Why #LoseForHughes Is Not a Real Thing for the LA Kings

So, you really want to know what Jonathan Quick was screaming at coach Willie Desjardins in North Carolina on Tuesday night?

From what we hear, it was this – “Lose for Hughes? That doesn’t mean sh*t to me!”

It’s true. Despite what some Kings fans try to spread on social media, the #LoseForHughes battle cry is not a real thing.

Why?

Well, the answer is at least two-fold.

Let’s start with the obvious. According to rules established for the NHL Draft, a team cannot simply tank their season by losing games to secure the league’s worst record – and thereby land the first overall pick in the draft. Contrary to what some seem to believe, things don’t work that way.

You see, there’s a thing called the Draft Lottery. They take a bunch of teams and give them various amounts of ping pong balls before placing them in a hopper. True, the team finishing 31st in the regular season standings gets more balls than all other teams in the giant prospect stew. However, even if you finish dead last after 82 games, your odds of selecting first in the draft are only 18.5%. Fine, so your team will pick second then, right? Not necessarily. The last place team has a 16.5% chance of selecting second. So, you’ll settle for third? Only a 14.4% chance.

We can also sum that together here and make a larger point. The team finishing in last place has a slightly less than 50% chance at a top-3 pick. Let that sink in. The last place team has a 50.6% chance of getting the fourth overall pick.

Thus, the Kings can lose and lose and lose through the end of the regular season. However, there’s a greater than 80% chance Jack Hughes will have already been taken by another team before they head to the podium and announce their selection. There’s also a 65% chance that Kaapo Kakko will be gone too.

Now, on to the second reason…

Lose for Hughes also isn’t a thing because it isn’t a strategy. Rob Blake didn’t hire Willie Desjardins to tank the season. He didn’t trade Jake Muzzin so the Kings would lose more games. The Kings want to win; from the front office down to the players. Dustin Brown is about ready to go full Bob Probert on somebody. He doesn’t take to losing kindly. He’s spent his entire career in the Los Angeles Kings organization trying to build a winning culture and wears it like a badge of honor. You think he’s losing for Hughes?

Kyle Clifford, the very definition of work ethic. You think he busts his ass every single day for a chance at the top draft pick?

Go up and down the lineup. Pick a player.

Jonny Brodzinski? He tore up his shoulder in camp after giving it his all last summer to be in the best shape possible. Then, he worked twice as hard to come back from the injury early. He’s an unrestricted free agent in a few months. He’s fighting for his future, not Jack Hughes.

The Kings are a proud organization. Sure, they’ve fallen on hard times this season. That’s still no reason for management and the players to throw everything they’ve worked toward over the past nearly 15 years to make this a winning franchise and toss it out the window. Winning is the culture. It’s embedded in every player. You either win or you work twice as hard trying the next time.

If that’s not your thought process, you aren’t long for the Kings. Blake will make sure of that in the months ahead. He’s a Hall of Fame player. He knows what it takes to win a Stanley Cup. Do you think he’s going to tarnish his legacy by being associated with anybody less than? With guys comfortable and dogging it?

Yes, there are players on this year’s roster not showing the proper level of compete on a nightly basis. There are guys gliding during certain games. From everything we’ve gathered over the past few months, that is being addressed and will continue to be addressed during the off-season.

Nobody in the Kings organization has put together a #LoseforHughes campaign because that’s not a strategy for success. Winners think about winning.

On top of all that, even if the Kings were lucky enough to win the lottery, there is absolutely zero guarantee of anything beyond that. Jack Hughes is only one player. He can’t fix the franchise with a magic wand. No different than Connor McDavid didn’t fix the Oilers. Heck, the Florida Panthers have a first overall pick on their team, along with a second overall, third overall and fourth overall selection. They’ve collected all four of the top picks.

Jack Hughes won’t fix the LA Kings. Patience and a solid plan will fix the team’s on-ice performance. Who will play goal next season? Who are the top six forwards? Which prospects will play? Who should be drafted to fill the cupboards for future years? Who is the right coach for the job? These are just some of the real questions.

Besides, if you’re going to do it, at least do it right…

It’s #LughesForHughes

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Comments

  1. Don’t really think we’ll get Hughes, since the moon is definitely in a “Kings Fans Can’t Have Nice Things” phase….but I do hope we get at least the second pick and get Kakko. Last time we were in the bottom two we lost a coin flip and were forced to take Drew Doughty when Tampa Bay took Stamkos, a fine player but missing those Cups and Gold Medals that Drew has earned. Lombardi used to say he’d have taken Doughty even if he’d won the flip….and I don’t believe him for a second.

    • John Hoven says:

      Coin flip? Tampa Bay and LA tied with 71 points. TB broke the tie by winning fewer games (31 to 32). By finishing last, that gave the Lightning a 50% chance of winning the Draft Lottery… And they did. The odds for the Draft Lottery were later changed to the current format.

      As for the selection in round one, the Kings were taking Doughty all the way, either way. There really wasn’t even a debate. See here http://mayorsmanor.com/2014/07/adding-weight-to-the-doughty-vs-stamkos-debate/

  2. Big Mouth Barry says:

    Blake knows NOTHING about winning – he was TRADED to the well stacked Colorado team that won the cup – he resigned with them… and won NOTHING – came back to the Kings… and won NOTHING… signed with San Jose… and won NOTHING

    He HAD A well reported TRADE for Pacioretti and couldn’t get him signed – No Skinner either. Instead we get Cammalleri and Kovalchuk

    Coaches? Had a chance at Trotz. Opted for Stevens (oops) – Desjardins has been a disaster

    BLAKE HAS WON WHAT for the Kings? A Norris trophy?

    Tank the hell out of the season and don’t fuck up the #2 pick (and for your odds, how many teams not named the Oilers have actually moved up in the draft since the lottery took place? 6 out of the last 11. Hardly 18%)

    If the Kings don’t lose 14 of their last 21, they’re drafting Bogosian instead of Doughty – think about THAT as you root the Kings to a useless victory

    • John Hoven says:

      Never let facts get in the way of one of your classic rants.

      Fir the record, Blake is one of about 25 guys on the planet who are part of the Triple Gold Club. Those are some elite level winners.

      Continuing with facts, Barry Trotz was the coach of Washington from May 2014 – June 2018. He was not an option when Stevens was hired in April 2017.

      Desjardins? He was hired to be a babysitter. It’s irrelevant.

      And there is no disputing the 18% odds of the first pick going to the last place team. That’s the way the NHL Draft Lottery is designed.

      Finally, the article is not designed to “root the Kings to a useless victory”… Rather, it explains that cheering for them to lose so they can get the first overall pick is not how things work. Blake and the Kings need a strategy to fix the on-ice performance. The real areas to address are mentioned near the end of the article. That’s what people should be focussed on. Not the possibility / probability of landing one single player.

      • Big Mouth Barry says:

        10 in a row – no Kovalchuk – recall McDermid (who was awful) – Kakko should be no problem (unless the Ducks and Detroit keep losing) – love ya Johnny