As we approach the deadline for an agreement to be reached between the two sides responsible for this potential lock out, all hockey fans can do is hold their breath.
While waiting, fans can pass the time with banter and hypotheticals about a season that may not even happen. However, it is the job of fans and media to field these 'what ifs' in a haze of doubt surrounding the season.
That leaves us with what the discussion is for today. Will John Tavares ever get the 'Sidney Crosby' treatment by NHL referees?
On March 16, 2007, his second season with the Oshawa Generals, Tavares scored his 70th and 71st goals of the season, breaking Wayne Gretsky’s OHL record for the most goals scored by a 16 year-old. He won the CHL’s player of the year award that year and returned to ‘The Dungeon’ for more work along side one of his best friends and newest New York Islander, Brandon DeFazio.
With all the talk about a possible lockout which could result in a shorten or even a cancelled season, there is one guarantee for the hockey season and that is the release of one of the best video games ever; NHL 2013.
Earlier this month the NHL 2013 ratings were leaked to Yahoo! Sports writer, Puck Daddy and he separated them into two posts, one being the Eastern Conference teams and the other for, you guessed it, the Western Conference teams.
Anyone who has played "NHL" knows how realistic the game can be. When looking at the ratings for the Islanders, there were some questionable choices made by EA Sports, but there were also some spot on ones. Let’s take a look at the ratings for the whole Islanders team.(Photo Credit: Yahoo/Puck Daddy)
Kyle Okposo went into the 2012 season looking to rebound after an injured 2011 year that only saw him play 38 games. In those games, Okposo only posted 20 points, a far cry from the 52 he scored in his sophomore season. (Photo Credit: bridgetds/Flickr)
It was also likely less than what he, his team and fans were hoping to see him contribute after having such a great year in 2010.
Last year started off very similarly to 2011 - as if he was still injured and watching from the press box. He only scored three points in the first 15 games of the year and was eventually a healthy scratch for three straight games.
But Okposo would redeem himself, having heard the message from Coach Capuano loud and clear.
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 with get done. This blind faith will turn to fear if the calendar turns to September and a deal is not reached.
Travis Hamonic has been growing as a player since the day he was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2008 NHL Entry Level Draft. After playing two more years in the WHL, Hammer floated his way up to the AHL in 2010-11 to play with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the ripe age of 20. The Isles saw enough of Travis in 19 games to believe he was ready for NHL level competition. He started his career with the New York Islanders in November 2010 and has been a staple on the Islanders’ blue line since. (Photo Credit: Flickr/clydeorama)
Travis Hamonic’s impressive play did not stop on defense. He added 21 assists to go along with his 5 goals that season. Most telling of his stellar performance was his +/- which resided at +4 after his first year in the NHL.
In 2011-12, Hammer’s rise up the Islanders’ depth chart continued. He had another promising campaign full of great defensive plays and improvement in all aspects of his game. Hamonic finished with a +6 to go along with his 22 assists. Although, he may have decreased his uniform number from 36 to 3, his play has only increased with time.
But there are traits about Travis Hamonic that go beyond the statistics. On paper, he is a rising star in the Islanders organization and one of the best young defensemen that has donned the uniform in a long time. But his intangibles are what truly excite fans of the Islanders.