I am one of the biggest hockey fans around, and I do believe the players and owners will get a deal done before shutting down for the whole season, however, I do think the season will be delayed, maybe halfway through October. I am with every hockey nut out there, and I will be very upset if there is no NHL this year.
Since we are on the subject, and the NHL lockout is the hot topic right now, I will talk about which teams might benefit from having the lockout. A full year lockout would benefit younger teams with a lot of prospects in the pipeline.
1) it gives prospects another year of development where they can get bigger, stronger, and recover from prior injuries while being monitored more closely by management. Ales Hemsky turned 21 just before the 04-05 lockout. In his second season with the Oilers, Hemsky compiled just 34 points, but the post-lockout season he amassed 77 points. During the lockout year, he played in Europe much like many of the other NHLers that year. Now I'm not saying everyone will turn into Ales Hemsky and double their points per game totals, but it will provide opportunities for young players to develop without the pressures of making the jump to the big stage right away. Yakupov, Murray, and Galchenyuk will all greatly benefit from this no doubt.
2) This will help management on teams weed out the pretenders from their prospect pool, when they play against pro competition, especially in Europe. Montreal and Edmonton are both teams that have a vast amount of prospects stockpiled and will have to make decisions about what to do with those prospects in the near future. Obviously the two teams are at completely different levels right now, with Edmonton having many young players with a few veterans sprinkled in, while Montreal has veterans and rookies fighting for the same spots.
3) Some of the younger players can go back and play AHL hockey for the year. In 2004-05 a number of players did this. Patrice Bergeron, Eric Staal, Mike Cammalleri, and Jason Spezza. Here are the number pre and post lockout for these players as well as the season in the AHL.
2003-04 Boston 13 goals, 26 assists, and 39 points. 71 Games Played
2004-05 Providence 21 Goals, 40 assists, and 61 points. 60 Games Played
2005-06 Boston 31 goals, 42 assists, and 73 points. 81 Games Played
2003-04 Carolina 11 goals, 20 assists, and 31 points. 81 Games Played
2004-05 Lowell 26 goals, 51 assists, and 77 points. 77 Games Played
2005-06 Carolina 45 goals, 55 assists, and 100 points. 82 Games Played
2003-04 Manchester 20 goals 19 assists and 39 points. 41 Games Played
2003-04 LA 9 goals, 6 assists, and 15 points. 31 Games Played
2004-05 Manchester 46 goals, 63 assists, and 109 points. 79 Games Played
2005-06 LA 26 goals, 29 assists, and 55 points. 80 Games Played
2003-04 Ottawa 22 goals, 33 assists, and 55 points. 78 Games Played
2004-05 Binghamton 32 goals, 85 assists, and 117 points. 80 Games Played
2005-06 Ottawa 19 goals, 71 assists, and 90 points. 68 Games
Now keeping in mind that the lockout affects every team in a negative way. On the ice these are the top teams it would hurt the least in my opinion.
Teams it would hurt the most
1. New Jersey
I would like more insight on this if possible. What does everyone think about the impending lockout and is it good for young guys to have a year off to develop in the AHL, Juniors, or in Europe lockout or no lockout.