I remember reading about a proposed system a while back that worked something like this:
Teams pick in order of most wins to least wins after they have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.
This way, the worst teams have the most chances to accumulate some wins and management has extra incentive to play to win. There is no reason the worst team should automatically have the #1 pick. It's really not so bad to draft #5 overall, there is still some very serious talent to be had.
This would severely damage parity in the long-term. Parity is built on the worst teams getting a top pick and being able to improve that way, especially since FA's won't be as likely to go to bad teams who won't be able to overspend to pay them if they're not getting any profit at the gate. Plus the top non-playoff teams are already trying to win since they're actually trying to make the playoffs.
And short-term I don't see why there needs to be a 'fix' at all, the NHL Draft Lottery is infinitely more fair than the NBA one and gives the worst team about a 50% chance of the top pick which is fine. And many years the worst team hasn't goten the top pick.
EDIT: Okay I misread your post, I thought you were givig the top pick to Buffalo/Colorado. Ironically that probably increases the chances the worst team gets the top pick (and I don't think the NHL wants teams to tank games 40-60 to get to elimination faster any more than they would have them lose games 60-80 and 'maybe' get a top pick) but it's probably not feasible because of different schedules. When one team has 24 games left, another team has 21. It's not as fair to teams that play a lot of games early in the season.
Edited by NJDevs4978, 11 April 2012 - 11:14 AM.