Every ten years, a magical child is born. These miracle children are so rare and powerful that every king in the realm wants them at their service; for everyone knows that such a child is destined to become a savior, with great powers that will help any king in the realm rule over all of the others.
From a young age, these children train their skills, often sent by their families to faraway academies where they can learn from the best masters. Every year, each kingdom sends spies to travel the different lands, seeking these magical children; no rock is left unturned, no school unvisited. And every ten years, a miracle child is found: by the time the child reaches thirteen, his powers shine through, bright and clear, too strong now to hide.
But the kings are all aware that a child plucked from training too early will be ruined, and that in fighting over the child's magical services they could tear apart the child himself.
And so they have a treaty: until the child is eighteen, they can look, but not touch. And when the child reaches eighteen, in order to decide which kingdom will be graced by his loyalty, they will not wage a war, but instead: they let the Fates decide.
Now, the Fates are not impartial; they are, in fact, known for their propensity towards being swayed in the direction of the weak and downtrodden, a fact that some kings attempt to exploit. But one cannot lie to the Fates. A king may claim their kingdom is dying of thirst and desperate for grain, more in need of saving than any of the others; but the king will have to dry up his lakes and burn his fields to the ground, in order to present it as truth.
And so the kings prepare for the day the child will turn eighteen, counting down the years; some of them striving for such success and fortune that they will not require a savior at all, and some slowly working to destroy their kingdoms from within, hoping for a small chance at the child's magical hidden treasures.
And on the spring of the child's eighteenth year, the kings all gather on a grassy hill and summon the Fates. Each king will make their his plea, and the Fates will carefully consider it, and then the Fates will roll the dice, and the child's fate will be cast.
All of which is to say: the above is 100% TRUE except of course it is about hockey, and magic babies are, well, magic hockey prodigies, or "generational talents", or "The Next One"s, or really let's just call them "Hockey Jesus"es that come along, well, once every ten years.
Connor McDavid is a seventeen year old kid who is universally accepted as The Next One, an upcoming "guaranteed" savior for some poor ailing NHL franchise, and there is no doubt that he will be the number 1 pick in this year's draft in a couple of months. I've been hearing about him since I got into hockey
, meaning way back when he was 14, and I was already hearing talk about what an amazing player he is and how lucky the team to draft him in 2015 would be.
Whichever team picks him will get his services exclusively for three to eight years, and virtually for free for some of those. So the only question is: which team will get to pick first in this year's draft? And the answer is, well, there's an actual lottery. Will like, numbered balls. That decides which team picks first. It's rigged so that the worse a team is at the moment, the higher the chance that team has of winning, but still - in the end it's up to chance, and good and bad teams can win the opportunity to draft him alike.
And yes - there absolutely have been teams who have done their utmost best to be terrible
this year, to increase their chances of winning the lottery. The players didn't want to lose, and the coach didn't want to lose, but team management basically did whatever they could to torpedo these teams' chances of winning throughout the season, it's ridiculous.
This whole thing was and is a WHOLE LOT OF DRAMA and I am very curious to see, finally, three years after I first heard of him, which team will be lucky enough to get to draft Connor McDavid. The lottery is in twenty minutes (why am I awake
), so -- we shall see!
(*The last magic hockey baby was Sidney Crosby, who was drafted in 2005. There is, you know, some fic