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Does a Full-Season Lockout Hurt the Leafs?

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Dilip Vishwanat

Over at the Hockey Writers, Lukas Hardonk wrote a piece titled "How a Full-Season Lockout Puts the Toronto Maple Leafs in a Tough Spot". In it, he says that a full season lockout would be bad for the Leafs for two reasons: Players Contracts and Player Development. I agree with him that a full season puts the Leafs into a tough/shitty spot, but I disagree with his reasons.

For starters, I think that player contracts are one spot where a full season lockout would actually be beneficiary to the Leafs. Hardonk cites losing a year of cheap deals for Bozak, Gardiner, and Gunnarsson, and the impending UFA stasis of Lupul and MacArthur as negatives. Gunnarson's going to be an RFA, so that doesn't matter; I don't care about Bozak, and Gardiner has another year left. Not being able to trade away Lupul at the deadline sucks, but whatever so long as Burke doesn't re-sign him for a stupid amount in July. MacArthur should get reupped. Nothing there screams big hurt caused by the lockout

But where the Leafs look to come out ahead with regards to contract is the $10M+ in cap space they'll free up by ditching dead weight in Lombardi, Connolly, Orr (should 1-way contracts stashed in the AHL count against the cap) and Steckel. Yes, Steckel. He's a logjam and I believe McClement to be a better player.

Where I think the lockout hurts the Leafs all hinges on the 2013 Draft. Were a partial season played, the ridiculously terrible team Burke has assembled would have them sitting pretty to be in the draft lottery for a shot at 1st overall. Instead, were the full season canceled, a different kind of lottery would take place with the Leafs' chances for drafting high severely reduced.

What do you think; does a full-season lockout help or hurt the Leafs? In what regard?

Here there be links.

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