Posts Tagged ‘Dallas Stars’


As the lockout is drawing to a close with new CBA now being written and ratified, a process that should take a couple of days or a week, here’s a quick thought of the team that might lose the most with its locked out NHL players leaving.

You might be surprised, but the team doesn’t come from the KHL, which has played home to many NHLers during the lockout. I believe that the team feeling the loss of its NHLers will be Rauman Lukko from the Finnish SM-Liiga.

Lukko and the town of Rauma, Finland was home to Dallas Stars’ defence man Philip Larssen, Phoenix Coyotes’ forward Mikkel Boedker and New York Islanders centre Frans Nielsen. The Danish trio has been instrumental for Lukko, who are 10th in the league at the moment. Boedker, at the time of leaving the team was its top point scorer after amassing 21 goals and 12 assists in 29 games (as reference, SM-Liiga’s top point scorer Ilari Filppula has scored 15 goals and 31 assists in 35 games). Edit: After Sunday’s games, Mikkel Boedker was the leading goal scorer in SM-Liiga with his 21 goals.

Lukko’s offence has not been the best and the Danish NHL players were a real boost to the team during their time in FInland. Where Boedker, Larsson and Nielsen might not be considered as the most prolific NHL players in terms of their point production, their impact in the Finnish league is a good indication of their capability. Where the KHL has played host to players such as Kovalchuck, Ovechkin, Malkin (who has been on fire of late), I still think that the impact of losing such core elements from Lukko makes it perhaps the biggest losers out of the NHL lockout.

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The NHL season is scheduled to kick off on the 11th of October, but it is in serious jeopardy due to the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) expiring and the parties are, according to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, far apart from each other.

Since the playoffs, many journalists, insiders and players have speculated that the earliest they can see the season starting is December and it is looking like the October start time for the league is some way off.

Given that the previous lock-out saw an entire season cancelled, it sent a lot of players to Europe to play and looks like a lot of teams are making plans to get players to return to Europe, should the lockout take place.

HC Davos in Switzerland has already announced that it has agreed that San Jose Sharks centre man Joe Thornton and new New York Ranger Rick Nash would ice for the team. Both played in Davos for the whole year during the last lockout.

Frolunda in Sweden has, according to a couple of tweets, tabbed up Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers, Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators and Loui Erikkson of the Dallas Stars to play for the team should the lockout take place. All the players are products of the Frolunda system.

The Finnish Flash, Teemu Selanne, apparently has said that he would “not rule out playing for Jokerit.” Selanne who turned 42 this summer, signed a years’ extension with the Ducks in what he has hinted would be his last season in the NHL. For the other NHL  Finns, there haven’t been any firm news of player movements, but sports outlet Veikkaaja polled 15 Finnish NHL players (poll was done anonymously) and only one said that he would play in the Finnish SM-Liiga.

From my perspective, where it would be great to see NHL players playing Europe, I would rather see a full season of NHL hockey. Should the lockout take place, it would be the third lockout during my lifetime, which cannot be good advertisement to the way the league and the sport operates.

I sincerely hope that the owners, the NHL and the NHLPA can reach an agreement so that we have a full 82 game season.