Once the NHL locked out it's players, it was only a matter of a few days before I was completely sick of hearing about labor negotiations, revenue-sharing, HHR, pensions and the like. As soon as players started bolting overseas it was already cemented in my mind that there would be no season like in 2004.
Alas, the players and owners mutually agreed to a new, soon to be rectified CBA that will give us a 48 or 50-game season. Even though tales of our prospect pool were rhapsodized over the past days because of the World Junior Championship (Congrats USA...), and we finally got to see some gifted non-NHL hockey, I still could not be happier to watch the Ducks. There are, though, three things that the NHL or the Ducks could do to keep me content.
Item #1 - Contracts
And I don't just mean any contracts. If I were to read within the next few days that the Ducks signed Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry to matching 8-year extensions, then I would be euphoric. Locking up the two cornerstones of the franchise, supplemented by good coaching and a first-rate talent pool, would give the Ducks a competitive edge for years to come. Although I've believed for a while that Perry is as good as gone, and Getzlaf will never leave, I'd still like for the two faces of the franchise to stay in Anaheim.
Item #2 - Lockout Hockey to Continue
Some are believers in the phrase, "everything happens for a reason", and if those same people are hockey fans, then the lockout was a perfect stepping stone for some fringe players to keep steadfast in their willingness to get better. Two Ducks notables who went overseas were Nick Bonino (Italy) and Matt Beleskey (Great Britain). If those two, as well as Bobby Ryan, Cam Fowler, Luca Sbisa and Viktor Fasth, can hit the ground running in a short season, then the Ducks' depth is in terrific shape for the coming months.
Item #3 - My Hunger to be Satisfied
Sadly I can't say "one more year" because I think Teemu Selanne has had just about enough, and because I'm original like Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting, so I'll say my third wish is for my hunger to be satisfied. Although, not in the way you might think. After 113 days of locked out hockey, a man gets hungry. Canada doesn't have the best fast food chains. So please, NHL - preferably Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr: can you please drive to In-N-Out, grab me a Double-Double with Fries and a Diet Coke, drive all the way to Toronto, and hand deliver it please? I'll be waiting, although I have waited long enough.