The 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs will start Wednesday as 16 teams begin their pursuit of hockey's Holy Grail. The remaining teams, meanwhile, will look for a little consolation as they follow the bouncing ping pong balls at the 2012 Scotiabank NHL Draft Lottery on Tuesday.
The League, in cooperation with TSN, will unveil the results of the Draft Lottery as it happens live at 8 p.m. during a 30-minute program on TSN in Canada. The special presentation, which establishes the order of the first 14 picks of the 2012 Draft, also will air in the U.S. on NBC Sports Network. The remaining selections will be determined at the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Columbus Blue Jackets, who finished with the fewest points in the League, have the best chance of winning the No. 1 pick. Since teams can move up a maximum of four spots, the only teams with a chance at gaining the top choice are the Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Blue Jackets enter Tuesday's drawing with a 25.0-percent chance of winning the Lottery. If a team outside the bottom five in the standings wins, then Columbus will get the top choice, improving their odds to 48.2 percent. League rules dictate that no team can drop more than one spot, so the Blue Jackets will have at least the first or second pick in the draft.