We're back with the "first round" of the playoffs in August, and we have the 23rd and 24th overall regular season teams playing games. We saw the fourth-longest game in NHL history on Tuesday night, prompting morning hockey on Wednesday. And, most shockingly, the Edmonton Oilers didn't win a draft lottery. There's a lot that has happened of late that we didn't expect. Let's take a look at some of the happenings and see if there are any nuggets of information we can at least use moving forward.
The draft lottery continues to (obviously) be unpredictable, though it does seem to really dislike bad teams. For the New York Rangers being a rebuilding team on the upswing, Alex Lafreniere the first overall selection could step right into a lineup with a lot of firepower, but room in the top six. Ottawa, Detroit, and most of the other bottom teams don't have nearly that amount of offensive support, making the player taken first overall that much more valuable immediately in your fantasy leagues. The rest of the Rangers shouldn't see any notable decrease in opportunity except for maybe Kaapo Kakko getting a little less leash next year if he doesn't continue the progress he showed in the play-in matches.
The Free Agents
In my article a few weeks ago I touched on some free agents that had to show up in the playoffs to regain their value for contract negotiations. Three of those players are already out after disappointing showings. Craig Smith might be back with Nashville at a discount (or the same AAV as his last contract). Tyson Barrie won't receive the $8 million AAV he was looking for last summer, but being a right-handed defenceman he should have some bidders that keep his price tag from dropping too much. The third player that struggled is Mikael Granlund, and he is a r