Bettman: NHL teams don’t tank to try to win draft lottery

Commissioner Gary Bettman spoke to the media about the notion of tanking, saying that the weighted lottery system along with the professionalism of coaches and players is enough to dismiss it taking place in the league.

Don’t bother trying to convince Gary Bettman that some lower-ranked NHL teams might be not doing everything in their power to win these days with Connor Bedard up for grabs.

The commissioner says tanking doesn’t happen in the NHL.

“Nobody tanks because we have a weighted lottery,” Bettman told reporters on Tuesday in Montreal before the Canadiens faced the Bruins.

“You’re not going to lose games to increase your odds by a couple of percentage points. That’s silly. And frankly, suggesting tanking, I believe, is inconsistent with the professionalism that our players and our coaches have. Nobody tanks.”

Teams that finish 11th or worse in the overall standings have a shot at the first pick. The team with the worst record has the best odds — currently the Anaheim Ducks at 18.5 per cent.

The big prize this year is Bedard, who dominated the world junior championship en route to gold with Team Canada and is leading the WHL in scoring with the Regina Pats.

The native of North Vancouver, B.C. is expected to go No. 1 overall at the NHL Draft in June in Nashville.

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