The lockout has cast a shadow of uncertainty over many things in the NHL. A majority of depth charts are filled with question marks and that offers the opportunity for some players overseas to get their shot in the NHL.
Almost every player with options left was part of the mass migration to AHL so some rosters remain intact. Many big-named players were not part of the roster moves though.
Questions on whether some players will return from international leagues will fuel the scouting process for current general managers. The fact that most leagues have already started puts teams behind the eight ball since the pickings on their free-agent market will be slim if the season starts this year.