By JD Lagrange – The Canadiens pulled out a win last night against the New York Rangers. Isn’t that great? Well, from reading on social media, it’s a catastrophe! Shame on them for trying to win. They should embrase the tank! As should fans. They should want the team to lose… because you know? Wright or Wrong.
Yes, yes, I understand the NHL Lottery odds. But perhaps I understand them more than certain other fellow Habs’ fans. I do understand that they have better odds of selecting first overall if they finish 32nd in the league. But I also happen to understand that the odds are that they have three chances out of four NOT to get that pick, even when finishing last. In fact, they have over 55% chances of selecting third overall if they finish last in the league! I understand that it’s a lottery and the balance is tilted against them. I also know that in this upcoming draft, there’s no clearcut number consensus pick (even if Shane Wright has a slight advantage). That the Canadiens will get a player regardless if they pick first, second or third.
Not just fans, media too
Imagine having the media hoping for the team to lose. Imagine them taking on Twitter to put down players scoring a pair of goals, or calling it a win a “disaster”. Imagine media feeding on the disgruntled and always negative portion of the fan base. Oh, wait…
Then, imagine having fans saying that you’re not a real fan if you want the team you’re supporting, you’re cheering FOR, to lose! I’m not making that up!
Well, nameless psychologist deciding who’s a fan or not, if someone who has been cheering for this team for 50-55 years, who has accumulated tons of paraphernalia over the years, who has met players and management (past and present), who has conversed with them, got autographs, if a fan like that is not a real fan, then this team doesn’t have any “real fans”. And a so-called “fan” wanting his team to lose wants to decide and qualify what fans are or are not, I got news for you… but I’ll keep the qualifiers to myself.
Up until a few years ago, I didn’t believe in conspiracy theories and for the most part, I still don’t. We are free in this country in spite of the conspiracy theory that we’re not. The Government is not putting chips into people to find out their whereabouts through vaccines. They can easily do that with your cell phone.
But the evidence is piling up against Gary Bettman and his NHL. I am strongly starting to believe that he is not being totally honest and that the league is corrupt from the top down. It is too obvious from watching the actions about refereeing, the NHL Player Safety, some of the rules, the Vegas expansion rules changes, etc. Having an expansion team reach the Stanley Cup finals in its infancy is unheard off and, quite frankly, absolutely ridiculous and unfair to the other teams in the league.
Teams with most to gain
Before you jump on the bandwagon “to give the Habs the best odds” at the Draft, ask yourself this: who do you think the NHL wants to see win the Draft Lottery? Who would the league benefit most from seeing them win the first overall pick? Arizona, Seattle or Montreal?
The Habs will have one of the NHL’s biggest fan base whether they get first, second or third overall. Geoff Molson will make money hand over fist regardless of where the Canadiens select at the Draft. The same cannot be said about the other two markets.
The NHL has kept the Arizona Coyotes on life support for over a decade. At one point, they even purchased the team, hoping they’d find an owner. That same NHL, the same Commissioner, is willing to let them play in a 5,000 seats arena for the next two to three years!
The Seattle Kraken are the league’s latest shiny toy, the last expansion team. They are trying to crack a new market, one with great potential, I’ll be the first to admit (unlike Arizona). Don’t think for a second that the NHL wouldn’t be thrilled if the Kraken got the first overall pick, creating a buzz for hockey around Seattle, helping speed up the desired rivalry with the Vancouver Canucks.
So don’t be surprised, based on odds yes, but also on Bettman getting what HE wants, if the Canadiens select third overall anyway. With that in mind, don’t give us this real fan talk. Don’t you dare putting down players for performing and winning at what they do. You will find some supporters, no doubt, but the majority of fans understand what’s really going on.