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The Connor Bedard Sweepstakes will be decided on May 8

Also known as the draft lottery.

2023 Kubota CHL Top Prospects Game - Practice Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman held a media session on Wednesday morning and the most pertinent news related to the Chicago Blackhawks was the selection of a date for the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery — aka the right to draft Connor Bedard.

Following Tuesday night’s wild win over the Boston Bruins, the Blackhawks have 52 points in 67 games, good for the No. 3 spot in the draft lottery odds at 11.5 percent. The San Jose Sharks are ahead of the Hawks with 51 points in 68 games, with their odds at 13.5 percent. The Columbus Blue Jackets maintain the best odds (25.5 percent) with just 49 points in 66 games. Columbus and San Jose played on Tuesday night, with the Blue Jackets winning in overtime — the best possible outcome for the Hawks in that game.

A few other league-wide news and notes from Bettman’s media session, including the expectation of a mild increase in the salary cap that’s expected for next season. One part of that involves escrow negotiations as detailed below by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. From a Blackhawks perspective, a small increase in the salary cap ceiling for next season increases the possibility of Chicago being able to add another pick or prospect or two by absorbing bad contracts from cap-strapped teams:

There’s also this update on the progress of a potential sale of the Ottawa Senators:

Bettman was also asked about any potential changes to the postseason format and opted for his usual response of ignoring legitimate arguments that a change should be, at a minimum, entertained as a possibility:

Chicago is not practicing on Wednesday as it prepares for a lengthy road trip but one roster move was made after Petr Mrazek departed from Tuesday’s game after appearing to reaggravate his groin injury: