With only a month from today before the NHL will see another lockout it is best to prepare for it and hope for the best. With the NHLPA addressing the media yesterday and winning over many of the fans opinions it looked that there was going to be hope. However, it appears that the owners and the players are still very far apart but it might not be terrible for the Buffalo Sabres.
It would be terrible to not be able to see the Sabres play on the ice until late in the season, perhaps December or January. The fact that the Sabres have such a young team with very few players over 30 is a benefit if the season is lost. In fact, the only Sabres over the age of 30 are Matt Ellis, Christian Ehrhoff, Jordan Leopold, Robyn Regehr, and Ryan Miller.
Ryan Miller may benefit the most from a lockout; in the past Miller has seemed to wear down over the course of the season and hasn’t looked the same since his Vezina winning season. A shorter season could work to his advantage as he would be able to start more games and be better rested for playoffs.
Other players on the Sabres who could benefit from a lockout or a shorter season would be players like Ville Leino and Tyler Ennis. Both Leino and Ennis suffered ankle injuries last year and missed significant time. With the extra time off they could become even healthier and be more prepared for a better season.
The young players can develop more and be more “NHL ready”, these players include, Cody Hodgson, Brayden McNabb, and Marcus Foligno. The newly signed first round picks in Mikhail Grigorenko, and Zemgus Girgensons can better prepare for the upcoming season and become more conditioned.
Older teams might struggle if the season is delayed or cancelled. This would leave the youthfulSabres with a better chance at winning the Stanley cup. We saw how the Sabres surprised everyone after the lockout in 2004-2005 and maybe they can capture lightning in a bottle a second time.