The Alexis Lafreniere Sweepstakes: The Nope List
A yet-unknown team will win the rights to draft Alexis Lafreniere. Which team would be the “worst” team to draft Lafreniere?
Of the sixteen play-in teams, eight will not advance to the “regular” Stanley Cup playoffs. Assuming hockey does return and these 16 squads attempt to make it into the playoffs, would it be tolerable to see a team like Calgary draft Alexis Lafreniere? Once eight teams are eliminated from the play-in round, each of those eight teams will have a 12.5% chance of winning Lafreniere.
This is the most ideal drafting team, of course. I’m not impartial or anything. (Ha!) Lafreniere makes Nashville a Cup favorite and...just imagine how many people will complain and cry about “Lafreniere to Trashville.” Ahh, the possibilities. Could Nashville be so lucky?
Eww, I’d rather eat glass than listen to the hockey media rhapsodize about Sidney Crosby and Alexis Lafreniere in Pittsburgh. The two Rimouski products in Pittsburgh would mean the Pens win about 8 more Cups before Crosby retires at age 45. However, it’d be the perfect way for Pittsburgh to get the most out of Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
Edmonton winning Lafreniere would be nearly as bad as Pittsburgh winning Lafreniere. Talk about an embarrassment of riches: Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, etc.
Picture this: Toronto would draft Lafreniere and still lose in seven games to the Bruins.
Calgary basically broke Nashville’s spirit in late 2019 on a Matthew Tkachuk overtime goal. Drafting Lafreniere would give Calgary a leg up on most of the Pacific Division. They’d go from a dark horse Stanley Cup contender to a big favorite.
Drafting a player like Lafreniere would most certainly inspire GM Bill Guerin to make some big changes to his team to support the young winger. It’d be pretty awful to see Lafreniere on another Central team, though.
I think I’d rather try to stop a Shea Weber slapshot than see the Jets end up with Lafreniere. I’d start a petition to move the Preds to another division.
I personally have no feelings either way about the Isles drafting Lafreniere. It’d probably irritate the rest of the Metropolitan Division, though. Bonus points for defeating Pittsburgh in a playoff round.
*curls up in a ball, cries, and dies*
Just think about the revenue that would be generated from a big franchise like New York drafting Lafreniere. He’d look pretty good with Artemi Panarin and the youngsters that New York is continuing to develop in the minors.
Eh, I’m genuinely neutral about Florida somehow winning the draft lottery. Florida has some pretty intriguing prospects, but Lafreniere would be the crowning jewel.
Chaos, pure chaos.
Blah blah blah Quebec-born Lafreniere in a Canadiens sweater blah blah. There’s already Montreal fans buying Lafreniere jerseys.
Assuming the Predators get past the Coyotes in the best-of-5 play-in series, they’d be facing much stiffer competition in the “regular” playoffs (if they happen). Seeing the Coyotes trade for Taylor Hall (still unsigned for next season) and draft a player like Alexis Lafreniere would be rough because the Preds likely aren’t advancing out of the round of 16. Lafreniere would be a huge boost for hockey in the desert, though.
Watching Lafreniere line up with Elias Petterssen and Quinn Hughes would be almost unfair. The Canucks are about to be chock full of young talent and Lafreniere would fit their future perfectly. Securing the #1 pick would really set them apart any of the contenders in the Western Conference.
Does Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen chase after a big-name free agent in the “offseason” to play with Lafreniere if they win the draft lottery? That could be a fun storyline to watch.
What do you think, readers? Which play-in team would become absolutely intolerable if they were to draft Alexis Lafreniere at #1?