NHL Roundtable - January 6th, 2013
HOCKEY IS BACK! We have a new roundtable discussing who is going to be helped and hurt by the lockout and a Hall of Fame question. On to the questions! Please note that some of these questions were answered before the lockout was settled.
Question #1 - What team do you think will be helped by the lockout the most?
Michal Kolasiński: I'm going to have to say the Phoenix Coyotes - ownership issues are a big problem for the Dogs. With the lockout going, they have more time to concentrate on that. Fortunately, the deal is just an inch from being completed 100%.
Anthony D’Amore: It's difficult to pinpoint ONE single team that will benefit most from
the lockout, and with that said, I'm speaking lockout benefits with regards to an abbreviated season. There are multiple teams that I believe will benefit, from a sprint type season and there are two types of teams I believe will be advantaged. First teams with a lot of higher end veteran players, who would under strain of an 82 game schedule will be burnt out, will benefit from a shortened schedule. The bigger group consists of teams with an abundance of youth, teams
with many young players not only playing in the AHL or other leagues, but developing due to a half season played in sub-NHL calibre hockey. Teams that come to mind are the Oilers, having RNH, Eberle, Yakupov, Hall and Schultz all playing. That whole group aside from Yakupov plays for the Oilers’ farm team in the AHL. Another team that may benefit is the Florida Panthers, having Jonathan Huberdeau develop, and believe it or not the Toronto Maple Leafs with Morgan Rielly, Joe Colborne, Jake Gardiner and Nazem Kadri. These guys are all benefitting from more time in the minors or other leagues. These teams will definitely be advantaged not only due to further player development, but because many other teams don't have as many guys playing as many chose to not go to Europe and are not eligible to play in the AHL. Pittsburgh I believe will also benefit simply because it's afforded Sid more time to recover. Economically, it's likely that the stronger American markets, (NYR, Minnesota, etc.) and all Canadian markets will recover from the lockout.
Cynnie Wild: Might sound weird, but I do think the Phoenix Coyotes will be. Let me explain. Yes, they are in a financial canyon and at high risks of bankruptcy. But at the same time, the team didn't have to play while the City Council was debating for their future. Players didn't have to deal with the fact they almost lost their agreement, to finally have it. It's a pressure less on their shoulder and if the season was to start by the end of the month, the team could concentrate on their hockey and not on what would have happened next if the season started in October, as usual.
Scott Bluni - The team that is helped most by the lockout is Columbus Blue Jackets. After the atrocious year they had last year including the Rick Nash drama, they deserve a year off… After trading away their franchise player, and single exceptionally talented forward to the New York Rangers, they are in major reconstruction mode. An extra season to let the worst team in hockey work out a plan for rebuilding is extremely beneficial. I'm sure team president John Davidson is enjoying the extra time and will work tirelessly on a new action plan.
Lauren Burg: I'm going to agree with Scott here and say the Columbus Blue Jackets. When you're as bad as the Blue Jackets were last season you need time to erase that memory. Also, they did lose Rick Nash to the New York Rangers but got some decent players in return. Right now, I think team president John Davidson is making sure the Blue Jackets have a pretty good plan for rebuilding so they can get back to being a decent team in the next few years.
Jeff Lingard: I'm going with the Edmonton Oilers because their young core of forwards are playing together in the AHL. Hyped prospect Justin Schultz is also playing in the NHL and is probably the favorite for the Calder Trophy.
Question #2 - What team do you think will be hurt by the lockout the most?
Michal Kolasiński: Nashville Predators. With Suter gone, they still do not have a chance to check, how things are gonna go for them without him. And let's face it- Weber, Rinne and Suter were about 90% of their success. The Florida Panthers are also in trouble. Their roster is built from so many unrelated bricks that it takes time to cement this whole thing into one well-working machine. They need to be on the ice fighting for points - not in practice fighting for season to happen god knows when.
Anthony D’Amore: Economically, markets in Florida, California, Nashville and other non- traditional hockey cities will be hit hard by the lockout, especially since it's projected to start up soon with the Super Bowl right around the corner. With regards to play, obviously any teams without many players currently playing either domestically or overseas will have a hard time this season. I think L.A will have trouble due to the annual post-cup hangover teams tend to experience (still a factor in abbreviated season in my opinion), and in this case they won't have much time to recover. Detroit may also be in trouble without the likes of Nic Lidstrom and Brad Stuart. Their back end is definitely a question mark.
Cynnie Wild: The Minnesota Wild will. After giving contracts to the 2 most wanted players of the summer, they were ready to put a winning team together, but the lockout will hit them right in the face. If the season started next week, they would have only a week to create chemistry between the newcomers and the team. After what happened last year, getting to the top mid-December to fall down on their face to the bottom 3 weeks later, the coach and general manager should fear the scenario might repeat itself and honestly, I think, although it is my favorite team, that the Wild will miss the playoffs this year.
Scott Bluni - The LA Kings… They're the defending Stanley Cup Champions and absolutely caught fire in the postseason. They brought back crazy hype to the Kings organization and West Coast hockey. With the 'emergence' (they've been around for a while, just off the radar) of Johnny Quick, Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, and budding rookies like Dwight King, Slava Voynov and Jordan Nolan, the Kings could have carried their intense momentum from last year into this season. It also sucks because now their Stanley Cup victory has been overshadowed by this lockout! I feel for the LA Kings players and organization, after having an impressive postseason they'll have to wait a whole season to get another shot at greatness.
