NHL Lockout 2012: Greats Who May Never Skate in NHL Again Due to Work Stoppage
While we are focused on the fact that the NHL has now canceled the All-Star game and all games scheduled through December 14 (h/t NHL.com), we eventually expect that a deal will be struck—though it may not be in time to save the 2012-13 season.
But that begs the question—who will take the ice for our favorite teams once they return?
It may not be the same roster you expected to see in training camp this year. While the league has stopped, time has not. Some of the familiar faces we've grown accustomed to are growing older—and closer to the expiration dates on their careers.
This is all speculation, but as we saw with the 2004 lockout, exceptional players don't necessarily stick around for one more year following a work stoppage.
Shayne Corson, Vincent Damphousse, Ron Francis, Al MacInnis, Mark Messier, Adam Oates and Scott Stevens never played again after the 2004 lockout.
Brett Hull tried to come back but failed, lasting only a handful of games before calling it a career.
Unforeseen casualties of the lockout are real. As in 2004, they may include some of the more familiar names in the game.
Teemu Selanne, F, Anaheim Ducks
According to David Bean of the Orange County Register, future Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne isn't likely to return to the Anaheim Ducks if this 2012-13 season is lost:
A lot of times when I drive to the rink here and I know there’s only four of five guys skating, I’m thinking, ‘Right now, I’d like to call and say I’m done. This is enough right now. I’m old enough to do something else and not play with the kids.
Next time, I feel like I want to wait and see what happens. I have played so many games, so many years. This is not a big thing for me. If I have to retire like this, I’m still going to be a happy camper. But this is a sad way to go out, this way.
Selanne, 41, is 12th all-time in goals with 663 and 19th all-time in points scored with 1,406.
Jaromir Jagr, F, Dallas Stars
Jaromir Jagr, 40, isn't likely to retire if this NHL season is lost (h/t Yahoo! Sports)—he'll simply play out the rest of his career in the KHL.
One of the great scorers of all time, Jagr, a two-time Stanley Cup champion, made his mark in the early 1990s skating alongside Mario Lemieux with the Pittsburgh Penguins, forming one of the most potent scoring combinations the NHL has ever seen.
If this is it for Jagr, he'd finish his career sitting 11th all-time in goals (665), 12th in assists (988) and eighth in points (1,653).
Saku Koivu, C, Anaheim Ducks
It's mere coincidence that two Ducks are on this list, but 38-year old Saku Koivu may have skated his last game in an NHL uniform.
A four-time Olympian for Finland, Koivu never put up gaudy offensive numbers like Selanne, but he made his name as one of the great leaders in the game, serving as captain of the Montreal Canadiens for 10 years.
If this is the end for Koivu, he'll finish his NHL career with 236 goals, 540 assists and 776 points.
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