The Chicago Blackhawks got the ping pong balls to bounce their way Monday night to win the NHL Draft lottery.
But was it luck for the Blackhawks or was something else at play with a generational talent in Connor Bedard expected to go No. 1 overall?
Hockey fans who don’t call the Chicago area home certainly swayed one way when it comes to that question. The Blackhawks entered the lottery with an 11.5% percent chance, which was the third-best odds, to take home the No. 1 pick behind the Anaheim Ducks, who had the best odds at 18.5%, and the Columbus Blue Jackets (13.5%).
The Blackhawks ended up beating out the Ducks for the top spot in what could be a franchise-altering moment for Chicago, and one that didn’t come as a surprise to many given how they reacted on social media.
This is a common reaction during draft lotteries as there is a belief that leagues have an interest in getting a player of Bedard’s caliber to play in a much larger market like Chicago, which is also an Original Six franchise, than in Anaheim.
While many called the NHL “rigged,” there was one other primary thought from fans on social media with Chicago getting the No. 1 pick. Many thought it was a black eye for the league with the Blackhawks winning the lottery due to the organization going through a sexual assault scandal earlier this season.
Whatever the opinion, all of it was a bad look for the NHL.