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NHL notebook: League considers major changes to draft lottery?

The draft board shows the first-round selections at the 2011 NHL Draft at the Xcel Energy Center in...

The draft board shows the first-round selections at the 2011 NHL Draft at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., on June 24th, 2011. (Dave Abel/QMI Agency/Files)

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, Last Updated: 9:05 PM ET

The NHL is apparently considering a major revamp to its draft lottery.

According to Hockey Night In Canada, the league is considering two key changes that would discourage teams from tanking in the standings.

First, the NHL is considering expanding the lottery beyond the first overall pick and instead having a draw for the first three or five picks.

Last season, the league opened up the lottery to all 14 non-playoff teams. Under the current system, if the last-placed team lost the lottery it could pick no lower than second overall. If it was decided the lottery would include the first five picks, the 30th-placed team might end up drafting as low as No. 6.

This would give more teams a better chance at improving their rosters, especially when a draft class includes multiple elite talents such as Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel in 2015.

Secondly, the league is considering ranking non-playoff teams for the draft based on a rolling five-year period as opposed to just the previous season. The formula for this has yet to be devised and may be problematic due to teams making the post-season one spring and missing out the next.

ST. LOUIS SLUMPING

Martin St. Louis knows he hasn’t performed to expectations since joining the New York Rangers at the trade deadline, but the reigning Art Ross Trophy winner isn’t letting that get to him.

Much.

“You’ve got to stay positive. Am I playing great? No. But I’ve played way worse than this,” St. Louis told the New York Daily News on Monday. “There’s no time to feel sorry, you’ve just got to man up, be a big boy about it and go to work every day.”

St. Louis has just two assists in seven games with the Blueshirts.

As for Ryan Callahan, the other major piece in the captain-for-captain deal between the Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning, he’s only doing slightly better.

Callahan has a goal and two assists in five games for the Bolts.

VIVA LAS PLAYOFFS

Colorado Avalanche players have changed their tune from one year ago, much to the delight of J.S. Giguere.

“We haven’t heard anyone talking about going to Vegas yet,” the goalie quipped to NHL.com.

Last April, the goalie made headlines when he fumed about several of his teammates openly discussing vacation plans in the dressing room as the regular season was winding down.

“Some guys are more worried about their Vegas trip at the end of the season than playing the games, than playing every minute of the games,” Giguere said at the time.

“Quite frankly, I don’t care about your Vegas trip right now.”

This year? The Avs are primed for a playoff run. Colorado sits second in the Central Division with 14 games to go.

LAICH’S OUT

Washington Capitals centre Brooks Laich’s regular season is over.

The club announced Monday that the 30-year-old underwent a procedure to release a tight adductor. Adductor muscles are connected to the hip.

Recovery time is 4-6 weeks. With just under four weeks left in the schedule and the Caps currently sitting outside of a playoff spot, Laich’s season might be over entirely.

In 51 games this season, Laich has eight goals and 15 points.

THREE STARS

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo and San Jose Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi were named the NHL’s Three Stars for the week.

Bobrovsky posted a 2-0-1 record with a 1.58 goals-against average and .950 save percentage. He had a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings last Tuesday, a 4-3 shootout loss to the Sharks on Thursday and a 2-1 shootout win over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.

Okposo led all NHL players with seven points (one goal and six assists). He had three assists in a 7-4 victory over the Vancouver Canucks last Monday, added two helpers in a 4-3 loss to the Sharks on Friday and had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 triumph over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

Niemi picked up three wins in three starts, posting a 1.67 goals-against average, .950 save percentage and one shutout. He posted a 6-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs last Tuesday, a 4-3 win over the Islanders on Friday and he stopped all 41 shots he faced Sunday in a 1-0 triumph over the New York Rangers.

BRIEFLY

The Anaheim Ducks could be without their top defenceman for a while. Cam Fowler, who left Friday’s game with a lower-body injury and missed Saturday’s game, will undergo an MRI on his leg Tuesday, according to the Orange County Register ... Head coach Ted Nolan and the Buffalo Sabres are working on a three-year contract extension, according to TSN. Nolan replaced Ron Rolston behind the bench in November ... Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Kris Letang practiced Monday for the first time since suffering a stroke Jan. 29. Letang said he felt good and is determined to play again this season, but there is no timetable for his return ... St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie missed Monday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets after his fiancee, Lauren Cosgrove, gave birth to daughter Lyla Grace Oshie earlier in the day.


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