http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/columns/s ... id=2372474
Far away from the wildly exciting playoff races is another interesting battle, the battle for the first overall pick in the late June draft in Vancouver. The bottom five teams in the standings will be part of a weighted lottery to determine which has the first overall pick, which likely will be used to select U.S. forward Phil Kessel or countryman Erik Johnson, a standout defenseman.
It appears the Penguins will have the best shot at the first overall pick for the second straight year, given their seven-point lead for the league's last-place spot. That's quite an honor for one of the most dysfunctional, poorly run organizations in the league. The Penguins are followed by Chicago (ditto on the organizational front), Washington and St. Louis, who are all tied for 29th overall. Columbus would be the fifth team in the lottery.
Based on commitment to winning, it would be fair and just if Columbus or St. Louis earned the first pick, given those teams' strong play in the face of a meaningless second half. Washington, a team that features Alexander Ovechkin and 19 other players with sticks, is always tough to play against and also would be deserving of the first pick.
Ouch. Pens not committed to winning, and therefore aren't deserving of the top pick. This might as well have been addressed to Craig Patrick.