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Shanahan on the Draft Lottery

by Chris Lund / Toronto Maple Leafs

Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan spoke to the media following the conclusion of Saturday's draft lottery. Here's what he had to say...

Is Edmonton getting too greedy with this?

They've got some luck.

You said first overall would accelerate your build process. Now that you know you're at number four, what is your timeline?

I think you go into something like this with a 90.5 per cent chance we weren't going to get the first overall pick. Now you start thinking about sliding from four to five so I'm happy we're at four, there are some good players there. Like I said before, there are no shortcuts. There are some good players in this draft, obviously everyone came here hoping to get that golden ticket but the odds were stacked against most teams.

Will you sit on four or try to move up?

We'll make that decision later.

Do you like the number of centres available in the first round?

There are a lot of good players in this draft. Obviously there's so much focus on the first couple of guys and they are fantastic players but it is a very deep draft.

What is your opinion of the draft lottery and what's going to happen to it next year?

It was a very transparent process and we were all in the room, we were sequestered. They took our phones away and we sat and watched the whole process and then had to sit there wait for it to be announced on TV before they would let us leave. That process was good and the idea of having lottery for the top three picks instead of just the first pick overall, I think it creates a bit more fairness and the way the game is perceived as teams are coming down the stretch. It adds to the integrity of the process the way it's going to go next year.

Are you more about drafting for position or drafting the best player?

I'll talk to Mark (Hunter) about that. I think most teams are looking for the best guy available.

Do you think we could see the player you get at that spot in a Leafs uniform this year?

It all just depends. It depends who you get, it depends whether or not they're ready. You can't have your mind made up. If somebody is going to develop the best playing in the NHL and is ready to go then you have to leave that option open for them. If someone needs a bit more time that's okay as well.

Do you look forward to the day when you're a competitive team and the lottery won't be an issue?

Yes, I look forward to that and I think we all do. That's why I came here. I knew what this was coming in and that's the goal. That idea in the back of your mind never changes

Do you anticipate there might be any trading picks on draft day?

It's possible, I doubt it. I don't foresee Edmonton shopping that pick but you never say never. I've seen stranger things, I guess, but if I were a betting man I would say that Edmonton is going to be picking first overall in June.

Where is the coach/GM search right now?

We're really just creating lists and getting our ducks in a row. I think that will be a lengthier process because there are a lot of people that are going to change in the coming weeks depending on what happens with certain teams.

Have you contacted teams for permission to talk to certain guys that are still employed?

I've done that, I've reached out to some teams. Again, it's just going through a process even when — it's just going through a process you have to go through. You give a team a call as a courtesy and get permission to have a conversation and say someone is somebody you want to talk to.

How much of talking to these other people is just getting opinions from other minds around the League?

I think usually oftentimes a person's record speaks for itself. It's just a matter of feeling comfortable and seeing what someone thinks of your organization — whether or not they're excited about taking that kind of thing on. Like I said at the press conference the other day, it might not be for some people but some people may not be for us.

How have the Marlies grown in the second half after clinching a playoff spot on Friday night?

We're really happy with them. What makes us most happy is we really did this using our prospects and our young players really stepped up and the entire team did. We did it the right way. Good for them and great for their development to be able to be playing playoff hockey.

Did you wear that shamrock on purpose?

Yeah, it was a gift and I thought I would enlist whatever I had. I wasn't going to leave anything at home. I'm still proud of being Irish.

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