Lauren Burg: I have two answers to this question. I feel both the Tampa Bay Lightning and Los Angeles Kings are hurt most by the lockout. I know it might seem odd but hear me out. The Lightning are hurt because they acquired a potential #1 goaltender in Anders Lindback and prospect Cory Conacher was coming off an MVP season in 2011-2012 with the AHL Calder Cup champion Norfolk Admirals and expected to crack the Lightning lineup this season. Also, J.T. Brown was expected to be a third or fourth line grinder for the Bolts after signing straight out of college near the end of last season. Instead, Lindback went to Finland and suffered a minor knee injury. Though he says he's OK now, we don't know how that might affect him in the future. Conacher's still doing alright in the AHL with the Lightning's new affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, but he's not putting up the same numbers he did last season and Brown injured himself during a game with Syracuse, is having (or recently had) surgery and will be out the remainder of the season. Finally, Martin St. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier are getting up there in age, with St. Louis probably only having this season (if we have one) and next before retiring.
As for the Kings, when you win the Stanley Cup you'd like a chance to properly defend it. Losing an entire year means many contracts expire and players go elsewhere, thus making that championship harder to defend. Plus, they're having to wait to raise their championship banner and celebrate with fans. Also, news just recently came out that Anze Kopitar injured his knee while playing overseas and will miss at least three weeks. That may not sound like much but you never know with injuries. Sometimes they take longer to heal and if rushed, the injury could be made worse!
Jeff Lingard: I think from a hockey standpoint the Canucks are going to be hurt by the lockout since none of their important players have been playing competitive hockey. There is little margin of error in a compressed season so the Canucks will have to shake the rust off quickly or could end up missing the playoffs. From a business standpoint the Florida Panthers have not had an opportunity to market their first playoff appearance in a decade and will have trouble drawing fans back to the rink unless the team has a hot start.
Question #3 - Hall of Fame debate - Should Mark Recchi be inducted into the Hall of Fame?
Michal Kolasiński: Absolutely. This is one of those players which are not born every time a pregnant woman goes to the hospital. Very team-oriented player, good passer. Plus, stats speak for themselves.
Anthony D’Amore: Mark Recchi should most definitely be inducted into the HHOF. I was not high on Mats Sundin being inducted, but the hall of fame committee saw differently. He'd had only one single 100 point season, 92-93 with the Quebec Nordiques. He played 18 seasons amassing 1349 points in 1346 games. Recchi played 21 full seasons, had three 100+ point seasons, scored 1533 points in 1652 games. Less points per game over his career than Sundin, but more points overall and more goals. Stats are one thing, but Recchi also won three Stanley Cups, one each with Carolina, Pittsburgh and Boston. He was an integral part of the Boston cup in particular. He`s 12th all time in NHL points, ahead of other players who have been inducted. Based on comparison to other players who have been inducted, particularly Sundin, Recchi has all of the prerequisites of a hall of famer, and should be inducted.
Cynnie Wild: I can't answer this question, because I know who Mark Recchi is, but I have no idea about his career, except what I read about him on the web. I am too young to have known him in the top of his career and when I started following hockey really attentively, he was already getting older and on the down slope. I have to pass on this question.
Scott Bluni: Even though he is not yet eligible to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, there is not a doubt in my mind that he will be as soon as he is eligible. Mark Recchi is the epitome of a great hockey player. He started off his illustrious career in Pittsburgh, playing for the Penguins since 1988 and eventually helped them win the Stanley Cup in 1991. He put up outstanding numbers early in his career, and even set the Philadelphia single season scoring record at 123 points (including 53 goals) in 1992-1993. Throughout his career he proved to be a high caliber scoring threat with tremendous experience and a physical edge to his game. He later went on to win the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2005-2006, and with our beloved Bruins in 2010-2011.In Rex’s NHL career, he accumulated 1,533 points in 1,652 games, which included 577 goals. As a matter of fact, in 2011, Recchi became the oldest player to score a goal in the Stanley Cup Finals at the age of 43 years and 126 days.The impact of Mark Recchi goes beyond the numbers though. Look at the Boston Bruins organization; without Recchi as a mentor young stars Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron would not be playing on the same level they are today. Seguin and Bergeron will undoubtedly use the knowledge they gained from Rex to play smart hockey at the NHL level, and with any luck this knowledge will be passed down through future generations of NHLers. Though he is not eligible now… there is not a doubt in my mind that he’s destined for the Hall of Fame. I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to see Rex play in the Bruin’s black and gold and lead them to a Cup. He’s a great guy.
Lauren Burg: He's not eligible at this time. However, once he becomes eligible I think there should be no second thoughts about inducting Recchi into the Hall of Fame. He won the Stanley Cup with three different teams--the Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes and Boston Bruins--making him one of 10 players to do that in this day and age. He was 12th all-time in points, with just over 1,500, and fourth all-time in games played as he played in just over 1,650 games as well.Finally, Recchi led all active players in points and assists after the 2009 retirement of Joe Sakic. (Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Recchi) All in all, I think Recchi's done everything possible to be a first or second ballot Hall of Famer once eligible!
Jeff Lingard: This was not cut and dry for me as Recchi only has a couple of elite seasons on his resume. Counting stats don't impress me as much as a players peak now that players seem to play into their late 30's more often. Mark Recchi was a top 10 scorer only 4 times in his career. Even the year he scored 53 goals and had 123 points he only finished 10th in the league in scoring. He was an All Star for 6 or 7 seasons and then a good role player for 14-15 seasons. Even with good playoff performances that isn't good enough for me. So I'm a no on Recchi. This doesn’t mean I hate the player. I just don't think he fits my mould of a Hall of Famer.