It's official. The NHL has officially locked out its players for the 2012-2013 season until a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is agreed upon between the owners and the NHLPA. Despite the players openly stating they were willing to continue negotiations under the current agreement to avoid a work stoppage, Commissioner Gary Bettman refused the idea, having been long prepared to lockout his players heading into last night's deadline. (Photo Credit: clydeorama/Flickr)
Many fans already plan on boycotting merchandise until a solution is found since there is no telling of how long this lockout will last. There is hope that a season can still start on time, but both sides are still far apart on resolving the matter, indicating that there might not be hockey in October after all.
The only good news for Islanders fans is that GM Garth Snow locked up one of his core members for the next four years. Matt Martin signed a new contract with the Isles just before the past CBA expired.
The playoffs might be further out of sight, and the reality that the Islanders aren't a playoff team has become more and more apparent with every weakening loss, but this is not the time to "fail for Nail."
Nail Yakupov is considered to be the obvious choice for the number one overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. The 19-year old Russian sniper scored 101 points (49 goals, 52 assists) in 65 games played for the Sarnia Sting of the OHL. He currently has 31 goals and 37 assists for 68 points for Sarnia and is a +14. The Islanders, like every other team in the NHL, could certainly benefit from having another scoring winger added to their line-up.
So why do I say that the Islanders shouldn't look to drop in the Eastern Conference standings?