Chicago, IL — With the NHL in the middle of their labor dispute, we should be watching and talking NHL hockey games. Instead we are left to ponder many NHL questions that remain unanswered. These questions will be answered once the lock out is lifted.
To get our minds back on hockey and the NHL other than the lockout here are some things we can wonder about while the NHL and the NHLPA consider what percentage each should get when.
What will be Ryan Suter & Zach Parise’s impact on the Minnesota Wild. Will their impact push them over the top to the playoffs? Were they indeed worth all that money since neither of them have any Stanley Cup rings?
Will the Phoenix Coyotes be moved to Canada? Can the league sustain them if they are to stay in Phoenix?
Will the NHL adopt the no touch icing rule that is being employed by the AHL and college hockey? If so how will this impact the game? Will it lessen injuries or bog down the games flow?
Who will be the Chicago Blackhawks second line center?
Is Sidney Crosby completely back from concussions and to his old self? Or has Eugeni Malkin replaced him as the MVP on the Penguins? How will they be affected with the departure of Jordan Stall?
Can the LA Kings repeat the SC performance and win another cup? Will their fan base in crease or be damaged by the lockout? The majority of their team is returning and in tact but history says they will not repeat can they defy history?
The Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils, Phoenix Coyotes and St. Louis Blues all did well in 2011 playoff runs and season which ones were one hit wonders and which ones were for real?
How will Nail Yakapov who was the 2012 first round draft pick impact the Edmonton Oilers? Is he enough along with Taylor Hall and RNH to push the Oilers into a playoff contending team?
Will there be NHL expansion teams in Seattle and Quebec and how will this affect the league ‘s financial dilemmas? Will they be an asset or liability for leagues growth and are these the right markets?
What will the Carolina Hurricane’s look like with the brothers Stall reunited?
What of the NHL realignment is that gone by the wayside or will the league restructure in 2014 as was originally proposed? What will the names of the four conferences be? How will current rivalries be affected if at all?
Will disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan keep with strict rule enforcement for player safety and if he does will it be counter mandated by his boss Gary Bettman like the Raffe Torres lightening of sentencing? What message does that send to all the players?
Remember the slug fest in the playoffs known as Philadelphia Flyers vs Pittsburgh Penguins? What will their rivalry look like now and can anything contain the heat between these two clubs?
What is happening in Detroit now that Nik Lidstrom is retired. Can Detroit remain hockeytown or are they too old?
Risk Nash is now out of Columbus and a NY Ranger is he enough offence to light up Broadway? How much will the Rangers miss Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, defensive prospect Tim Erixon?
What are the Canucks going to do with Roberto Luongo and his huge salary? When they have a very good goalie in Schneider & Chicago Wolves goalie Eddie Lack behind him making far less money?
Can Marc Bergevin restore pride to the Montreal Canadiens? With an A – A+ 2012 draft where does this put the Canadiens in terms of the competition. Alex Galchenyuk,Sebastian Collberg &Dalton Thrower could turn this organization around and give the Bruins a run for their money.
If Flyers fail to make deep playoff run will they be waiving adieu to Peter Laviolette after giving him a two year extension til 2014? This same scenario could also be applied to the Toronto Maple Leafs Brian Burke with years of no playoff appearances for the Leafs when will they cut ties?
Will Alex Ovechkin and other Russian players stay in the KHL once the NHL resumes?
Will Tim Thomas now return to the Bruins or still take the year off? and do the Boston Bruins want him back?
Will it be the year of the forwards or goalies once season starts? Last year defense ruled as did goalies will this year be a high scoring affair?
Are the Columbus Blue Jackets on the verge of real change with a solid blue line pairing with Jack Johnson and rookie Ryan Murray?
Believe it or not these questions will be answered and the NHL will resume whether it will be for a 2012 season or 2013 or 2014 they will eventually drop pucks again in the NHL and we will have answers to all of these questions.
The one thing every hockey fan does have the answer to is no matter who the next Stanley Cup champion will be and what arena they will be crowned champion in, you know Commissioner Gary Bettman will receive a healthy round of booing. It is nice to know that some things in the NHL will never change.