NHL Lockout in 2012 Actually Favors the New York Islanders

By Mark Donatiello

The New York Islanders are a young team with talented, dynamic players that are cancelled out by gaping weaknesses across the roster.  The Islanders have an average goaltender in Evgeni Nabokov, paired with a perpetually injured and overpaid Rick DiPietro, and a prospect that is still not ready for the NHL.  Needless to say the goaltending situation is far from favorable.  The Isles have a middling defensive corps at best, and lack the offensive depth to pair John Tavares with enough talent to win games.  Ownership is in a battle with a corrupt city, and the future of the team in one of hockey’s most embarrassing arenas is up in the air.  It seems ridiculous, but an NHL lockout in 2012 actually seems to favor the New York Islanders.

The Islanders sort of need one more year to put this team together and if there’s no hockey season they lose nothing in the process.  A lost season due to an NHL lockout gives the New York Islanders an opportunity to rebuild a bit more, and their silence this offseason makes more sense.  The Islanders clearly lost ground to the top teams in the Atlantic Division this offseason, but an NHL lockout provides them with another year to catch up.  Prospects like Tavares and goaltender Anders Nilsson would be one step closer to NHL dominance.  The roster would improve, ownership would have an opportunity to resolve its arena situation, and the Islanders youth could benefit from one more year of development if they spent this season that never comes in the right way.

An NHL lockout would obviously be a terrible thing for the hockey world.  The casual fans returning to the NHL would likely be lost forever.  The lost season of the last lockout would prove to be a total waste, not the rejuvenating force we were all told it was.  Players would be locked out in order to protect owners from themselves at the expense of the fans, which shows exactly where the loyalties of the NHL are.  The Canadian economy could collapse all-together without hockey, and socialized healthcare would go bankrupt.  World War III would break out when the Canadian Revolution finally freed our brothers to the north from the Red Coats in England.  Ultimately, an NHL Lockout is nothing short of a tragedy, but the New York Islanders could benefit from it.

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