NHL Veterans We've Seen the Last of If the 2012-13 Season Is Canceled

Tom Urtz Jr.@@TomUrtzJrContributor IAugust 26, 2012

NHL Veterans We've Seen the Last of If the 2012-13 Season Is Canceled

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    No one in the NHL community wants to experience another lockout. The fans don't, the NHL doesn't and the players especially don't want to miss an entire season.

    Not every player in the league is a spry 20-year-old with an entire career ahead of them. There are league veterans in their late 30s and early 40s who may not return in 2013-14 if there is another lockout.

    Here are some of the players who may have to hang them up if the 2012-13 season is lost because of a lockout.

Dwayne Roloson

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    Dwayne Roloson was stellar for the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2010-11 playoffs, but the 2011-12 regular season didn't treat him too well.

    Roloson finished the season with a 13-16-3 record and a gaudy 3.66 GAA.

    He no longer has a place with the Lightning after the acquisition of Anders Lindback so he may have trouble finding work in a year.

    At age 43, there are not many teams willing to take a flyer for a backup goaltender.

Sean O'Donnell

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    Sean O'Donnell has signed one-year contracts for the past few seasons because every deal he signs would be classified as a 35-plus contract.

    He is now 40 years old and he would be 41 by the time the next season rolled around. He is still a free agent because the Blackhawks wanted to improve on defense this offseason.

    O'Donnell was a solid defender in his prime, but at age 40 he is not the player he once was and he wouldn't be any better off at age 41.

Tomas Holmstrom

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    Tomas Holmstrom has won four Stanley Cups, is one of the toughest grinders today and has a knack for scoring tons of garbage goals. He is still unsigned at age 39 but he would be 40 by the time the next season started if there was a lockout.

    Holmstrom has spent his entire NHL career with the Red Wings and has had a great career so if there is no season this year, Holmstrom likely will want to retire on a good note with the club.

Milan Hejduk

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    Milan Hejduk re-signed with the Colorado Avalanche for one year this offseason and a lockout likely would end his career. The team is getting younger and Hejduk no longer is the offensive contributor he once was.

    Age has taken its toll on the offensive forward and a year of inactivity would threaten his career.

    He was a very talented player for the Avalanche during their heyday but his best days are behind him and Hejduk would likely retire as a member of the Avs.

Daniel Alfredsson

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    Daniel Alfredsson had left his future with the Ottawa Senators and the NHL up in the air until the postseason had settled.

    Alfredsson had remained firm that he wasn't certain but the rest was up to his wife to decide. The Senators' captain later announced he would return to finish the last year on his contract.

    However, after Alfredsson was reluctant to return for another year, it is fair to say that if there is a lockout, Alfredsson may decide to end his career. The last year of his contract would also expire in the event of a lockout.

    The Swedish star forward has a lot to be proud of in his career but there is still a slim chance that he would return after a year of NHL inactivity in an attempt to win the Stanley Cup.

Mike Knuble

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    Mike Knuble has had a long career and has been an effective role player but if the NHL locks out this year, he likely could retire before the start of the 2013-14 season.

    The Washington Capitals decided to not re-sign Knuble and they are going to change how they play the game.

    Adam Oates was an offensive minded player who will likely default to that type of coaching style. As a result, Knuble and his grit-and-grind style will not be as effective in Washington.

    He is not getting any younger but can still serve a role by killing penalties and by playing on the fourth line. However, a year of inactivity would likely end Knuble's career.

Brian Rolston

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    Brian Rolston has done a lot of things in his NHL career and for that reason he would likely retire in the event of a lockout.

    Rolston has won a Stanley Cup and an Olympic medal, and he's been a successful forward for many teams.

    He was waived earlier this year and was traded to the New York Islanders and the Boston Bruins this season.

    He was once a solid 65- to 75-point forward with a booming shot but Rolston wouldn't have enough gas in the tank if he was sidelined for a year as a result of an NHL lockout.

Jason Blake

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    Jason Blake is getting older and at age 38 he is no longer as effective as he used to be. The Anaheim Ducks decided to cut him loose because of his salary and as a result, Blake is still a free agent. 

    Blake has battled injuries and health issues his entire career so it is fair to say that he would not return for another year of action if the NHL locked out in 2012-13.

Andrew Brunette

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    Andrew Brunette is 39 years old and he would turn 40 before the start of the 2013-14 season. He was once a skilled forward who was capable of producing close to 60 and 70 points a year.

    As he has gotten older and has had his ice time reduced, Brunette has lost a step or two. A year of inactivity as a result of an NHL lockout would not benefit Brunette or his NHL career.

John Madden

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    John Madden was one of the NHL's best forechecking and penalty-killing forwards. He was a gritty grinding player who would irritate forwards as they tried to generate offensive chances.

    Madden played in 31 games with the Florida Panthers last season and he didn't look to be the same player he was with the New Jersey Devils.

    A lockout would end Madden's career.

Jaroslav Spacek

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    Jaroslav Spacek was an average-solid defender for the Carolina Hurricanes—after he was acquired from the Montreal Canadiens—but they were able to let him go this summer because of his age, production and cap hit.

    Spacek has been a player who has battled injuries the past few seasons so it would make sense if he retired because of all the battle damage he has taken over the years.

    With Spacek still unsigned and with the month of September lurking around the corner, it is safe to say that Spacek's career is close to being over.

Teemu Selanne

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    The Finnish Flash hasn't lost a step over the past few seasons and just when you think he is about to retire, he comes back for one more yea.

    Selanne turned 42 this summer, but that didn't stop him from putting up 66 points and 12 power-play goals for the Anaheim Ducks in 2011-12.

    The year before, Selanne hit the 80 point mark and that showed the NHL that he was a force to be reckoned with.

    If there is a lockout, Selanne could decide to walk away and finish his hockey career back in Finland. The Flash is a player who has electrified for decades and it would be sad to see the lockout end his hall-of-fame career.

    The 43-year-old likely will return in 2013-14 if there is a lockout but he could surprise us all by finally retiring. 

Nikolai Khabibulin

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    Nikolai Khabibulin is an aging goaltender for an Edmonton Oilers team that is drastically getting younger. In the event of a lockout, it is safe to assume that the "Bulin Wall's" career would be over.

    He is a Stanley Cup champion and an Olympic medalist so retiring from the NHL after a lockout wouldn't be the end of the world for Khabibulin.

Tim Thomas

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    Tim Thomas is already taking the year off from the NHL and that is something that will hurt him as a player.

    Thomas is a Vezina trophy winner, a Conn Smythe trophy winner and a Stanley Cup champion but his personality and his age will not make him attractive to teams for the 2013-14 season.

    His reflexes and timing will suffer from a year of inactivity so Thomas' career could already be ending.