Anaheim calling to the hockey world...
The season has officially ended, but the Ducks have one last piece of business for 2009-10, the only piece of business every team that misses the playoffs has: The Draft Lottery. The losers collect their potential winnings tonight at 5pm. As you can see from the TSN Lottery Odds breakdown below, the Ducks earned themselves a whole number percentage, but as you can see form the points breakdown, the Ducks were also only 6 points away from moving up four slots the old fashioned way.
Team Points Chance of Winning Lottery 1 Edmonton Oilers 62 25.0 (48.2% chance for first) 2 Boston 74 (TOR) 18.8 (18.8% chance for first) 3 Florida Panthers 77 14.2 (14.2% chance for first) 4 Columbus Blue Jackets 79 10.7 (10.7% chance chance for first) 5 New York Islanders 79 8.1 (8.1% chance chance for first) 6 Tampa Bay Lightning 80 6.2 7 Carolina Hurricanes 80 4.7 8 Atlanta Thrashers 83 3.6 9 Minnesota Wild 84 2.7 10 New York Rangers 87 2.1 11 Dallas Stars 88 1.5 12 Anaheim Ducks 89 1.1 13 Phoenix 90 (CAL) 0.8 14 St. Louis Blues 90 0.5
Daniel had to remind me that teams outside of the Top 5 maintained single digit percentage chances, and I want to go on the record as saying that forgetting how the Draft Lottery works is 'one of them good problems.' I'll update this post with the winner after 5pm today. UPDATE: Oilers win the lottery, so ladies and gentlemen, the official draft order remains unchanged.
End of the season stories after the jump...
Niedermayer looks like a 1930s college professor; Blake looks like the albino from The Da Vinci Code.
You've probably heard about Getzlaf's ligament tear by now, but fellow Duck Aaron Ward was also battling a season long knee injury, explaining his limited playing time in an Anaheim sweater. In his comments to J.P. Hoornstra, Ward doesn't speak optimistically about coming back to Anaheim, but he leaves open the possibility and offers a ringing endorsement of Randy Carlyle's defensive-defensemen-friendly system:
"You never close off any opportunities. ... It was a simple style of play. It's a style I played when I was in Boston. Same philosophy. Successful philosophy, proven to be. It's a player's style system. I think that was easy and fun to play."
But if you're looking for a UFA actually eager to don the webbed foot again, look no farther than Saku Koivu. The center told OCR that he's not even looking at the possibility of becoming a free agent right now.
Want to see some Ducks in the playoff hunt? Check out the Manitoba Moose, who play Game 1 of their Calder Cup series with the Hamilton Bulldogs on Thursday. Anaheim assigned Dan Sexton to the team, Brian Salcido has played there all season and Ducks prospect Matt Clark signed an amateur tryout deal with the club. The Abbotsford Heat will also enter the AHL playoffs on Thursday with a number of Ducklings (Mark Mitera, Shawn Weller, Logan MacMillan), so there's plenty of opportunity to not root for another NHL team if you're so inclined.