When I posted my draft-fixing proposal around, the largest criticism of it is that it would hurt the weakest teams and reward teams that had a poor start. The notion seemed to be that strong teams could still be low in the standings by the end of January, or February, or whenever the draft was decided in my proposal.
I’ve done some further research and found that this is not the case, especially if only the top eight selections are decided mid-way through the season.
Here are the NHL standings at the end of January and February (the trade deadline) from this past season:
As you can see, even strong teams that had poor starts like the Anaheim Ducks have climbed the standings by this point in the season. The weakest teams are already at the bottom of the standings, and many had been all season.
If you look at other seasons, this is true for them, as well. In fact, the only two playoff teams who would have been even close to having their draft pick selected at the trade deadline (under my proposal) were the Flyers and the Wild, two teams who made late charges to make the playoffs.
The real difference under my proposal would have been the avoidance of a post-deadline race to the bottom of the standings. Teams like Vancouver and Arizona would have had no incentive to perform their post-February nosedives. Food for thought.