The NHL may still be bleeding from the lockout, but the 2012-13 season is not dead yet.
While NHL players spend their days in Europe, in the AHL or at the negotiating table, there still remains hope that a new collective bargaining agreement can be reached and a shortened season can be salvaged.
For a team like the Philadelphia Flyers, which is made up largely of young players hitting their stride, having a 2012-13 season is incredibly important. A year off is a year of vital chemistry and development missed, which could have long-term effects on the ability of the franchise to establish a solid core group of players.
Should the NHL and NHLPA finally agree on the terms of the new season, the Flyers will find themselves a better team than they were last year.