Detroit Red Wings miss out on the Alexis Lafreniére sweepstakes

Say it ain’t so.  At this time, we have no timeframe as to when the pick will take place, but we now know the Detroit Red Wings will be picking fourth in the 2020 NHL draft.

It’s been a minute since we had some pure excitement when it comes to the sports world.  The NFL draft was quite different this year, but many of us can agree that it was something we desperately needed as fans.  Tonight was another one of those nights, especially for Detroit Red Wings fans.

We are living in a time that sees many of the days blend together.  It’s been COVID-19 this, COVID-19 that, and I like many of you needed a break.  Entering the lottery tonight, Detroit had an 18.5% chance of securing the top overall pick.  The biggest concern for many of us became the fact that the Ottawa Senators, made up a 25% chance to win tonight’s lottery. It wasn’t to be.

Today was one of the longest days in quite a while—a day filled with plenty of anxiety but a lot of hope.  The Detroit Red Wings are desperate to land a franchise player.  It’s a current roster that leaves a lot left to be desired, but with some of the building blocks like Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi, Filip Hronek, and Moritz Seider the thought of adding a difference-maker with the skill-set of Alexis Lafreniére left me salivating all day long. It was all for not.

Red Wings fans haven’t had much to be excited about for years, but the return of Steve Yzerman to the franchise just a year ago signaled hope.  It was the change that needed to be made, after soon to be inducted Hall of Famer Ken Holland‘s vision became stale.  The next block the organization needs is a player like Lafreniére who can vastly speed up Detroit’s rebuild and is someone fans will flock to the arena to see.

The winner of the lottery is yet to be determined as it’s a playoff team.  One of the eight teams that lose in round one of the NHL playoffs will have an equal chance to win the first overall pick.  It seems quite suspicious if you ask me.  Is this the NHL’s way to keep fans interested?  Just saying.

The Detroit Red Wings have been apart of the NHL draft lottery in each of the last four seasons.  In each of the previous three, the Red Wings were pushed down by this lottery arrangement, something that the organization couldn’t afford to have happened again in 2020 with Lafreniére being the ultimate prize.  Like the three years past, the Detroit Red Wings fall again in the NHL draft lottery.  

Next: Yzerman will be busy with RFA players this offseason

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The Red Wings haven’t held the first overall pick in the NHL draft since they selected forward Joe Murphy in 1986.  Throughout Red Wings’ history, they’ve had the top choice two additional times drafting Claude Gauthier, who never played a game in the NHL back in 1964 and Dale McCourt in 1977.