What a night! The Maple Leafs held on to their top pick in the first round of the NHL Draft, despite the odds dictating another team would bump them down to at least the second pick. It's almost like one of the Hockey Gods was in the room and did his favourite team a favour.
Behind the scenes of the glossy Sportsnet show was the grinding mechanics of selecting the winner. In the end, it all came down to the final ball.
FINAL BALL: 8 teams still had a shot at No. 1. EDM, CBJ, and WPG each had 2-in-11 shot. TOR, ARI, COL, BUF, MTL all had 1 ball. #TSNLottery— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) May 1, 2016
During the laborious draft lottery special on Sportsnet there was one great segment: a round-table discussion between Burke, Linden, Shanahan, and Strombo. Strombo asked each of them if they brought a good luck charm.
Brendan Shanahan's answer was a definitive "no".
Brian Burke admitted he did bring one, but when pressed to reveal what it was he told Strombo, in classic Burke style, "It's none of your business."
Trevor Linden on the other hand was more forthcoming. He brought a Pat Quinn hockey card. This wasn't actually a secret. The Vancouver Sun revealed on Saturday that he had reached out to Pat Quinn's daughter to obtain a lucky charm to bring to the draft lottery in Toronto. She offered a 1970-71 Pat Quinn card.
Quinn played for both the Leafs (1968-1970) and for the Canucks (1970-1972). He also coached for both teams.
Linden, who was drafted into the league by Quinn in 1988, accepted the card and brought it to the studio in Toronto.
That was a mistake.
I thought I’d call on the luck of the Irish, but I’m not Irish.
No Linden, you're not. But there was an Irishman there in the flesh, and it's clear on whom Quinn's luck rubbed off.
With only a 1/11 chance, the correct ball was divinely nudged into the shoot, and history was made for Brendan Shanahan's Maple Leafs. Linden's Canucks fell two picks to select 5th.
Thank you Pat Quinn, and thank you Trevor Linden!