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5 ways the Lightning may benefit from the lock-out

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09-16-2012, 03:20 PM
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newham89
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5 ways the Lightning may benefit from the lock-out

Before I start, in no way am I saying that this lock-out is going to be a good thing. It sickens me as it should every hockey fan around the world. Being British, however, I've decided to show a bit of 'stiff upper-lip' and get on with it. I could write for days about the negative impact the lock-out has on this team, but to alleviate some of the doom and gloom around the NHL at the minute, I've decided to look at the 5 ways the Lightning benefit from it.

1 Bubble prospects

By this I mean the prospects that have a shot at making the show this year. I'm looking at Conacher, Aulie, Brown, Killorn, Barberio and Tokarski. Now most of these players, if not all, have proven themselves at AHL level and should be given a decent chance to prove themselves at a higher level this year.

As shown by Aulie and Tokarski last year, the jump from AHL to the NHL can sometimes be a large gap to jump. The lock-out gives all these players an extra years development in a level which is higher than the AHL they played in last year. This could lead to them being much more rounded and ready to go for next season with the Lightning.

2 Brett Connolly

At times he was clearly out of his depth last season, and seems to have lost some of that scoring touch that he drafted so highly for. An off-season training with #91 and Gary Roberts has reportedly given him another 13lbs of pure muscle on his frame. This will help him become physically ready for the pro game, now he needs his confidence back. I feel that a season dominating men in a quality team/league under a great coach will help him break out the following year.

3 Anders Lindback

I think the lock out will help the biggest question mark on this Lightning team become settled. The worry with Lindback is that he isn't ready to shoulder the load of a number 1 netminder having only played sporadically with the Predators. The lock-out will enable him to go to Europe and play as a starter for a season without the pressure of the NHL. This is a win-win for him and the Lightning.

4 Rest for Veterans

A whole season lock out could be a career prolonger for certain members of our organisation. Teemu Selanne came back from the last lock out rested and continued his career well into his 40s. I feel that this could have the same effect on players like Malone and Lecavalier whose bodies are banged up at the best of times. Perhaps another year might be the miracle cure that Ohlund needs to get his legs working again?

5 2012 Draft Class

Is it a coincidence that the 2003 draft class is considered one of the best ever? This positive I admit is a bit of a stretch, but this entire wave of prospects will be forced to have another year developing in juniors. This can only have a positive impact on their development as the junior leagues themselves will be a higher level for it. I would love for Koekkoek to dominate for Peterborough as Vasilveskiy is for Ufa.

So there you have it. Yes, the lock out is appalling and all involved should be strung up, but in terms of long term franchise stability... it isn't all bad.

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09-16-2012, 03:46 PM
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TheDaysOf 04
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The lockout will affect only a few from the 2012 draft like Yakupov and Murray who where going to make the immediate jump to the pros. Your point about the 2003 draft class will have more impact on our kids with the crunch for the reason you gave in #1.

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09-16-2012, 05:00 PM
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Nicely thought out OP. But, I'm too ticked to be able to appreciate it right now. Maybe in a week or so.

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09-16-2012, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDaysOf 04 View Post
The lockout will affect only a few from the 2012 draft like Yakupov and Murray who where going to make the immediate jump to the pros. Your point about the 2003 draft class will have more impact on our kids with the crunch for the reason you gave in #1.
Maybe this season, but the lock out will also create a bit of a logjam with prospects coming into the AHL. For example, if Gudas and Barberio were ready this year and were due to make the jump but couldn't because of this it means the young guns behind them have to wait there turn to make the jump to pro themselves.

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09-16-2012, 07:12 PM
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TheDaysOf 04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newham89 View Post
Maybe this season, but the lock out will also create a bit of a logjam with prospects coming into the AHL. For example, if Gudas and Barberio were ready this year and were due to make the jump but couldn't because of this it means the young guns behind them have to wait there turn to make the jump to pro themselves.
I'm not sure I follow. There is no problem for our prospects coming from the chl or college. I can't recall an incident ever where a player was held back to his junior club because his AHL team was too full. If we have a logjam, then then some will go to the echl like what Landry did or you sit and rotate your line-up like what Panik and Palat did.

You're saying the 04-05 lockout helped the draft class from 2003. I agree, it helped 2003. You didn't mention 2004, that draft of that season, so why should the 12-13 lockout help the 2012 class? Players like Koekkoek and Vasilevski are unaffected because this won't change their path to the NHL. Guys like Brown, Killorn, and Aulie who might have played in the NHL this year had their development lengthened by another season. That lockout helped the players who would've made the big jump from the chl/ncaa to the nhl like Thomas Vanek and the kids who made the NHL as teenagers and could benefit from some time in the A like Eric Staal.


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