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Lockout positives?

I didn’t think this was humanly possible

What the Puck?
Autumn McDowell

Sports Editor

I never thought that I would say this, but there could be some upsides to this National Hockey League lockout.

The NHL is about to enter day 54 of the lockout, and after scum of the Earth, Gary Bettman, officially announced that the Winter Classic has been cancelled, it appears that there is no end in sight.

Rather than grabbing the nearest pitchfork and hunting down Bettman with a screaming mob of angry hockey fans, I have decided to try to find some sort of positive outlook on the lockout.

First of all, although Bettman has successfully ruined my life by putting a hold on the NHL and Winter Classic, his grubby paws can’t get anywhere near my beloved World Juniors, and for that I am truly grateful.

If the NHL is still on lockout by the time Christmas rolls around, then Canada will have an absolutely unreal World Junior team, and their chances of winning gold at the tournament will go up dramatically.

Even though Canada is always the favourite heading into the tournament – that happens when you have a 14-year medal streak – we haven’t won gold since 2009, which really depresses me.

The last time that the NHL was in a lockout, during the 04-05 season, Canada’s World Junior team was so talented that all other countries should have just forfeited the tournament to save themselves the embarrassment.

With the likes of Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, Dion Phaneuf, Shae Weber, and countless other beauties, team Canada easily rolled through the competition and took home the top prize. While this year’s roster may not be quite as stacked as the one back in 04-05, it has amazing potential. 

Multiple members from last year’s bronze medal team – really Canada, bronze? – could dawn the maple leaf once again this year. Guys like Ryan Strome, Mark Sheifele, Ryan Murphy and Boone Jenner are all playing with their junior teams due to the lockout and would be readily available for the tournament.

With a little bit of luck, Canada could have Edmonton Oilers stud Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on their roster as well. RNH is currently playing in the American Hockey League with the Oilers farm team, the Oklahoma City Barons. However, it’s doubtful that it would take much convincing to have RNH lead team Canada.

Besides the World Juniors, there are a few other positives that have come from this lockout. For instance, Pheonix Coyotes funny man, Paul Bissonnette, will actually get to play hockey this year.

If playing time in the NHL depended solely on how hilarious and unreal a player’s tweets were, then Bissonnette aka @BizNasty2point0 would be a first line centerman. Unfortunately, that’s not how the game works, so Bissonnette is usually forced to ride the pine during the season or watch the boys from up in the press box – thank God that handle bar mustache looks good in a suit.

However, with the lockout, Bissonnette has been suiting up with the Cardiff Devils of the U.K.’s Elite Ice Hockey League and has actually been scoring goals. Good on ya, Biz.

Most importantly, the real advantage to the lockout is that hockey fans do not have to hear Pierre McGuire’s annoying voice giving his ridiculous and meaningless commentary during NBC’s broadcasts of the NHL. Seriously, if I hear McGuire make one more idiotic comment, or say “That’s icing, Gord” one more time I am just going to snap.

While the NHL lockout has an uncanny amount of negative and annoying aspects, there are a few upsides to the lockout – namely, the shutting up of Pierre McGuire. Now, if only I could get Bettman to shut the hell up, my life would be perfect.

Photo courtesy tapiture.com

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