If the lockout last the whole year, Russia will be WC Champion
Strastvuitie Russki Drusya !
I believe that if the lockout is maintained, through the same virtue that, some years ago, when Russia opened, the "Sbornaya" had the worst years. But this time the effect will be inversed.
When Russia opened, most of the best players left the country for ... NHL and other non-american countries. As a result, the team coming with players from all leagues lost their homogeneity and had to be coached completely differently than before. Which it wasn't. Symptoms were that players wouldn't know how to play together. Then they obviously put this together since Russia became champion.
Intrinsically, Russia and Canada (Sweden very close) have the best players in the world. Russia (and Sweden) will benefit from the offect of most of their players playing in the same league. They will improve in collective game.
Additionally, Canadians and Americans will suffer the inverse effect since their players will be dispersed in many different leagues.
As a result if believe that Russia will be the big favourite this year. The more the lockout lasts, the more odds accumulate in your favor. (Sweden and obviously Europeans also have the same benefit)