The NHL lockout has sent many players to find a new team until the lockout is officially over. Most of them have continued playing because they need to stay in shape, but some are just finishing off their careers. Players like Jaromir Jagr (age 40), Daniel Alfredsson (age 39), and Teemu Selanne (age 42) are all players with contracts ending after the 2012-13 season. These three men have had exceptional careers that could unfortunately end in the silence of this lockout.
As of now, Jagr is the only one is playing this season with Rytiri Kladno. After searching for a two year contract and only getting one year from Dallas, he could call it quits after he finishes the season with Kladno. Alfredsson was a huge part of Ottawa’s unexpected comeback season last year, but after this break he might not have enough gas in the tank to continue. Lastly, Selanne has been spectacular despite his age. He continues to put up big numbers for the Anaheim Ducks, and the lockout may be the reason he decides to leave. There has been talks about all three of these men retiring over the past couple years and the lockout could be what pushes them into doing so. The lockout has also put other players in tough situations.
Both Jarome Iginla (age 35) and Patrik Elias (age 36) have played for the same team their entire NHL career. They hold multiple records for their teams, including leading in career goals and points. A perfect storybook ending would have them finishing their careers with each team- the Calgary Flames and New Jersey Devils, respectively- but not playing during the offseason and being away from each organization for a full year could arise some problems.
After the Devils lost Parise, they will need some good young talent to learn and grow with the organization come next season. Not a future 37 year old Elias who has been away from competition for a year. Iginla has some hard decisions to make as well. It seems obvious that he would like nothing more then to finish his career with the Flames, but he is also due for a Stanley Cup ring. Calgary’s lineup isn’t exactly championship material, and it will only get harder if they can’t sign other 2013 free agents. I think most people will agree with me when I say I wish Iginla would finish out his playing days in a Flames uniform, but if he wants the cup, it may be time to consider winning it with another team.
In a perfect world, the lockout would be over and even considering these unfortunate situations would not be necessary. But as for now these are likely situations that we, the fans, could see happen within the coming year.