Originally posted on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 8/21/12

There is a chance, perhaps even a likely one, that the 2012-13 NHL season will not start on time … or even at all.

But that fact didn’t stop Chicago Blackhawks fans from buying single-game tickets Monday morning (myself included) despite there being some social media campaigns urging fans to boycott the owners by not buying tickets.

Despite lockout concerns, Chicago Blackhawks fans remain bullish on their team’s prospects for the 2012-13 season. (Image credit: Brian Kersey/Getty Images North America via Zimbio.com)

While I am also upset with the owners, I can see why Blackhawks fans quickly ate up the remaining tickets for this season. Despite being very quiet in free agency, the Blackhawks may actually be the best team in their division for that exact reason.

That may seem a little odd, but let me explain.

Nashville has lost their prized defenseman, Ryan Sutter, to the Minnesota Wild. Detroit is getting old and will definitely be affected by the loss of Nikloas Lidstrom. Columbus…well, Columbus isn’t a threat to any NHL team. They’ve lost Rick Nash to the New York Rangers, but even with Nash that team wasn’t going anywhere.

On the flip side, the ‘Hawks still have the talents of many of their longtime players.

The offense for the ‘Hawks should be one of the best in the league. If they can get the powerplay fixed they’ll be scary.

Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Kane are all in their prime and should be on the top of the league in terms of offensive production. Marian Hossa is getting a little older (33), but he can still play, showing that last season when he lead the team with 77 points.

Viktor Stalberg is vastly improving and is emerging as an offensive threat. Dave Bolland is a fantastic shutdown center if he can stay healthy. Youngster Andrew Shaw has all the potential to be the breakout player this season.

The defense and special teams still worry me, but I remain confident in Corey Crawford, the return of Daniel Carcillo, and then continued improvement of Nick Leddy, I am hoping the defensive line holds their ground.

With all that said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the ‘Hawks and the St. Louis Blues found themselves fighting for the top spot in the Central Division. They’re the two teams in the division that didn’t lose any significant player in the offseason.

All this optimism and potential I have for the next season only makes the looming possibility of a lockout that much worse. A lost season would mean a lost opportunity for Sharp, Kane, and Toews during the prime of their careers when they have another legitimate chance at a Stanley Cup title.

There’s no replacing a legitimate opportunity at a championship lost to a labor dispute.

There is a possible benefit from the lockout, though.

The Blackhawks, for the past few years, have been ranked as one of the teams with the best prospects. That’s no different this season. The two most talked about prospects this training were forwards Teuvo Teravainen and Brandon Saad.

Both are expected to make the NHL team in the next year or so. And the ‘Hawks’ other offensive threats, though having a year taken off while in their prime if a lockout occurs, will still be okay in terms of talent if a season is missed. If Teravainen and Saad do live up to the hype, the ‘Hawks will be outstanding on the offensive front.

So, would a lockout actually…benefit…the ‘Hawks?

I wouldn’t be rooting for a lockout. Teravainen and Saad might actually become great players, but I am much more confident that the ‘Hawks will thrive in what I think is a weakened Central Division than putting my faith in two prospects.

Besides, the ‘Hawks are still a good team with Teravainen and Saad. It would be a rather dumb decision to want a cancellation of the season when your teams is good.

 

The post Chicago Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup Window Remains Open … Lockout or Not appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jaguars reportedly interested in Deshaun Watson at No. 4

Report: Teams believe Browns somehow will get Trubisky

JJ Watt offers to help pay Rockets owner’s fine

WATCH: Birthday boy Aaron Judge homers and makes spectacular catch at Fenway

Predators rookie Kevin Fiala carted off and hospitalized after gruesome collision

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Warriors invite members of ‘We Believe’ team to playoff game

Report: Emails suggest no foul play in Eli Manning memorabilia case

Report: Adrian Beltre not close to return to Rangers

Rockets owner Leslie Alexander fined $100,000 for confronting official

Pirates call up Gift Ngoepe, first MLB player from African continent

Genie Bouchard: Maria Sharapova is ‘cheater,’ should be banned for life

Box Score 4/27: Waiting for Goodell to call our name

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Box Score 4/26: NFL Draft eve

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker