Would a Lockout ruin the Isles' Rebuild?

 

As Rob McGowan discussed in his latest posting (Preparing For An NHL Lockout On The Island) , the impending NHL lockout is becoming less of an empty threat and more of a real possibility. Unfortunately for the fans of all NHL teams, both sides of the table are having great difficulty agreeing.
 
This lockout could spell disaster for a league that is still recovering from the effects of the missed season of 2004-05. While they have made great strides since that horrible day, they are still well behind where they want to be in terms of popularity in comparison to the other 3 major sports.
 
While it is common knowledge for most hockey fans that this lockout cannot happen, it still might. Despite the reality that it did actually happen just a few years ago, it seems as though fans have faith that a deal will get done. (Photo Credit: Flickr/25Stanley)
 
This blind faith will turn to fear if the calendar turns to September and a deal is not reached. 
 
With attendance rising in arenas in major cities and ratings improving, the NHL can not afford to leave their fans hanging AGAIN. Stripping the NHL down from fan allegiances, it is just a business. Businesses need customers to spend money on their product in order to survive.
 
What kind of message does another lock out in less than 10 years send to your loyal, passionate fans? How can people justify pouring their heart, soul and fandom into a league that seems to be run by millionaires that quibble about pennies? Where is the mutual respect?
 
The consequences will be dire for the league if another lockout is carried out but what happens to the rebuild here on Long Island? What will happen to the Isles' during this stretch of inactivity?
 
The effects of this lockout will not only stall this rebuild for the Islanders but it will force it to regress. The Islanders have been improving in all aspects of their game since this rebuild has started. No matter how slow some of these aspects are getting better, they are and that is important to understand.
 
However, the Islanders have been improving because of the chemistry that the young team is building with eachother. These teammates are coming together socially, mentally and physically. It becomes obvious to watch the team play that they are building something special within their core players. Tavares and Moulson have a connection that seems eclipse just communication. It is fun to watch.
 
This chemistry cannot be purchased, it has to be earned over time. It has been supported year after year in sports that teams that spend the most money are not the best. The New York Yankees tried and failed using the mantra of buying all the best players. Their dynasty teams were players that were not the best at their position but they as a team. The idea transcends sports. It applies to hockey.
 
If the Isles' rebuild remains stagnant and on pause for a full year, it could ruin what could be blossoming here with this team. As seen after the 2004-2005 lost season, the roster shake ups were staggering for the fans to watch. Teams looked completely different just a year later. 
 
Players who play in different countries may decide not to comeback again. It has happened with the Islanders as they had to wave Kenny J├Ânsson goodbye when he decided to stay in 
Sweden after he played there during the NHL lockout. (Photo Credit: Flickr/IslesPunkFan)
 
Fans of the Islanders deserve the fruits of the rebuild. It has been tough to endure during this time and it would be a shame for the lockout to come along and ruin what has been in the works for a while now. The rebuilding process usually finishes up around this time if you follow how long it took Washington and Pittsburgh to come back to life.
 
This could be the year and it would never be known if it was ruined by a lockout. The NHL is changing and the style of play favors what Garth Snow is building around John Tavares. They have the pieces in place to be successful but more importantly, stay consistently successful. All of the young talent stock piled in the organization will be worth it.
 
The best thing for the NHL would be for an agreement to be reached but the sand is collecting at the bottom of the hour glass.