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The first phase of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery was held Friday night, as hockey inches towards a return to play, so of course things went directly off the rails.

If you’re behind on how this year’s Draft Lottery works – and there’s no way you’re alone in that regard – here’s a quick refresher:

  • Friday’s drawing set the order for the Top 8 draft picks
  • If any of the league’s bottom seven teams secured picks Nos. 1, 2, and 3, there would be no phase two
  • If a team outside of the bottom seven, represented in the lottery by a placeholder, landed in the Top 3, phase two would be triggered
     

Guess what: a qualifying round team landed in the Top 3 on Friday night. And they didn’t just land in the Top 3. The yet-to-be-determined team landed the dang No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

Now, the league will hold a second phase Draft Lottery, in which all eight teams entered into the lottery will have the exact same odds (12.5 percent) of being selected as the No. 1 overall pick.

That’s… insane, and hockey fans and observers reacted accordingly:

Now, Flyers fans have a crucial choice to make: would they rather see the rival Penguins have a chance at the Stanley Cup? Or a chance at the No. 1 overall pick?

That’s officially a scenario. The No. 5 seed Penguins face the No. 12 seed Canadiens in the qualifying round. If the Penguins happen to lose to the Canadiens – unlikely, but possible – they’ll have a 12.5% chance at the No. 1 overall pick, widely expected to be winger Alexis Lafrenière.

It’s kind of a tough choice.

And while it’s fair to remind folks that the Penguins would still have an 87.5% chance of *not* landing the pick, here’s a little weird cosmic coincidence that seems to be pointing towards Pittsburgh: the last time the Penguins picked No. 1 overall, they selected an 18-year-old Canadian forward who played for the QMJHL’s Rimouski Océanic.

His name was Sidney Crosby. 

Just saying.

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