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TSN: New System for Determining Draft Order

Citing various sources, TSN is reporting NHL teams have voted 23-6 (with one abstention) in favor of introducing a ranking system that places a greater emphasis on playoff performance than regular season results.

Under the existing format, non-playoff teams were placed one through 14 with the lowest regular-season point totals getting the higher pick in the draft, subject to the draft lottery which allows the winning non-playoff team to move up as many as four places.

The remaining 16 teams were seeded 15 through 30 based on inverse order of regular-season finish with one exception - the Stanley Cup-winning team automatically received the 30th and final pick of the first round.

The new format will work as follows:

Springfield, Tampa Bay to Terminate Deal?

According to a report in today's Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, despite Springfield Falcons President and General Manager Bruce Landon denying Edmonton rumors at a recent booster club meeting, the newspaper states, "It’s widely believed that both sides will agree to terminate the deal, opening the door for Edmonton to align with Springfield and Tampa Bay to move its prospects south to Norfolk."

Landon had informed Falcons boosters the fact the AHL club and Lightning have two years left on their current affiliation deal.

The Times Leader cited a story in Sunday’s Edmonton Journal stating the Oilers could announce an affiliation deal with the Springfield Falcons shortly.

The Times Leader reported media sources in both Springfield, Mass., and Edmonton, Alberta, couldn’t confirm the Journal report, but the sources said that chances are good that the deal could come to fruition, possibly within the next week.

Springfield has been the Tampa Bay Lightning’s AHL affiliate for the past three seasons.

The Falcons are in the midst of their eighth straight losing season.

Monday's Superleague Playoff Scores

Dimitri Kazionov was once again out of the lineup as #1 Kazan defeated #16 Novokuznetsk 7-3 to take a 2-0 series lead.

#3 Ufa defeated #14 SKA 4-2 today to take a 2-0 series lead. Anton But had 2 penalty minutes in the match for St. Petersburg.

#4 Magnitogorsk toppled #13 Tver 5-2 to take a 2-0 series lead. Denis Kazionov was scoreless in the match for Tver.

Vasily Koshechkin allowed 5 goals in #11 Togliatti's 5-4 loss to #6 CSKA. CSKA takes a 2-0 series lead.

#7 Yaroslavl defeated #10 Dynamo 4-3 to take a 2-0 series lead. Evgeny Artyukhin did not play for the Lokomotive. Albert Vishnyakov did not play for Dynamo.

Alexei Glukhov was scoreless as #8 Khimik shut out #9 Cherepovets 4-0. Severstal has yet to score a single goal in the series and trails 2-0 overall.

The favored teams are a perfect 16-0 thus far in the Superleague playoffs.

Linkopings/Lulea Game Four

Get out the brooms. Linkopings defeated Lulea today 5-2 to complete the first round sweep in the Elitserien playoffs. Lightning prospect Andreas Holmqvist, who led the team in scoring through the first three games of the season, lasted just 3:42 into Game Four before being kicked out for an ultra-rare Swedish league fight with Lulea's Tomas Surovy, formerly of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL ranks. Despite the absence of one of their most potent offensive weapons, Linkopings still managed to win easily and now, along with #1 seed Farjestads which also completed the sweep today in their series, await an opponent to be determined in the second round.

Bolt Prospects Prospect of the Week: 3/5-3/11

It couldn't be anyone else this week...

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