Dec 30, 2012, 10:52 AM EDT
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.
May 22, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT
Finnish forward joined the organization last year after solid production in the SM-liiga.
May 22, 2015, 12:21 PM EDT
That’s him, with Vladimir Putin.
May 22, 2015, 12:03 PM EDT
No word on who’ll draw in as a replacement.
May 22, 2015, 11:40 AM EDT
No word yet if he’ll be able to play right away.
May 22, 2015, 11:15 AM EDT
We really need to get these combos better nicknames, though.
May 22, 2015, 11:03 AM EDT
The Rangers need The King to play like one tonight.
May 22, 2015, 10:25 AM EDT
He also reiterates that the salary cap will be about $71M.
May 22, 2015, 9:20 AM EDT
Almost always a good way to go.
May 22, 2015, 8:31 AM EDT
May 22, 2015, 1:30 AM EDT
Ducks trying to make life miserable for Chicago’s goalie.
May 22, 2015, 1:00 AM EDT
Game 4 goes Saturday in Chicago.
May 22, 2015, 12:12 AM EDT
So, what will the coach do for Game 4?
May 21, 2015, 11:17 PM EDT
Chicago’s power play came up empty.
May 21, 2015, 10:36 PM EDT
Talk about timing.
May 21, 2015, 10:26 PM EDT
Quite a sequence.
May 21, 2015, 9:15 PM EDT
‘Showtime’ strikes late in the period.
May 21, 2015, 8:05 PM EDT
Coach Q, shaking it up.
May 21, 2015, 7:49 PM EDT
Pittsburgh GM won’t stand in the way.
May 21, 2015, 6:58 PM EDT
Hit knocked the veteran d-man out of Game 3.
May 21, 2015, 6:10 PM EDT
“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.”
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