One issue that’s come up regarding a possible lockout is whether or not highly-talented CHL players who could be NHL-ready this season would be able to play pro hockey once their seasons began.
Branch tells McKenzie that NHL teams will have access to their CHL players once the NHL season gets underway following a possible lockout. For guys like Hamilton, Scheifele, and others who could jump to the NHL this season, this is a huge step for them so their ability to go pro right away isn’t hindered.
Even more importantly, perhaps, McKenzie says underage players who played in the NHL last season could play in the AHL this year. That means guys like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Gabriel Landeskog, and Sean Couturier may be able to play with their respective farm teams.
McKenzie cites guys like Nathan Horton and Patrice Bergeron who did just that back in 2004-05. Imagine seeing last year’s Calder Trophy winner, runner-up, and a playoff hero in the minor leagues for a short time. Maybe the AHL wouldn’t mind seeing the NHL have a short lockout.