Originally written on Blue Seat Blogs  |  Last updated 11/14/14

WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 08: Marian Gaborik #10 of the New York Rangers celebrates with teammate Vaclav Prospal #20 after scoring in the third period against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center on October 8, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

As was the case seven years ago, the NHL owners and players are very far apart heading into the final months of labor negotiations prior to the scheduled open of the 2012-2013 season.  If there aren’t some serious compromises by both sides, it’s unlikely that the season will start on time.

While that’s an unpleasant thought for Rangers fans, it also might be a good thing for the team’s fortunes next season, assuming it is held in a shortened fashion.

That’s because:

  • Marian Gaborik will have more time to heal.  Despite his efforts, GM Glen Sather has been unable to find another big offensive threat this summer.  The Blueshirts are woefully thin on scoring depth without Gaborik leading the way and they may really struggle with him out of the lineup.  However, a month or two of lost season may be just the time Gaborik needs to recover from his torn labrum, allowing him to lead New York’s offense again from the first game of the year.  An extra month or two could also bring Michael Sauer closer to a return and it would give many of the Rangers’ black and blue shot blockers a little extra time to recharge.
  • The team could use the rest.  It’s not a coincidence in recent years that many teams that go deep into the playoffs struggle mightily the next season.  Those 20 extra games the Blueshirts played last season could hurt the team next year, especially considering many of New York’s youngsters are still adapting to the gruel of an 82-game regular season, which differs tremendously from the shortened college schedule that Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider are all accustomed to.  The extra rest could help other teams too, but some of New York’s players might really benefit from just a little bit more time off.
  • The Rangers are in good shape with the salary cap and could be poised to strike under the new CBA.  Although the first proposal from the owners is a far cry from the eventual resolution to collective bargaining, it’s still very likely that the salary cap ceiling will be significantly lower under the new CBA. Sather has been very frugal and patient this summer and that could pay off.  Some teams haven’t been quite as careful and may have to scramble to shed dollars, meaning Sather could be in position to snatch up quality players at a discount rate.  Even if the lower cap number doesn’t go into effect until next summer, the Rangers could still benefit for the same reason as they go fishing in a loaded 2013 free agent pool.
  • The increasing likelihood of a work stoppage means Sather can be even more patient in negotiations with Columbus GM Scott Howson.  With Gaborik potentially available for the start of the season, the Rangers’ need to add scoring may not be as dire as presently thought.  That means that Howson has less leverage in negotiations to dump Rick Nash.

So while this surely doesn’t make any of us actually want a lockout, there is an optimistic way of looking at things.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Manziel's girlfriend tells Browns to put Johnny Football in

Scalpers in Detroit selling free Jets-Bills tickets for $125

Report: Redskins could bench Robert Griffin III

Broncos have meeting with scoreboard operator

Report: Cowboys could still pursue Adrian Peterson

Manny Pacquiao: I'm ready to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

John Calipari gets daughter's birthday wrong

Carson: Hall of Fame career not worth concussion problems

Tiger hires new swing coach

Is Sting making his WWE debut at Survivor Series?

Eric Decker: It's tough watching Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos

Semaje Perine breaks Melvin Gordon's rushing record

WATCH: TY Hilton chokes up in emotional postgame interview

WATCH: Chris Clemons accidentally knocks ref's hat off

WATCH: Aaron Rodgers throws nifty TD across his body

WATCH: LeGarrette Blount does Antonio Brown's end zone dance

WATCH: Eagles take opening kickoff 107 yards for TD

Western Carolina coach blasts Kirk Herbsreit

WATCH: Young reporter asks Helfrich funny question

Sager makes first appearance since leukemia diagnosis

Harvard kicker wears glasses

WATCH: Tennessee fans go a little overboard celebrating TD

Dwight Howard out indefinitely after having PRP on knee

Report: Mike Gundy pursuing Florida job

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Manziel's GF wants her man to play

Cowboys to pursue Adrian Peterson?

Cal gets daughter's bday wrong

Carson: Career not worth concussions

Report: Gundy pursuing Florida job

Tiger hires new swing coach

WATCH: Jameis Winston shoves ref

Florida DL supports Will Muschamp with eye black

Jay Gruden: RG3 has been 'coddled'

LeBron: Love needs to 'demand' the ball

Bills-Jets game will be free admission

Pete Carroll: Lynch is 'our guy'

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.