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Shortened Season Could Benefit Rangers

Alex Silverberg

With September 15th looming ominously, the NHLPA and owners can’t seem to reach an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement. All signs point to a lockout and, with it, a shortened season. However, that could not be a bad thing for the New York Rangers.

anyone watching could attest, the Rangers were fatigued toward the end of their playoff run. One wonders if Adam Henrique would have ever scored that crushing goal had the defending players not assumed the snow angel position on the ice out of sheer exhaustion. But by the way the team plays, running out of gas was predictable. No team can keep up the relentless Rangers’ forecheck for 82 regular season games and what seemed like an eternity of playoff periods. With the addition of Rick Nash, it makes sense that the Blueshirts would focus more on puck-possession but any John Tortorella team lives and dies by the forecheck. With a shortened season, the team would be able to sustain their trademark aggressive style throughout the regular season and Stanley Cup playoffs.

A lockout-shortened season would also be very beneficial to the Rangers retooled offense. Marian Gaborik is currently rehabbing from surgery for a torn labrum and schedules to be out until about Thanksgiving. The NHL could use this past year’s NBA lockout as a model and start the season around late November/early December. If this happens, the Rangers would have Nash, Gaborik and Richards together all season instead of having to replace two months of last year’s leading goalscorer. The difference is enormous.

It remains to be seen if the 2012-2013 campaign will start on time. Of all the lockouts that have happened in professional sports, the NHL is the only league to cancel a whole season. With big money invested in the Winter Classic, I believe they’ll get a deal done to start before then.  The hope is that this CBA will make both the players and owners satisfied and that the dubious distinction of having two lockouts within a decade will never be tied to hockey ever again. As a fan of the game who wants to see it thrive, it pains me to miss any games, but this needs to get done so another work stoppage doesn’t happen for a very, very long time.


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