One tournament that could get a huge lift from the lockout is the 2013 IIHF World Championships.
Worlds always occurs during the Stanley Cup playoffs, but if there’s no season and no Stanley Cup to be awarded thanks to the lockout, the tournament that’s usually second banana turns into hockey’s featured event of the season.
As Pierre LeBrun from ESPN.com found out, Hockey Canada is already preparing to load up for this year’s event in Sweden and Finland.
“Hockey Canada wants NHL hockey to start ASAP, but if there is no season, Canada will start preparation early to send the best players to Sweden for the men’s world championships,” Hockey Canada president and CEO Bob Nicholson told ESPN.com via email Thursday.
This same situation happened back in 2005 and saw Jaromir Jagr and Dominik Hasek’s Czech Republic take out Martin Brodeur and Canada for gold.
Think about it though: Instead of players whose teams either missed the playoffs or got bounced in the first round, you get a load of well-rested and eager to compete superstars. Sign us up right now if we’re going to be boned out of an NHL season.