Tonight the hockey gods collectively spat in the mouth of the New York Rangers organization. Xiangmao, the ceremonial NHL Draft Lottery Panda, came out of her bamboo-riddled cave holding a large, blue cardboard nine. As is tradition, the will of the ceremonial Panda must be obeyed — the Rangers will have the ninth overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. That is unless Jeff Gorton chooses to exercise his right to an appeal that must include an elaborate, outrageous gift for the dread lord panda.
The Rangers had a 36 percent chance of leaving tonight with the ninth overall pick and a 36.8 percent chance of staying put at the eight spot. Never trust a panda.