Would a lockout-shortened season benefit the Flyers?
- Updated: September 11, 2012
First off, I’ll say this: I do not enjoy CBA negotiations. I don’t like anything about them. They’re boring, they’re depressing, and there’s not much to write about unless you sit in on the meetings. However, I do love the Flyers and hockey, so I have quite a bit of interest (to a degree) in the negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA. Now, the last time we had a lockout in the NHL, we lost an entire season. I hope that’s not the case this year and I don’t think it will be. However, I do think there is a good chance that we could miss some games and be starting the season in late November or sometime in December. But the big money question is: would this help the Philadelphia Flyers, or could it hurt them? Or, could it have no impact on the success they have? Let’s take a look at some numbers first.
In the 2009-2010 season, the Flyers ended the season with 88 points, 7th in the Eastern conference, and lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Chicago Blackhawks. In 2010-11, they had 106 points, were 2nd in the Eastern Conference, and got knocked out in the second round of the playoffs by the Boston Bruins. In 2011-2012, they ended with 103 points, 5th in the conference, and were beaten by the New Jersey Devils, again in the second round. Looking at the roster, we have only three new faces (Bruno Gervais, Luke Schenn, and Ruslan Fedetenko). James van Riemsdyk, Jaromir Jagr, Matt Carle, and other less significant players left the team. Looking at this from an offensive standpoint, the Flyers have replaced 116 with 55 points (roughly). Now, I wouldn’t make any conclusions on this data, because there are tons of variables, like how they are going to play in a different system, etc. however, I will say this: between Matt Read, Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek, and maybe even Claude Giroux, there is plenty of development to fill the 55-point deficit we have from last year.
Now, assuming we play between 60 and 70 games (just an estimate, of course) how would this affect the players, especially the older players? Essentially, how will the possible lockout affect Kimmo Timonen? The Finnish defenseman is 37 years old, and almost every year he’s worn down and injured by the end. I don’t see the lockout being anything but a benefit to him. At his age, his body needs all the rest he can take, and less games means a fresher Kimmo for the playoffs, something we haven’t seen very often.
In conclusion, I don’t think the possible lockout would greatly benefit the Flyers, but it could help in the sense that I just mentioned Kimmo Timonen’s health. This time will be largely the same, as far as I can see, but if the sophomore players can develop even better then I expect them to, the ceiling is even higher.