The adage that advises hoping for the best while bracing for the worst is applying with exponential adhesive as the NHL lockout delays the debuts of all summer 2012 free-agent transfers in their new uniforms.
Even in years of normalcy, there are always new acquisitions that will bear such caveats as a history of inconsistent health or inconsistent heart. Others come with an uncertainty as to how they will fare with a substantially more or less competitive team than where they last played.
Some of those prominently exist in the free-agent class of 2012, but there is also the overwhelming presence of players, particularly grizzled veterans, who are potentially prone to rust after this unusually lengthy offseason.
“Potentially” is the most operative term here. There might ultimately be nothing to worry about with these players and their new employers.
But based on a combination of what they can bring based on their best and/or most recent seasons and the potential hindrances they are subject to, these are the 10 signees who could disappoint the most if things do not work according to plan.