As an anti-tanking measure, the league distributes top picks among non-playoffs teams through a random draw. The 2017 edition was particularly dramatic as the New Jersey Devils jumped from fifth to first at the expense of the luckless, last-place Arizona Coyotes, who were demoted to seventh.
The Stars, of course, moved from eighth to third last year. And GM Jim Nill knows what landing one of the very highest picks can mean for an organization’s future (oh it u, Miro Heiskanen), as Mike Heika reports:
“History shows it makes a very big difference to be able to move up into the top three,” said Stars general manager Jim Nill. “It can be a real game-changer for your franchise.”
This season, the odds of jumping up from 13th to first are 2.0 percent for Dallas, but Philadelphia moved up from 12th last season to second, so you have to at least tune in Saturday night to see what happens.
Heika’s Dallas Morning News post also relates that Rich Peverley will represent the team for the second consecutive year. Peverley was there when the Stars moved up into the top three, and Nill hopes that luck will strike twice:
“We asked ourselves, ‘Who is the luckiest guy here?’ and we all agreed it was Rich Peverley,” Nill said. “It worked out last year for us and we’re all hoping he can bring us that luck again this year.”
There’s more at Mike’s place, including the latest lottery odds. [SportsDayDFW]
The Draft Lottery is tonight – again, that’s tonight – and here’s a handy reference for the places where the Stars have a chance to make their first-round pick:
We're hosting the 2018 #NHLDraft and we'll know what pick we have tomorrow night at the NHL Draft Lottery. The Stars will end up with either the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 13th, 14th, or 15th pick. pic.twitter.com/sJBpoNqkJq— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) April 27, 2018
As a reminder, here’s Bob McKenzie – as quoted in yesterday’s Links – on the lottery format:
Just saw the NHL’s format/timing for Saturday’s draft lottery. Picks 15 thru 4 between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m. ET, picks 3 thru 1 in the second intermission of an 8 p.m. ET game. Huh. I suppose we should be happy they aren’t doing one pick a day for two weeks.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) April 26, 2018
Elsewhere in Heika, Mike assesses the (possibly strong) UFA market for Greg Pateryn, as well as the odds on whether the team will decide to re-sign him.
Around the League(s): Second Round Edition
#Death Is Forever
It’s worth pointing out that the Jets’ team shot differential is shocking right now. Quality over quantity?
#NHLJets got heavily outshot (in addition to several blocks), but it was quality not quantity of shot that counted as they won comfortably despite a negative shot diff that ranks 3rd here pic.twitter.com/sAmPmmS2fd— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) April 28, 2018
Today, it’s thunder in the East and fire in the West:
- The Tampa Bay Lightning host the Boston Bruins as Round Two opens at 2 p.m. CDT.
- And the San Jose Sharks seek revenge for a 7-0 Game One shutout by the Vegas Golden Knights at 7 p.m. CDT.
The NHL has announced the 2018 Hart Memorial Trophy finalists – and Taylor Hall, Anze Kopitar or Nathan MacKinnon will be crowned league MVP in June.
Evander Kane’s strong playoffs run has hit a snag. The Sharks forward has been suspended one game for a cross-check to the face of Golden Knights forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare during Thursday night’s loss.
San Jose’s Evander Kane suspended one game for cross-checking Vegas’ Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. https://t.co/R5Nts4CTHF— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) April 27, 2018
Meanwhile, living well really is the best revenge – just ask Gerard Gallant.
Remember when Florida fired Gerard Gallant after a game in Carolina and made him haul his luggage off the team bus, then made him wait on the sidewalk for his own taxi to the airport.— Darren Haynes (@DarrenWHaynes) April 27, 2018
The Panthers have five playoff wins in the last 20 years. Gallant has five in the last 16 days.
Since we’re already (always) talking about the draft, bone up on your prospect knowledge with the latest Hockey News podcast.
PROSPECT PODCAST: @THNRyanKennedy and @THNKenCampbell discuss the Sabres' pipeline, Canada's fall at the world under-18s, Patrick Roy's return to QMJHL coaching ranks, 2018 #NHL draft prospect Serron Noel and interview 2020 draft phenom Alexis Lafreniere. https://t.co/lyD1tuy72B pic.twitter.com/X5yrLD5uY7— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) April 27, 2018
And speaking of podcasts, Steve Dangle is there for the Toronto Maple Leafs in their time of loss. The World’s Most Long-Suffering Fan knows just what to do (swear, mostly).
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
It looks as if starting goalie and first-round hero Mike McKenna has decided to personally ensure the guys are getting enough calories.
This indiscernible mess contains chicken thighs, chorizo, mole sauce, and monterey jack pic.twitter.com/ZDsLwQsqCt— Mike McKenna (@MikeMcKenna56) April 27, 2018
The Stars’ ringtail mascot, Ringo, already has a championship of his own. KVUE has more.
Have you got your tickets for the second round yet? Because playoff hockey isn't the only thing you'll enjoy during the #txstars next series according to KVUE's @ShawnC_KVUE— x - Texas Stars (@TexasStars) April 27, 2018
Read: https://t.co/NwmhVz8rdT pic.twitter.com/rYm3yho8h8
The Boise Bandwagon
Sean Shapiro spoke with Steelheads coach Neil Graham about how his team pulled off a spectacular comeback to win the first round.
And here’s some local flavor from Rachel Roberts of The Idaho Statesman.