With the 2019-20 NHL season on pause - and potentially finished - there are a number of questions that will need to be answered in the coming months.
One of the biggest unknowns is how the league will handle the draft lottery should the season be canceled. According to The Athletic's Craig Custance, at least one team has proposed an unorthodox solution - a tournament in which lottery teams would play for the first overall pick.
The idea is a no-brainer for fans and television networks. A tournament for the rights to a talent like Alexis Lafreniere would draw a ton of eyeballs and get fans re-engaged after the long hiatus. But for the teams involved, there are some serious questions that would first need to be answered.
1. How would teams be seeded?
If the regular season doesn't resume and the standings remain as they are, how would teams be seeded in this suggested tournament? Clubs have played a differing number of games, so seeding would likely need to be determined based on points percentage.
That's simple enough, but how would the tournament proceed? It wouldn't make any sense to have the worst teams in the tournament (presumably the higher seeds) competing against the better teams (the lower seeds) right off the bat. Would a bye be in order for the last-placed Detroit Red Wings? What would make it fair?