If the NHL does indeed lockout the players if no collective bargaining agreement has been reached by Sept. 15, it will not only be a failure of astronomical proportions, but it will also damage the careers (and possibly end careers) of some of the League's most prominent players.
The players that will lose the most out of this potential lockout are not your average run-of-the-mill players. They are rather experienced players with either something to prove, an achievement to build on or perhaps players with one last kick at the can.
Here are five players that will stand to lose the most from this potential lockout.
The "Finnish Flash" recently committed to playing another season for the Anaheim Ducks.
Selanne, 42 years old, would like to play another season, and he still has the talent level to do so.
Last season Selanne was one of the few bright spots on a disappointing Ducks squad that failed to make the playoffs.
He registered 26 goals and 66 points on the season, with 28 of those points coming on the power play.
At age 42, most players are in the twilight of their careers. While this may be the case for Selanne, his current skill level and desire to play another season could be for naught if the NHL locks out the players this season.
With one last kick at the can, you can bet that Selanne would love nothing more than to actually be able to play this season.
Sidney Crosby has played just 22 games since his major concussion in January of 2011.
Did that stop him from putting up eye popping numbers?
Crosby put up 37 points in 22 games, but played just 14 of those 22 games consecutively as he was forced to miss time again with concussion-like symptoms from early December to the middle of March.
Crosby's Penguins crumbled in the first round of the playoffs to their in-state rival Philadelphia Flyers. With the impending lockout, Crosby could miss a lot more time due to something other than injuries.
As the best player in the game when healthy (averaging 1.68 points per game last season), Crosby would have (at that average) gotten to 137 points if he had played all 82 games last season.
As a face of the game, Crosby would stand to lose a lot if this season didn't start on time or (knock on wood) was cancelled entirely.
Bryzgalov had a mediocre regular season until the month of March where he picked up his game for a 10-2-1 record with four shutouts, three of them consecutively.
He finished with a regular season record of 33-16-7, a 2.48 GAA and a 90.9 save percentage.
Despite decent regular-season numbers, Bryzgalov was the the biggest question mark for the Flyers' postseason hopes.
In 11 playoff games, there was just one game (the series clincher over Pittsburgh in the first round), where "Bryz" gave up less than three goals.
Bryzgalov will be looking to put his playoff numbers (5-6-1 record, 3.46 GAA and 88.7 save percentage) behind him moving forward this season.
That's assuming the season actually starts, which is still a big "if" and a bigger "when."
When Joffrey Lupul received a nomination for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (dedication to hockey), it was almost as ironic as it was appropriate.
Lupul was given the nomination based on the comeback season that he had up until the season-ending shoulder injury that he sustained on March 6 against Boston.
The appropriateness of the award was based on the fact that Lupul had 67 points in 66 games, but the irony was that Lupul was not actually able to play hockey when he was nominated in April.
Lupul's injury likely cost the Toronto Maple Leafs the playoffs as they won just five of their last 16 games.
He will want to get the season started and the lockout resolved so that he can help the Maple Leafs end their playoff drought which extends back to the previous lockout.
Roberto Luongo is yet another goalie who had a decent regular season with a 31-14-8 record, a 91.9 save percentage and 2.41 GAA but could not pull things out in the post-season.
Luongo played just the first two games of Vancouver's five-game series loss to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings.
Luongo let in seven goals in those two games, both losses.
Last season's playoff statistics of 3.59 GAA and a 89.1 save percentage are the worst of Luongo's career, and there were rumors at this year's NHL Draft that he could be traded (via VancouverSun.com) in the offseason.
Vancouver Canucks' GM Mike Gillis has said however that he will "wait for the right deal" (via teamradio.ca) before making any kind of move for Luongo.
But traded or not, Luongo would benefit most by just getting the season started to get the end of last season out of his mind.
Obviously these aren't the only players that stand to lose a lot from a potential work stoppage. No work for players means no money.
Clearly the players aren't the only ones losing out during a potential lockout.
Fans from teams across the league will lose out on watching hockey games, and the NHL might spend another couple years rebuilding its audience if a lockout were to cancel the entire season.
But having laid out the possibilities, I think the NHL has learned from the last NHL lockout. Although there is still uncertainty in the air, I don't think the whole season will be lost.
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