Last night the NHL held its 2020 draft lottery, when the eight teams that lost in their respective Stanley Cup Playoffs play-in series—Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Winnipeg Jets—each had a 12.5% chance to get the No. 1 pick, presumably 18-year-old Canadian major junior hockey superstar Alexis Lafrenière.
Each team had its own ping-pong ball with the team’s logo on it, which was dropped individually into the lottery machine. Manning this difficult operation was noted ping-pong-ball droppers EY.
The process went like this: EY guy took each ball out of a briefcase, held it up with logo facing out so everyone viewing at home could see which team’s ball it was, then showed each one to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman so he could confirm that it was such-and-such team’s ball, and then the ball was placed in the lottery machine.
Everything went flawlessly for the first four teams—Oilers, Panthers, Wild, and Predators—until it was the Rangers’ turn. EY guy took the Rangers’ ball out of the briefcase, held it over the lottery machine so the folks at home could see it, but then fumbled it and dropped it in the machine too early!
Calm, cool, and collected, EY guy was able to slide the ball out of the machine with his fingers before holding it back up again for the viewers to see and for Bettman to confirm before placing it back into the machine. You can see the drama unfold at the 1:55 mark of this video:
After all eight balls were placed into the machine, EY guy turned it on, let the air blow the balls around for a bit, until he was told to stop. And whose ball was plucked out of the machine to get the No. 1 draft pick? Of course, the Rangers.
As soon as the Rangers’ winning ball was held by EY guy, out came the conspiracy theorists on Twitter, saying there was a reason why EY guy dropped the Rangers’ ball:
The rangers ball was so heavy it was the only one he dropped, SMH. pic.twitter.com/6Mi40bJZDE
— Ah yes, the Leafs. (@LeafsAllDayy) August 10, 2020
Weighted Franchise. https://t.co/m2vSiAYSR7
— Doм ✟ (@domiadevaia) August 10, 2020
Anyone else notice the Rangers ball get dropped in, then get taken out and places back in? Was it a weighted ball perhaps?
— Phil (@Philzfacts) August 10, 2020
The draft is rigged. He dropped the rangers ball because it was a different weight than the other ones!
— T-Rav *ESSENTIAL* (@TJones_Inc) August 10, 2020
LOL, dorks. The ball wasn’t weighted, EY guy just had a case of the butterfingers. But it’s still kinda funny that EY is getting the brunt of butthurt hockey fans’ ire.