The NHL made tangible progress to the game of hockey after a labor dispute cost the League and its players the entire 2004-2005 season.
With all that growth came news of another labor dispute after the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expired. That contract expired on Sept. 15th without a new deal being reached, and now the NHL owners and players find themselves back at square one—like they did in 2004.
But, always looking forward to the future is a bright spot in these times of doubt. There is a good chance that the NHL will have some semblance of a schedule this upcoming season. While it's not good to lose games in any circumstance, fans will gravitate back to the game they love.
When the players do hit the ice once again, there will be thirty teams fighting for the mighty prize in hockey, the Stanley Cup.
Five teams in particular will take advantage of the longer offseason and hit the ice with an energized new hope.