Agreed. A top pick would be nice but there are multiple issues with it. First off, the pick may never turn out. It happens. Secondly, the pick, especially if it's on D, will likely not be able to help us for a few seasons.
Never ever should a team lose on purpose. That's bush league bullsh!t It's just not the way things should be done. I rather see the team go on a run and fall short and finish in 9th place instead of watching this garabage that we have been exposed to the first half of this season. This has been trying for every one involved. A complete mess. Respect means a lot and right now this franchise is getting zero of it. They need to get this turned around in the right direction asap.
I'll give people the benefit of the doubt and say no one is talking about losing games on purpose, or configuring the roster in such a way as to lose as many games as possible, see, e.g. Penguins. I think the issue is, the team stinks at least this season and will not make the playoffs, so Lou shouldn't go out of his way to make short term improvements, and should make moves with the future in mind. So it means dumping dead weight that might be better than the what we get in return for the short term (in other words, if the team was still in playoff contention, you wouldn't trade Langs/Clarkson for a draft pick) and perhaps giving the young guys that much more experience for when things do turn around (yes, I know it makes unrestricted free agency come that much more early). Usually, this means that the team will get even worse, which equals high draft pick.
Also, I'm not a scout, but based on the hockey news draft preview, it seems like there's a pretty significant drop off in talent after the 3rd or 4th pick.