Skip to content

Which teams would have an edge in a shortened season?

Dec 30, 2012, 10:52 AM EDT

Kings Oilers Hockey AP

At this point the only remaining alternative to the season being canceled is a condensed schedule of, most likely, 48 games per team.

Louie DeBrusk knows what that’s like from his days with the Edmonton Oilers in the lockout-shortened 1994-95 campaign.

“There are going to be some players that have let their guard down just a little bit,” DeBrusk told Sportsnet. That’s particularly true of guys that haven’t played in another league during the work stoppage.

In a 48-game season, any rough patch has the potential to sink a team, so getting out of the gate quickly will be critical. To that end the Edmonton Oilers might have an edge if the season is salvaged.

“Obviously biased a little bit,” DeBrusk admitted, “but you have to understand that they have a young nucleus that are all playing. Your best players high-quality hockey and meaningful hockey right now and when things turn around — if they do — and they go back to work, these guys will be ready to step right in and have an impact, so they’re going to be tough out of the gates.”

Because the Oilers’ core players are so young, most of them were eligible to play together in the AHL and the one noteworthy exception, Nail Yakupov, found work in the KHL instead.

For the most part though, DeBrusk thinks it will be the veteran teams that benefit, especially the ones that had long, grueling playoff runs. The Los Angeles Kings seem like an obvious addition to this category.

The New York Rangers are also noteworthy given that they made it all the way to the Eastern Conference finals and the lockout has provided Marian Gaborik with plenty of extra time to recover from his shoulder injury.

Of course, we’ll never find out if those teams end up excelling under these unique circumstances unless the NHL and union come to an understanding in the not too distant future.

Related:

Lemieux on shortened season: “The games were all like playoff games”

Latest Posts
  1. Wild re-sign AHL Iowa assists leader Keranen

    May 22, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    Petteri Lindbohm, Michael Keranen Getty Images

    Finnish forward joined the organization last year after solid production in the SM-liiga.

  2. Bolts rule Carle (undisclosed) out for Game 4

    May 22, 2015, 12:03 PM EDT

    Matt Carle Getty Images

    No word on who’ll draw in as a replacement.

  3. Blackhawks recall van Riemsdyk

    May 22, 2015, 11:40 AM EDT

    Trevor van Riemsdyk Getty Images

    No word yet if he’ll be able to play right away.

  4. Twins joining Triplets? Watch out if Stamkos, Killorn keep heating up

    May 22, 2015, 11:15 AM EDT

    Steve Stamkos, Alex Killorn AP

    We really need to get these combos better nicknames, though.

  5. All eyes on Lundqvist

    May 22, 2015, 11:03 AM EDT

    New York Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Three Getty Images

    The Rangers need The King to play like one tonight.

  6. Bettman refutes link between concussions and CTE

    May 22, 2015, 10:25 AM EDT

    Montreal Canadiens v Ottawa Senators - Game Six Getty Images

    He also reiterates that the salary cap will be about $71M.

  7. Video: ‘I got bumped the whole game,’ says Crawford

    May 22, 2015, 1:30 AM EDT

    Getty Images

    Ducks trying to make life miserable for Chicago’s goalie.

  8. Bylsma free to pursue any coaching gig, says Rutherford

    May 21, 2015, 7:49 PM EDT

    Bylsma

    Pittsburgh GM won’t stand in the way.

  9. Sabres GM Murray lauds ‘great’ process with Babcock, confirms no deal ever in place

    May 21, 2015, 6:10 PM EDT

    Tim Murray AP

    “To have a guy of his ilk, considered one of the best coaches in the National Hockey League, taking a real good hard look at us in Buffalo after a 30th-place finish — I thought the process was great.”

Featured video

Babcock has his work cut out in Toronto
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. K. Versteeg (1393)
  2. B. Boyle (1391)
  3. H. Lundqvist (1367)
  4. R. Callahan (1362)
  5. P. Kane (1301)