A healthy Ryan Kesler is a HUGE difference maker for this team. Without him we not only don't have secondary scoring, it is also much easier to key on the Sedins.
Anything that helps Kesler return to top form is a huge benefit to this club.
For that reason alone, a shortened season definitely works in our favor.
Also, in a short season, teams falling out of contention will tend to panic sooner. There will also be increased pressure to ice a better product coming out of a lockout. I think that will work to our advantage with respect to the Luongo situation (I don't think there is much chance at all of him being moved before the season starts).
A lockout benefits a team like the Oilers 10x more than it benefits the Canucks.
All their young studs have more time to develop, possibly playing in Europe against higher caliber players, etc.
See Eric Staal during the last lockout where he went from a 30 point rookie season to a 100 point season following the lockout year where he played in Europe.
As one of the best teams in the league, the Canucks time is now, and while there may be some positive things you can spin from a lockout, every other team in the NHL will benefit more from it than the Canucks, therefore making a lockout detrimental to the Canucks in the end.
If Don Cherry is right (when isn't he? LOL!) and the lockout is over after two months the Canucks can benefit is some key areas, like Kesler's recovery.
If they try to get a lot of games into a compressed time frame, then I think the Canucks are in pretty good shape. Compressed scheduling leads to unfortunate travel itineraries and back to back games. Having two starting goalies might mitigate this.
As an aside, I think a sixty game schedule ought to lead to some good hockey. A lot of teams can stay in contention by playing for ties and placement should go right down to the last game. The teams should also bring a lot of energy into the playoffs! I can't see these circumstances hindering the Canucks at all.
How is it going to benefit a young team with little NHL experience by not playing for 2 months rather than a team who has gone the distance and had some key players injured last year?
A longer lockout could benefit underdog teams in general because all they have to do is go on a short hot streak. The underdog could punch their ticket to the playoffs because there isn't enough time to expose them as would normally happen over a longer season.
The Canucks offseason was long enough this year for everyone except Kesler. If the lockout gets resolved around Xmas, the Canucks could actually benefit because they don't need to find a stop-gap 2C. If it goes longer, it could be bad for this traditionally slow-starting team. They might not have enough race-track to make up for stumbling out of the gate if the season is very short.
Another full lockout would be pretty rough for the league, but one which only sees the first month or two of the season eaten away may not be all too bad for the Canucks.
Ryan Kesler would likely be as healthy as can be, and many of our prospects and players on two-way deals would have already had some good start-up time in the AHL (Schroeder, Tanev, Connauton, Rodin, etc), and would hopefully be ready to step into the Canucks roster if need be.
And by April, the Canucks won't be nearly as tired and will probably be at that point in the season where they've historically been winning a ton of games (that post-all-star time), right in time for the playoffs!
It would also mean more time to get a deal done for Luongo before the season starts.
1 - Kes will miss much less of the season if any. Because the depth down the middle after Kes is unproven, striking the first 20-25 games off the official record is not so bad.
2 - Luongo trade value could go up - some teams could find themselves out of contention after only 20 games so going into a strike shortened season with unproven goaltending is highly risky.
3 - IMO, Canucks need 2-3 players to step up yet have few if any NHL ready prospects as of right now - basically there is a void in the 2006 to 2008 draft years. A few months of seasoning playing AHL+ hockey could give mgmt a much better idea of who might surprise and be ready early and who might not, and let them pursue trades accordingly. Ex. Corrado surprises and is ready = need for right side D is less pressing.
In addition to giving Kesler more time to heal, Schneider a lighter work load, and more time to trade Luongo, I think a shortened season could benefit teams who are very comfortable playing together and don't need extra time to gel. I think it could benefit us, but also other contenders. I think health is also an area of concern, so less games means (hopefully) a healthier roster come playoffs. I don't think it helps younger teams who have many rookies who need NHL experience and time to gel.