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Big Questions Answered

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

What markets will suffer the most because of the lockout?

Maybe none will. But we'll be interested in places such as Anaheim, which needs success to reinforce its place in the marketplace galvanized most recently by the 2007 Cup win. Dallas needs a strong start and a playoff berth to help new owner Tom Gaglardi realize his dream of restoring the Stars to elite status after the team has missed the playoffs for the past four years. Carolina generated lots of offseason buzz by adding Jordan Staal and Alex Semin, then had to wait months to see if that buzz translated into more fans in seats, etc. Florida and Phoenix will again be interesting to watch.

Who is the next breakout star?

We're curious to see whether all of the buzz surrounding Vladimir Tarasenko is justified. The 16th overall pick in the 2010 draft will be brought along slowly by the St. Louis Blues and defending coach of the year Ken Hitchcock, but if Tarasenko can make a contribution playing top-nine forward minutes and chipping in on the power play, he'll enhance the Blues' chances for another successful season. Another worth watching is Justin Schultz, who shocked many by signing as a free agent with the Oilers and then tore it up in the AHL during the lockout. Schultz looks ready to handle the huge pressure.

What team will disappoint the most?

Folks have been predicting the decline of the Detroit Red Wings since the last lockout and all they've done is make the playoffs every season, win a Cup and go to another final over that period....

more questions and answers...

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

Nathan's avatar

I think the Wings are still a (low seed) playoff team, but it will be a heck of a battle for them to get in. Losing Lidstrom is what it is… there’s no way to transition smoothly from that.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 01/16/13 at 02:13 PM ET

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com