FanPost

Lockout implications. (updated slightly)

So there are a few articles floating around that look at the implications upon various teams with regard to the looming lock out. This one in particular over at Defending big D, takes a bullet pointed look at the Dallas Stars and makes some interesting and pertinent observations on their situation. Let's see what we can dig up for Buffalo...

1. Junior development.

To quote the article linked above,

The 2005-06 rookie crop was one of the strongest ever, and several players benefited from more time developing, including the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Dion Phaneuf, Jeff Carter, Ryan Getzlaf, Mike Richards, and Zach Parise.

That's a list of big names and anchors a fairly convincing argument that some good came from the lost season as it birthed a batch of superstars in to the league like so many phoenix(es?) rising from the ashes of a season lost. The argument could be made that the dominance of the new blood was a major factor in the accelerated rise of hockey in the post lock out ( coupled of course with all the shiny new rules and such of course ). Can the sabres reasonably anticipate a similar renaissance of junior talent hitting it's peak upon a return? Hodgson, Ennis, Foligno, Tropp, Brennan, Mcnabb and Adam are just the ones that saw time last year. Throw Pysyk, Gauthier-Leduc, Girgensons and Grigorenko in to that mix, Armia as well if we lose the whole 82, and you've got half a team of players all but ready for big league time. It's an optimistic conclusion of course, but it's a good group, you have to assume that a decent percentage of them will benefit from the additional development and have a break out season.

Conclusion :

Success_baby_medium ( Pic credit: 1.bp.blogspot.com )

This would be a silver lining for me... anticipating having such a strong crop of juniors on the bubble this year develop another year in the juniors has me a little too excited for polite company...

2. 3 year plan.

Well that kind of goes out the window doesn't it... assuming you take the three years based on calendar years. But I'm inclined to just hit pause and hope my first point pans out...

Conclusion:

Bored-baby_medium ( pic credit : www.threadbombing.com )

Rats...

3. Trade position.

A lot of noise has been made about our suitability as a bedfellow for Philadelphia and Detroit given both sides rather anemic blue line. The time off would allow Philadelphia some breathing room to get their defenders off the ward and on to this ice. Lilja is out until December, Mezaros is out indefinitely, but I recall a figure of six to eight weeks plus rehab being thrown around at some point ( correct me if that's inaccurate please ). Pronger is probably done, Timonen isn't a spring chicken any more. Grossman isn't really a top pairing guy, Luke Schenn is a coin flip at this stage, which means pretty clearly indicates a shortened or lost season would undoubtedly avoid a disappointing season for the Flyers ( and my brother... ). Detroit, appear to be moving in on at least one Free agent D man in Carlo Colaiacovo which would help plug the gap but by no means replace a distinctly Lidstrom-less defense unit. We must also assume that both teams will be developing some junior talent pretty aggressively to fill their needs from within. Both of these situations would ultimately nullify the overwhelming advantage in a trade market the Sabres have with two teams loaded down with scoring talent and pretty empty on defense.

Conclusion:

Oh-no-baby_medium ( Pic credit : photosofcutebabies.com )

Oh dear... With NOTHING happening til a CBA gets hammered out and players healing up regardless the door is closing on an opportunity to better the team with an abundant resource in hand and potentially make a killing on it...

4. Reduced strain on Veteran players.

The only real veteran on the side is Robyn Regher, and while a shortened season would be beneficial for him, I don't really think it's going to be a factor relevant to a pretty young team.

Conclusion:

Bored-baby_medium

Most of our players are too young for this to be particularly relevant, at least in the same sense that it would for Dallas or San Jose. neither of which are in our conference...


5. The competition.

Boston hasn't moved anything, but Tim Thomas is gone.

Toronto's most notable off season move was repainting the ice ( they did swap JVR for Luke Schenn though... )

Montreal gutted and restaffed their off ice positions and picked up a few free agents.

Ottowa added some decent pieces, gave some away and tied up more assets long term.

In the Northeast, Conclusion :

Success_baby_medium

We should threaten for division championship.

In the conference as a whole though...

Rick Nash and Taylor Pyatt join the rangers, which means it's good times in Manhattan...

Florida hasn't really done much, but everyone is expecting Luongo to be a panther again pretty soon...

Jokinen is a Jet now and Evander Kane is only going to get better. Ondrej Pavlec got given a big money contract which in line with recent eastern conference big money goalies ( Bryz... does DiPietro still count...? ) means he's set to fizzle...

Carolina now has 1 more Staal and 1 more Semin (argue amongst yourselves what that is actually worth) and a 1 yr older Skinner, and having watched some of his training over at NHL.com I am legitimately frightened of that guy now...

Jagr left the Flyers, kneecapping every defense man he could find on the way out it would seem. Extra recovery time will help their situation immensely as mentioned before...

Parise left, so they're missing 70 points straight off the bat, but Brodeur is back. Additional development time will help them on the ice, and not having to pay players for a while will help their ownership issue along a little...

DiPietro is off long term injured reserve and Brad Boyes is playing somewhere he's likely to be used intelligently, but a lockout is a good thing for NYI ..

Thomas Vokoun is in Pittsburgh now, but it doesn't matter because the Pens are pretty dominant anyway...

Tampa added six new faces and gave up just the one. Most notably Matt Carle and Anders Lindback, so they figure to be stronger defensively ( assuming anyone crosses their blueline )...

Washington picked up Ribeiro and Wolski offloading Semin and Vokoun, and probably passing on Knuble. Adding new coach Adam Oates changes this as well, as Paul Holmgren would say, I don't know if they're better or worse, but they're certainly different ...

Conclusion:

Oh-no-baby_medium

So on the whole I think the east on the whole got a tougher place to be... The middle of the pack in the east has thinned out and most teams have moved up instead of down, meaning it's going to be much more competitive...

These are but a few possibilities that occurred to me, and are mostly opinion based formed on what little research I could do while slacking off at the office...
There will be more I have not noticed or considered, so have at it...

This is a FanPost written by a member of the community. It does not necessarily express the views or opinions of Die By The Blade.

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