Throughout the summer, www.PittsburghPenguins.com will periodically present a PNC Wealth Management "Legendary Moment" from the PNC Legends Level Suites at CONSOL Energy Center. Each display features an incredible moment from Penguins history, complete with a description, photos and actual keepsakes from the event.
THE SID LOTTERY July 22, 2005
It all came down to a ping-pong ball at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft Lottery.
A ping-pong ball to define the future.
All 30 teams had a chance at the first pick in the first draft following the lockout – a pick that would yield 17-year-old Sidney Crosby, the most ballyhooed Canadian prospect in a generation. The Penguins, who had finished dead-last in the overall standings in 2003-04, the final season before the lockout, had only an incrementally higher chance than other teams to land the pick.
The ping-pong balls to determine the order were selected in a private meeting led by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and representatives of all the teams – but the results were kept secret for a brief time so the NHL could dramatically unveil the draft order on live television. It went in inverse order, from No. 30 on down, until only two teams remained – Anaheim and the Penguins.
And then they went to a commercial.
Finally, Bettman returned to the podium with a card to unveil the winning team’s logo, and announced that the first pick of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft would go to… the Pittsburgh Penguins.