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Connor Bedard lottery: Blackhawks win raises hackles
Last night, I sensed stress in Montreal. Canadiens fans were anxious to see if Connor Bedard would come and transform the franchise.

But the Habs didn’t win the lottery. They didn’t go backwards (which was a likely scenario), but they didn’t go forwards either. The #5 pick therefore belongs to the Montreal bosses for next month.

As you can see, the teams that finished fourth through 16th didn’t win the lottery. It was in the top-3 that it all came down, and it was the #3 team that took the honours.

As in 2005 with Sidney Crosby, the Anaheim Ducks finished second in the lottery. That year, the CH also won the fifth right to speak, and took advantage of the opportunity to select Carey Price.

If Columbus had won the lottery, it would have been done with relative indifference. If Anaheim had won the lottery, it would have been talked about a bit more because of the youngsters there. But clearly, the fact that the Hawks won the lottery is polarizing.

After all, in recent years, Chicago has completely destroyed its roster to give itself a chance to start afresh (more than other teams), and that’s really got people talking.

And, of course, there’s the 2010 story to get people riled up about.

That said, unlike a lot of people, I’m not disappointed to see Chicago, a major NHL market (original 6) that doesn’t play at 10pm for Easterners, win the lottery.

Even if the Hawks haven’t paid enough for what happened in 2010, there’s hardly anyone left from that era (even among the players, which is a good thing) and the club is trying to distance itself from it by turning the page. The Hawks sometimes even refuse to honor the guys from those years.

Why should the new bosses have to pay for it? While the actions of 2010 are appalling, we’re not talking about the same management anymore. If these people had still been in place, my speech would be very different.

And what about field hockey? Certainly, watching the Hawks tank helped the team win the lottery. But it’s also what the Habs did, as many teams do, to get there.

It’s not an isolated process.

Rebuilding is an authorized process in the NHL, which is a results-based league. And the long-term result of the Kirby Dach and Alex DeBrincat transactions, to name but two, is Connor Bedard.

You may say that the lottery is a matter of chance, which is why I wouldn’t have praised the Hawks if the plan had failed. But since the NHL is a league of results and the club has earned the right to draft the league’s next jewel, it worked.

We’ll have to know how to surround him, of course… but that’s another matter.

Let’s not forget that the 2010, 2013 and 2015 editions, which have often been praised by the field hockey world, were built precisely by big draft picks. Whether we like it or not, that’s how it works in the NHL. #PatrickKane #JonathanToews

If the Hawks can’t surround Bedard, I’ll switch sides. But until then, I’m not among the people who are disappointed or angry that he’s going to Illinois.

It would have been nice to see him in Montreal, but whatever.

In bursts

– Ah well, yes.

– Sidney Crosby’s impact was significant in Pittsburgh. [BPM Sports]

– Are the Canucks really one ball away from winning the lottery?

– Is Auston Matthews on his way out? [BPM Sports]

– With good reason.

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