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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