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What is the Best Use of the Lockout?

It's a Canadian Game


blog-0445586001349588823.jpgWith the lockout still underway we have seen players take to playing elsewhere, I guess when you grow up loving the game and playing it for a living you will do whatever you can to keep playing. However, is this necessarily the best decision for players?

This week we have seen the likes of players such as Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk, and Ilya Kovalchuck put up good numbers for the clubs they have been playing with over in the KHL, but is this the best use of their time off from the NHL? Rangers power forward Rick Nash returned back to play for the same team he played for during the 2004 NHL lockout, HC Davos of the Swiss Elite League and this week he was forced to leave a game after taking a hard hit into the boards. Although it was ultimately determined that it was merely just a shoulder injury opposed to a head injury which many people had feared might be the case, it still raises the question if risking getting injured playing elsewhere is worth it. Nash had an MRI and it was determined that there was no significant damage done.

A couple weeks ago Carolina Hurricanes young star Jeff Skinner decided that instead of reporting to the Hurricane’s AHL affiliate team for the year that he would rather continue to work out in Toronto. Skinner over the summer worked out with former NHLer and extreme nutrition and fitness guru, Gary Roberts. Roberts in the last few years has helped players such as Steven Stamkos, Jason Spezza, and Tyler Seguin reach the next level in their game. So, it seems that Skinner feels that continuing to work on his personal fitness is the best use for the time off until the league is able to come to an agreement that will bring an end to the lockout.

Here is a video of Gary Roberts Biosteel Camp 2011, notice various NHLers and Junior players.

Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer seems to be in the same mindset as Skinner. Reimer was plagued with injury and some very inconsistent play last season after stealing the reigns away from J.S. Giguere at the end of the 2011 season. Reimer became an instant fan favourite as he brought the Leafs within a couple points of reaching the post-season. During this summer Reimer made it his initiative to get in shape with the hopes of getting back in to the form that Leaf fan’s fell in love with in 2011. So, like Skinner, Reimer has focused on getting in shape and working on his game until the lockout is over.

So, what do you think, is playing elsewhere during the lockout the best decision for NHLers?

Follow me on Twitter: @Craig_Hagerman


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Yea it's nice to see the players trying to still give back to the fans who love the game. I thought it was also interesting to see Bobby Ryan say he refuses to play overseas because he believes he should be in North America to show that he isn't running away from the CBA talks, but rather he is there to show that he cares and wants to stay informed.

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