6 NHL Teams Hurt Most by the Lockout
The NHL lockout will impact every team in a negative way, but for some clubs, the work stoppage will be devastating for a number of reasons.
Teams that will be hurt tremendously by the work stoppage include Stanley Cup contenders, young teams looking to take the next step and teams with new additions that fans are waiting to see.
Let's look at six teams that the lockout will hurt the most.
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Judging by the amount of national television games that the Minnesota Wild are currently scheduled to feature in this season, the franchise is going to be in the national spotlight for the first time in its brief history.
This isn't the kind of buzz you want to destroy with a lockout, especially when fans in Minnesota are quite content with supporting college hockey throughout the winter.
Another problem for Minnesota is that many of its top prospects, some of whom are ready for the NHL right now, could have their journey to the NHL delayed if the lockout lasts for a long time. Zach Parise and Ryan Suter's anticipated debuts in front of their new fans will also likely be delayed.
Another lockout couldn't have come at a worse time for the Wild.
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The Calgary Flames were aggressive in free agency this summer in an attempt to end the team's three-year playoff drought, so missing some or all of next season would not be ideal.
The Flames are also one of the older teams in the NHL, and for players such as Jarome Iginla, they won't have many more chances to make a deep playoff run.
If the salary cap is lowered significantly in the new CBA, the Flames could be one of the teams affected the most since they have only $3.531,668 in cap room, according to Capgeek.
Calgary is home to one of the most passionate fanbases in the league, so losing out on a season in which a playoff berth is quite possible would be disappointing.
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The Boston Bruins have arguably the most well-rounded roster in the NHL and are one of the eight or so teams with a fantastic chance to win the Stanley Cup.
It would be a real shame if the Bruins didn't have the opportunity for another title run this season after ending their 39-year championship drought just two seasons ago.
For the first time in a while, the Bruins are arguably the best team in Boston, and the franchise's popularity in New England is higher than it's been in a long time.
The Bruins have rejuvenated their fanbase with the team's recent playoff success, but a lockout could slow the momentum built since the struggles the team dealt with following the previous work stoppage.
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The signings of veteran forwards Ray Whitney and Jaromir Jagr were made so the Dallas Stars could win games and become a playoff team this season, not in the future.
Jagr and Whitney are still good players, but at age 40, they can't be wasting the little time that each has left in the NHL because of a lockout. When you make free-agent moves like these, a lockout is the worst-case scenario.
Dallas made these signings to add some much-needed interest and excitement surrounding the team heading into the 2012-13 season, but that momentum has been halted with the lockout.
As one of the teams that lost money during the 2010-11 season, according to Forbes.com, Dallas also needs the year to begin so the franchise can maximize its revenues.
New York Rangers
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This could be a make-or-break season for New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella, who finally has all the ingredients needed for a Stanley Cup championship.
Rangers owner James Dolan, who is one of the most competitive owners in sports, recently said the following to Katie Strang of ESPN New York.
"The only thing I can say is that I want us to play hockey," Rangers owner James Dolan told ESPNNewYork.com at the team's first annual charity dog walk in Riverside Park.
You can bet he's anxious to get his team on the ice, and who can blame him? Dolan hasn't had a Rangers team this talented in quite some time.
The Blueshirts just traded for Rick Nash, the roster is full of young players with star potential, and the team has a chance to win multiple titles in the next five to seven years.
The level of optimism surrounding the franchise is very high, so for Rangers fans, this lockout can't end soon enough.
San Jose Sharks
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I wrote in August about how age is a major reason why the San Jose Sharks need at least a shortened season for a final push towards a championship.
For the team's young players, having a chance to gain some valuable experience at the NHL level alongside some talented veteran players would be great for them before the 2013 playoffs arrive.
Young guys like Tommy Wingels, Taylor Doherty, Brent Burns and Logan Couture will play important roles on the Sharks this season, and well into the future. The sooner they get on the ice and keep improving, the better San Jose's chances of winning the Cup will be.
Coming out of the last lockout, the Sharks began a new era with so much promise thanks to the trade that brought Joe Thornton to San Jose from the Boston Bruins. This recent lockout could end that era without a championship.