Ongoing Oilers, Otters Saga Takes Strange Bounce

The day that the hockey world was waiting for had arrived.  It was the night in which we would all find out which team would have the 1st chance to draft the great Connor McDavid.

Everyone, from fans to team executives, were putting their hopes on the lucky bounce of 4 lottery balls.  Hopefully, their 4 number combination would emerge from the bin.  If so, the very course of their franchise would be changed forever.

One by one, they revealed the draft order.  There was no change at all in draft positions from 4th-14th.  The lucky winner was someone in the Top 3, either Buffalo, Arizona, or Edmonton.  They revealed the number 3 envelope, and out came the gold Edmonton Oilers card, indicating that they had won the lottery, again.  For the 4th time in 6 years, they won the right to select 1st in the draft.

This result came with quite the reaction.  The Oilers and their fans, of course, were excited.  It was like hitting the ultimate jackpot.  Add McDavid to a group of players like Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, and Nail Yakupov, and you can see why their future is looking much better.

Everyone else though, as expected, was very disappointed.  They were upset, not only because their team lost, but because it was the Oilers.  How could this happen again?  In fact, the chances of the Oilers picking 1st in 4 of the last 6 years is just .5%.  You could draw over 200 times, and not get this same result.

An Interesting Twist

Recall that the Edmonton Oilers and McDavid’s current team, the Erie Otters, are in the midst of a lawsuit against one another.  In the lawsuit, it claims that Otters GM Sherry Bassin failed to carry out a deal to sell the Otters to a subsidiary of the Edmonton Oilers in 2011.  The team would have been moved to Hamilton, Ontario.

According to records, Bassin would have been paid $6.9 million had the deal gone through.  The group claims to have paid Bassin $4.2 million, but then his part of the deal was never completed.

Bassin, as a result, filed for bankruptcy protection.  This will ensure that he can find a buyer for the team on his terms.

Could McDavid Be Upset At Oilers?

You have to wonder though, is McDavid upset in any way that the Oilers would be the one to get the 1st chance at drafting him?  McDavid is a world-class individual, and would never admit such a thing.  During the press conference after the lottery was revealed, he called going to Edmonton “an absolute dream come true.”  But it’s a question that is worth considering, and is very interesting.

Remember that it was Bassin who drafted McDavid as a 15-year old to come to Erie.  Their relationship is excellent.  Granted, the lawsuit has nothing to do with McDavid himself.  But you have to wonder, deep down, given the legal stuff going on, if McDavid was hoping to avoid Edmonton.

Connor McDavid oilers
15-year old Connor McDavid was drafted to the Erie Otters by Sherry Bassin. Now, Edmonton could draft him 1st. (OHL Images)

The lottery has provided us with a very interesting twist in the ongoing legal battle between the Oilers and Otters.  Although the Oilers said on Saturday they were still deciding how to use the number 1 pick, it’s pretty obvious they’ll select McDavid.  Will this turn of events have any impact on the legal proceedings?  Could the Oilers drop the lawsuit?

Anything is possible.  But if nothing else, it has given us something to watch as the offseason gets into full swing.  To go from one side to the other of a disagreement, has to be awkward.  We’ll see if anything comes from this strange bounce.