I know no one wants a work stoppage to happen for the NHL. But if it did, could there be some benefit for a rebuilding team?
I remember the last lockout ended up being a very strong opportunity for Spezza. He had played a couple of years with minimal ice time in he NHL, and the Sens jumped on the opportunity to put him in the AHL, and let him really dominate that league.
How would this opportunity affect our current crop of prospects? I know we couldn't send Zibanejad to the AHL last year, it was NHL or SWE. Do the rules differ for his second year? While he's likely to be able to hit the NHL running next year, if he got to spend the duration of a lockout/strike down in the AHL learning to play the game on the smaller ice, in an environment where he could dominate, the eventual return of the NHL would see Zibanejad truly arrive in style. Same deal with Silfverberg.
Mark Stone is, I believe, going to be too old for the CHL next year. He, too, would get a chance to learn in Bingo. A top line for them of Silfverberg - Zibby - Stone could help Bingo return to being a Calder contender.
And what about guys currently on the roster? How much NHL experience means that a player can't play in Bingo during a lockout? It could probably help Butler a good deal, for one. I'd like to see Filatov join that mix, but he's made his feelings about sticking with Bingo pretty clear.
Meanwhile, the Sens would be freed from any pressure to rush Puempel, Noesson and Prince to the big leagues. All three could return to their CHL clubs and really dominate in a final season down there, as Stone has been this year.
Anyone else we think could benefit from a work stoppage?