL season is fast approaching. Cancelling the season could be a couple weeks away from being a reality.

If the NHL and NHLPA (or the group players if they dissolve the union) don’t come to an agreement, the 2013 NHL draft could also be at stake.

Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal looks at what could happen to this year’s draft if a CBA is not in place by the summer.

“Anybody who says they have a clue, they’re lying,” said Al Murray, Tampa Bay Lightning’s head of amateur scouting.

After the last lockout, the NHL held a lottery for the 2005 draft, and it was a franchise changer. Penguins won the lottery and drafted Sidney Crosby. The draft was postponed for about five weeks, and took place 17 days after the CBA was signed.

The 2013 NHL is scheduled for June 28th and 29th at the Prudential Center in New Jersey.

“There can’t be a draft without a CBA. That’s one of the things collectively bargained,” said former NHL general manager Craig Button, now a draft guru for TSN.

“The NHL could still implement a draft regardless of having no CBA, but the NHLPA could say no and then everybody’s a free agent. That would be messy. What if they say there’s a bidding situation for the junior players? It’s far-fetched and I don’t think it would happen, but …”

If the season is lost, but the two sides are able to come to an agreement at some point, they could hold lottery like they did for the 2005 draft. For that draft, each team was awarded three balls, but lost one or two balls depending on playoff appearances over a four year period and if that team has held the 1st overall pick.

The Blue Jackets would have the best odds under this scenario as they would have 3 balls on their own, and one from each of the Kings and Rangers. The Flames, Wild, Stars, Hurricanes, Maple Leafs and Jets would each have 3 balls.

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Mark is the NHL editor for Sports City and myNHLtraderumors.com. Lives north of Toronto in the snow-belt, not a big fan of snow. Despises lockouts.

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