If the NHL didn't see how the lockout in 2004 hurt the sport, a lockout in 2012 will make the NHL a questionable fourth major professional sport in the United States. We've gotten all too familiar with players and owners at a negotiating table over the last couple years. The NHL now takes its turn keeping teams and fans wondering how much of a season there will be in 2012-2013.
For the Buffalo Sabres, a lockout, or even a late-starting season could put plans the Sabres may have had for its rookies on hold. In June, the Sabres drafted Mikhail Grigorenko and Zemgus Girgensons in the first round. The Russian Grigorenko and the Latvian Girgensons could seek other options to play hockey this year instead of the Sabres.
Grigorenko is the real concern. He's the higher of the draft picks and the more talented player right now. The Sabers were willing to give Grigorenko a chance at a NHL roster spot in the preseason. The Sabres don't have a center over 6-foot. At 6-foot-3, Grigorenko would be a welcomed addition.