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NHL proposes new Draft Lottery; top pick open to ‘all non-playoff’ teams

Sean Leahy
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The news came out Friday morning that the NHL had sent the NHLPA a new CBA proposal and that has sparked the latest round of optimism in the hockey world that the 2012-13 season could be saved.

Donald Fehr will have a conference call with the players Friday afternoon to discuss the intricacies of the proposal, so we won't get an idea how truly optimistic we should be until the union-related leaks make it to the media.

ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun obtained the proposal sent to the union and among the highlights include: six-year term limits on contracts (seven if a team is re-signing their own player); a joint NHL/NHLPA health and safety committee featuring an equal number of representatives from both sides; the "Formation of new 'Owner-Player Relations Committee,' with broad-based participation from Owners and Players intended to foster and establish better understanding and stronger working relationships"; and added days off for players during training camp and the regular season.

One part at the very end of the proposal would bring a change to the NHL Draft Lottery as we know it:

Implementation of a weighted Draft Lottery in which all non-Playoff teams compete for opportunity to choose first overall in the annual Draft.

No one tell Steve Tambellini!

So instead of the five worst teams in the league having the chance to move down as many as four spots to get to No. 1 overall, it's opened to the other nine teams that fail to make the Stanley Cup playoffs.

It's weighted, so a team like the Columbus Blue Jackets would have had the best percentage to pick No. 1 this past June, but the Buffalo Sabres, who missed the playoffs last season by three points, could still dream of NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly opening a giant envelope with their logo on a placard inside announcing who will make the first overall selection.

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

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