So what now of the Stigmatized Seven, those clubs who couldn’t play up to an NHL .500 level before the league entered its pause phase on March 12 and have thus been deemed unworthy of an invite to the league’s imagined 24-team Stanley Cup tournament?
What about the fate, primarily as applies to the draft lottery, of the Devils, Sabres, Ducks, Kings, Sharks, Senators and Red Wings, whose teams and players will be on ice — as opposed to on the ice — for perhaps as long as eight months if the 2020-21 season commences in December?
The NHL has still not announced its plan for the draft, though the almost universal pushback from general managers against holding it next month before competition resumes, likely means that it won’t take place until after the tournament.
That, among other things, would eliminate the possibility of the lottery winner also winning the Cup a couple of months later. If that is the case, there is no reason at all for the league to design the lottery so that the 31st-overall Red Wings are guaranteed either the first or second pick overall and the 30th-overall Senators are assured of picking in the top three.
Moreover, there is no reason at all to deny any of the Stigmatized Seven a shot at the No. 1 selection.