NHL Lockout: Nail Yakupov and 10 Other Players Who Will Save the League (Again)

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NHL Lockout: Nail Yakupov and 10 Other Players Who Will Save the League (Again)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The last time the NHL had a lockout, it had Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin to lure fans back to the game. Despite who caused the work stoppage this time around, fair or not, it will be the players out on the ice trying to win back fans and undo the damage done by the league yet again.

As much as I'd like to see Gary Bettman and his fellow posse of owners try and tie a pair of hockey skates, much less take to the ice, they just aren't the people that matter once the games are underway.

So, a few rules for selecting the "new wave" of savior-talent.

1. The players can not be named Sidney Crosby or Alexander Ovechkin. They already saved the NHL once.

2. The players may not have completed more than one full season at the NHL level. I am drawing that line because players typically have huge years during their second or third seasons. While guys like David Backes, Ryan Getzlaf or Tyler Seguin could be big coming out of the lockout, they've already established themselves as stars in the league.

I'm looking at the new(er) blood.

3. No touching of the hair or face. And that's it. Lets do this!

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