Alright, what follows is premature as hell, but I was thinking about how lucky we are right now, and how the lockout may be the best thing to happen to the Bolts since Stamkos was drafted. Hear me out... Last season, we have Guy Boucher as our head coach, a goaltending tandem of Lindback and Garon, and Conacher slating somewhere in our top 9. We have a good prospect pool, but we're lacking in elite talent outside of Vasilevskiy, and it looks like it's going to be a long couple of years. Then, Stevie ****ing Yzerman turns the pisswater that was that season into the wine we're tasting this year. Without the lockout, we would have had to struggle through 82 games of sucking, and since we were far more talented than we were playing, we probably would have ended up picking ~10 rather than 3. That's the difference between Bo Horvat and Jonathan Drouin. That's some huge ****ing luck right there. Not to mention Erne probably wouldn't have been on the board much longer in the second round, either. Without the compressed season, we would have waited longer to trade Honey Badger, and his production would have dropped off, which means his value may not have been enough to snag Bishop, our current #1 goaltender. Guy Boucher got fired, and Cooper got a taste of coaching at the NHL level, getting to know the players and giving him the ability to create the foundation that was built on over the summer. Things could have happened VERY differently over an 82 game season, including a pointless winning streak that would have had Guy keep his job. A few prospects that could have been more rushed in an 82 game season, were instead given plenty of time in the AHL, but were able to come up to get a taste of the speed and strength of the NHL, and we are able to reap those awards by having no fears of slating TJ as our #3C, with Palat and Killorn making huge contributions, not to mention Gudas. Some teams came out of the 2004 lockout a lot stronger than they were before. I think we may be a good example of a team that got lucky with the 48 game season last year, which may help us come out much stronger as well. Was just thinking about that in the shower today, and thought I would share.