Even 10 years later, there are still a lot of people who think the 2005 NHL Draft Lottery -- the first version of the event, which sent Sidney Crosby to Pittsburgh -- was fixed.
The Penguins were a struggling franchise that was on the brink of moving to Quebec or Kansas City or where ever else, and the conspiracy theory has run rampant ever since: Gary Bettman and Co. fixed the lottery to give Pittsburgh the best player in hockey and save the franchise.
We're preeeeettty sure that's not true. But the NHL isn't taking any chances this time. They're going to record the entire 2015 NHL Draft Lottery and make it available for public consumption. From The Hockey News:
"There will be full disclosure," a source said. What form that disclosure takes is not yet known because both the league and its broadcast partners - Rogers Sportsnet, NBC Sports and TVA Sports - are still working out the details. We do know that the lottery will be held the night of April 18, which is the first Saturday of the playoffs. It will likely be held as part of the pre-game show for that night's national game, which will be decided once the final playoff seedings have been determined. All 14 teams that have a chance of winning the lottery will be invited to send a representative to the event.
In previous years, the NHL Draft Lottery has been held the night before the beginning of the playoffs, and televised as a standalone 30 minute show on TSN and NBCSN. It looks like that will change this year, and that it will be a little lower-key as a simple lead-in to that Saturday's playoff coverage. Frankly, that seems a little silly given the hype around this year's draft and the fact that the ping pong balls will determine which teams get Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid.
People are still going to question the lottery system regardless of who wins and regardless of whether or not its on tape, but hopefully the transparency will silence at least a few of the conspiracy theorists.
As it stands today, the Flyers have a 6.5 percent chance of winning the draft lottery.