“They made us all sweat a little bit,” Shanahan said.“It was very nerve-racking, you’re kind of waiting all day here,” Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said of the process, adding that he was relieved to know they’d won one of the top-three picks when their card wasn’t flipped at sixth overall. For the participating teams, a season worth of losing led to this point.“I’m a little rattled by the process,” Leafs president Brendan Shanahan admitted after winning the first overall pick. Our coaching staff, our management staff did a really good things but this is the result.” After months of waiting, some teams ran lottery simulators to try their luck.
While Canada’s golden goal-scoring generational talent took to the ice, 14 hockey markets watched with baited breath for a chance at their next superstar.In 20, Crosby and Ovechkin were the prizes in NHL draft lotteries of their own too.Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin follow the puck in the first period in game two of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center.(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) On the night Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin met in the NHL playoffs for just the second time in their careers, it was ping pong balls and an air vent that captivated hockey fans.“I pressed it once, it worked out well, I closed the computer and that was it,” Shanahan said of his only simulation and the anticipation that led to the announcement at CBC’s studios in downtown Toronto on Saturday night.
When it was done, Shanahan called it welcome news for the city, the organization and its fans.