The early days of this past week provided hope for some of the more optimistic hockey fans. CBA discussions appeared to be going well and it seemed as if small strides were being made in the right direction. When both sides met again in New York City on Friday, the week ended in disappointment.
After the CBA talks, which lasted approximately 1 hours and 45 minutes had ended, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr said that talks are "recessed". Time is ticking and September 15th is getting closer.
With this bad news, the likelihood of a third lockout in Gary Bettman's tenure is becoming more evident.
Let's face it. It is extremely likely that a lockout is going to happen, and unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about it. While this is extremely disturbing news, a brief lockout would not be the worst thing for the Philadelphia Flyers.
A brief lockout would allot older players on the team such as defenseman Kimmo Timonen extra time to rest. Timonen, 37, is a player who will average around twenty-two minutes per game. Although he is often banged up, his level of resilience is greater than most players. A brief lockout may leave him in better shape when playoffs, a time when he is needed most, come around.
The Flyers' defense has taken a tremendous hit thanks to the loss Andrej Meszaros. Meszaros, who is out indefintely with a torn right achilles tendon, has been a key piece to this Philadelphia defense. A lockout would decrease the severity of this loss, as his time on the sidelines would be less.
Extra time to prepare for their second NHL season would be profitable for Matt Read, Sean Couturier, Zach Rinaldo, and Brandon Manning. The four have been working out together at the practice facility in Voorhees, preparing for a season.
Should there be a lockout, those four players will have the option to play with the Adirondack Phatoms in the AHL. Rinaldo and Manning have already expressed interest in doing so.
“If I get sent down to the AHL then I’ll play for the Phantoms, I don’t have a problem with doing that. I hope there’s not [a lockout], but if there is, I’ll take it as a positive and get better as a hockey player," says Zac Rinaldo.
“The Phantoms have a good team and a new coach coming in. Great opportunity for me playing with a lot of good hockey players.......," Manning said of playing in the AHL during a possible lockout.
Additional time to prepare for their second seasons may help these players avoid what many refer to as a "sophomore slump".
As September 15th grows closer, the hockey world is bracing itself for yet another lockout. While we all wish this nightmare could be avoided, it may end up benefiting the Flyers in the long run.
Andrew Dintino is a Lead Contributor/Flyers Analyst for Buzz on Broad.
You can follow him on twitter @AndrewD48 for the latest news regarding the Philadelphia Flyers.
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