With optimism running wild with two consecutive days of meetings between the NHL and the NHLPA the question becomes which NHL teams have benefited the most from the 2012 NHL Lockout? What there are teams that have benefited from the lockout? Sure in a number of ways:
- teams that have had key players out with injuries
- teams that are having financial issues
- teams that have hired new coaches or general managers
- teams that had long playoff runs last spring
So which teams do we think have enjoyed the benefit of the lockout?
10 NHL Teams That Benefited from the Lockout
- Columbus Blue Jackets – this team lost their franchise player, lost the lottery draft but hired John Davidson and has had time to reflect. With the lockout in place and with no hockey being played, the Blue Jackets are tied for first place with the other 29 NHL teams. The Jackets are not yet the cellar dwellers they were last year and for most of their franchise career.
- Phoenix Coyotes – the desert dogs are a mess from a financial perspective. You have to think that the lockout has allowed the league to determine what the next steps for the Coyotes should be from an ownership perspective to possible relocation options.
- New Jersey Devils – Martin Brodeur is nursing a broken finger and the Devils are a team that are reportedly struggling off the ice. Also after losing Zach Parise to the Minnesota Wild, the Devils’ brass can regroup and collect their thoughts with their extra time off.
- Nashville Predators – another team that lost a key player in defenseman Ryan Suter and a team that had to match a crazy offer sheet to retain Shea Weber. The Preds are yet another team said to be having financial issues off the ice.
- Montreal Canadiens – the Habs had a lot of injuries last season and basically cleaned house in their front office. The NHL lockout has allowed players to heal and allowed the new management pieces to collect their thoughts and determine the next course of action for hockey’s most storied franchise.
- Vancouver Canucks – Ryan Kesler gets extra time to heal and GM Mike Gillis gets some extended time to think about what he can do with Roberto Luongo. Luongo will be moves it is just a matter of time and whom. The Edmonton Oilers might be a nice fit (although the chances of Luongo moving to a division rival are slim).
- Florida Panthers – another example of a team that losses less money by not playing.
- Los Angeles Kings – the Stanley Cup champions hype as the team to beat will have died down some with the duration of the lockout. The Kings have been rumored to have been for sale for quite some time with little serious interest.
- Minnesota Wild – the Wild have not yet started to pay the $97 million – 13 year contracts to free agent signings of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter as a result of the NHL lockout.
- Washington Capitals – the extra time off may be what the doctor ordered for Ovie to return to elite greatness. The Capitals should be better and the extra time off can help them regroup after a sub-par season last year.