San Jose Sharks: How the Lockout Affects the Sharks Positively and Negatively
For the most part, the lockout will negatively affect the Sharks. Players are getting older and age will start to become a factor at some point.
But since fans are so focused on possibly missing part of, or all of the 2012-2013 season, they don’t notice how the lockout can positively affect the Sharks.
In the end, a lockout out is undoubtedly bad for the league as a whole, but the Sharks should be able to deal with the work stoppage better than most other teams.
These five points outline the positive and negative affects towards the Sharks if the NHL begins to cancel games.
Players Will Age If the Season Is Cancelled
Just like every other team, the Sharks will see a few players’ age start to catch up to them in the near future.
Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are both 33, Ryane Clowe is 30, Dan Boyle is 36 and Douglas Murray is 32.
These five, all of whom are key players, will suffer from the lockout. They all contribute to the fact that the Sharks are ranked eighth in the NHL in terms of average age per team.
All other teams in the Pacific Division, aside from the Phoenix Coyotes, have an average age that is younger than the Sharks.
Prospects Will Get More Time to Develop
In the 2012 NHL draft, the Sharks selected center Tomas Hertl out of the Czech Republic.
Hertl is one of the few players that will need another year or two before making an impact on the NHL. A lockout will not force him to make a jump to the NHL before he is ready.
The same goes for Nick Petrecki, who was drafted in the first round back in 2007. He is on the verge of becoming an NHL-caliber defenseman, but the longer he waits to develop, the more of an impact he will have on the Sharks.
The lockout will give these two, along with other prospects, an extra year to work on their game before having to play in the NHL.
Refunding Season Tickets
Recently, the Sharks released information on refunding season tickets.
Unlike other NHL teams, the Sharks are in a better position with their season-ticket holders, who have only made about 70 percent of their payments towards season tickets.
This means the Sharks have a lot of wiggle room.
They don’t need to refund tickets until the NHL misses 30 percent of the season; if that mark comes, they will then start refunding tickets on a monthly basis.
Other teams are providing a credit towards every game that is missed along with a percent interest in order to keep their season-ticket holders.
Their Fanbase Will Remain Loyal
Unlike other teams, the Sharks will not have a problem keeping their fanbase once the lockout ends.
Last season, the Sharks were one of the few NHL teams to sell out every game.
Also, the Sharks have no competition with other professional sports in their area.
The closest city is San Francisco, home to the San Francisco Giants and the San Francisco 49ers, which is about 50 miles north of San Jose.
They Will Lose Momentum
Although the Sharks’ recent playoff numbers over the past couple of years are upsetting, they still have been a dominant team in the NHL since the late 1990s.
The last time the Sharks did not make the playoffs was back in 2002-2003. Since then, they have won the Pacific Division five times and finished atop the Western Conference twice.
The playoffs have been problematic for the Sharks though.
They have been close to breaking out and finally making a Stanley Cup Final, but that has yet to happen.
Most players on the team have had a small taste of true postseason hockey and are dying to get more. The lockout kills that momentum though.
Last year, the Sharks already saw a decline. They came in seventh in the West and did not win the Pacific Division for the first time in four years.
The more games that the NHL cancels, the more the Sharks will suffer when it comes to playing as well they have in previous years.
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