Minor hockey league roots for NHL; AHL prospers from lockout

Cesar Tordesillas – 4E Sports Contributor

Washington DC, MD, United States (4E Sports) – The minor American Hockey League is hoping that the National Hockey League ends its lockout soon.

While much attention and media coverage were redirected to it, the AHL acknowledges it is the NHL that drivesthe business and the sport.

“We need the NHL playing in order for everybody to settle in and be looking forward in their careers, and for fans to be happy all over North America,” said AHL commissioner Dave Andrews.

The NHL has so far canceled games through Dec. 30.

There is yet no specific time for the resumption of talks although Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said he expects that there will be talks this week.

The AHL features some ramped-up play because so many young players were sent to the minors. The Hershey Bears have Holtby and defenseman Dmitry Orlov; the Oklahoma City Barons have Edmonton Oilers young guns Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle and the Adirondack Phantoms have Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier, who wouldbe playing for the Philadelphia Flyers.

“… When you have a work stoppage like we’ve had, pretty much every team has at least two or three guys that are probably going to be on their parent teams if it ends,” Norfolk coach and ex-NHL defenseman Trent Yawney said. “It just makes for the competition and the level of play to be really high.”

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