Say goodbye to the in-person drama of the NHL Draft! The league’s going remote, and we’re diving into why. What will happen with the Rangers draft room?
Unfortunately for the New York Rangers and hockey fans everywhere, the NHL is about to pull the plug on one of their most unique events – the centralized NHL Draft.
Every year, when the NHL Draft rolls around, all the teams gather in one place: GMs, assistant GMs, scouts, owners, you name it. Everyone’s next to each other for the entire draft. Fans and media in the arena get a front-row seat to the drama as GMs chat, teams wheel and deal, and picks unfold in real-time. This has been the case since 1963, aside from the 2020 and 2021 drafts due to the ongoing pandemic.
Decentralization Dilemma and the NHL’s Money Matters:
However, two weeks ago, the league sent a survey to NHL teams, asking if they’d prefer decentralizing the draft. The majority said yes, so 2024 will be the last time we witness the draft in all its in-person glory.
Now, why would the NHL do this? Well, it’s the usual suspect – money. It’s costly for teams to fly, lodge, and feed their entourage for a week in a different city. Some teams also worry that the draft is too close to free agency, which usually happens the week after. Yet, couldn’t they compromise? Why not send fewer people? Or, move free agency back a week? Nope, instead, they’re doing remote picks, just like the NBA and NFL.
So get ready for the 2025 draft, where everyone will dial in their selections from different corners of the world, and the drama will be a little less ‘hands-on.’ Also, savor the 2024 draft because it’s the last time for now; at least, it’ll be in its proper form.