For the second time in less than a decade, the NHL is closing its doors and having a lockout. Although the lockout has just begun, there is the possibility that the regular season will be wiped out altogether like it was for the 2004-05 season. It is truly amazing that the NHL has another lockout on its hands.
With the lockout now official, players have started to look elsewhere so they can at least play somewhere this year. Ilya Kovalchuk, a superstar with the New Jersey Devils, is one of those players as he is signing with SKA St. Petersburg in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League. Kovalchuk joins other Russian-born players like Pittsburgh Penguins star (and reigning NHL MVP) Evgeni Malkin and Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk who have both also made the move to the KHL for the time being.
In addition to players playing overseas, teams can send younger players down to their AHL affiliates so they can play there while the NHL is in a work stoppage. For example, the Devils have sent down center Adam Henrique and defenseman Adam Larsson, among others.
In one instance, it will be nice for Russian fans to see their country's best players play in person while the NHL season is suspended. Fans of AHL teams can also see some promising NHL players play for their favorite teams, as well. On the opposite end, NHL teams have to worry about injury risks and other things of that nature. Unfortunately for them, they put themselves in this position, though.
Commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHL should be ashamed of themselves for having another lockout so soon after the last one. The NHL was arguably at its best in recent seasons and they are jeopardizing fan support once again. After all, all they are really arguing over is our money as fans in the end.
Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/Michael Pellegrini has been a fan of the New Jersey Devils since the mid to late 1990s when they had players like Doug Gilmour and Dave Andreychuk in the later stages of