Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman at press conference
From left: Ken Holland, Steve Yzerman and Christopher Ilitch at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on April 19, 2019. Wings Conference2 (Helene St. James/Detroit Free Press)

The Detroit Red Wings won a grand total of 17 games this season. They were far and away the worst team in the NHL.

How bad were they? Both the awful Ottawa Senators and dismal San Jose Sharks had 23 and 24 more points,respectively, than Detroit’s 39.

Yet after all that losing, general manager Steve Yzerman’s Wings won’t even select second or third. That’s because when the lottery balls finished banging around and then flew up the tube, Detroit ended up with the fourth overall pick.

Mystery Team wins the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery

Whether you agree with it or not, the NHL created quite a buzz Friday night. That’s because the moment it was announced that eight cards were going to be revealed during the broadcast, it meant one of the placeholder teams made into the top three.

One of the squads in the 24-team Return to Play plan that moved up were the fourth-place Los Angeles Kings into the two slot. The Senators, who had two chances, at winning it all thanks to getting San Jose’s first-round pick in the Erik Karlsson trade will at least pick third.

Steve Yzerman not surprised he lost the draft lottery

After the shock and disappointment settled in, Steve Yzerman revealed that he wasn’t really surprised by the result.

“We had an 18.5% chance of winning the first pick, so realistically I’m prepared to not be sitting here talking about the first pick,” the legendary Red Wings player said, via Detroit News. “So I’m not real surprised. The bottom eight teams had a 24.5% of getting that pick.”

Now the NHL will hold a Phase Two lottery after the eight teams are eliminated from the qualifying round in August. Each losing team has a 12.5% chance of winning the Alexis Lafreniere sweepstakes.

It is going to be a fun summer for hockey fans, and the consolidation prize of losing a qualifying round for one team is a generational talent. Tell us another sport that has that kind of intrigue going for it right now? Simply put, you can’t.