If there's no season, I'd like the league to have a different lottery this time round. And it would be based on attendance. You can go two ways.
1) Seeing as Pittsburgh was very close to losing its team a few years ago and then received those fantastically lucky picks (Crosby, Malkin, Fleury) the league could look at the draft as a business building tactic. Sort the teams by their attendance. The poorest attendance gets 1st overall and the highest attendance gets last pick. Getting young exciting players into poorly attended franchises would be one way of strengthening the league.
I'm not a penguins fan but this is inaccurate; Crosby was luck but they traded for the pick which ended up being Fleury after Florida won that lottery and the Malkin lottery they were dead last and had the best odds on Ovechkin but 'lost' to get Malkin.
Someone like Cagary who try hard with what they have, even of they fall short. They don't take the easy way out and give up for three years until multiple superstars fall into their laps. You know their true goal is the cup an not winning the lottery, even if we all want them to trade everybody at the deadline.
If Calgary wants a 1st overall then they have to suffer for it JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE. They don't deserve one just because they continually come up short.
As for the question: Blue Jackets. I legitimately felt bad about them losing the lottery, they needed Nail more than we do. Not that Murray is chopped liver or anything.
It could be worse. You could have had 3 first overall in 4 years, which should build you a contender, but end up with Daigle, Phillips and Berard. Instead you could have had Pronger, Iginla and Chara. That's where those draft rankings were though. It also sucks that when your team finally drafts in the top 5, inevitably, that draft stinks.
Phillips and Berard were both very good defensemen; and technically the Sens got Redden because they swapped right away. Redden starred in the league while on the same team a Chara (and often paired), if you don't recall.
As for my "deserving" pick...
I say Detroit. Sure, it may be a homer pick. But Detroit's last first overall pick was Joe Murphy in 1986. Their last top-ten pick was Martin Lapointe in 1991. Jakub Kindl (19th in 2005) is the highest Detroit pick (and only top-20 selection) since Lapointe.
Better than calling a team deserving of the no-season pick just because they haven't had a good team in seasons that HAVE affected the draft order in previous drafts.
So then give the pick to LA, who apparently needs it just as much as Columbus.
Nowhere in my post do I talk about "need." I only talk about "deserve." Need =/= deserve.
But even if you did want to talk about need, why does Columbus "need" it more than every other franchise? Lots of franchises have been around far longer and with an even greater record of futility. Why wouldn't franchises who haven't won a cup yet "need" it more, since their poor fanbases have been subject to more years of failure? Or why wouldn't Phoenix "need" it more, since they're about to move. Apparently even the islanders "need" it as direct compensation for having the worst gm in the history of league.
The only truly fair approach is to have a random draw that is actually random. Knowing the league, they'll probably place the top few picks according to which franchises would benefit financially the most from it.
Philly has never had one and the one season we deserved one we got screwed. Not only did we not get the best player of the draft but that player goes on to score the cup clinching goal in ot in our own building 3 years later
Columbus, Phoenix, Florida IMO deserve first overall pick. They could all use a #1 center like Mackinnon, but most of all they aren't top tier teams and haven't had too many first overall picks between the three teams, if any other than nash, in the past few years
Carolina, for similar reasons as Calgary. They could have absolutely tanked it in two of the past three years and coasted to the #1 overall pick, but instead they still compete and end up around 10 points out of the playoffs. They've also been knocked out of the playoffs on the last day in two of the past five seasons.
I'm going to ignore the ECF run because it lessens my argument.