Denver, CO. With the NHL lockout in full swing with no progress in sight, many Colorado Avalanche players are weighing the idea of playing in Europe and even minor league hockey programs. Matt Duchene is not planning on playing in Europe at this point but may change his mind as the lockout continues, and especially if the entire season looks to be lost. Many players are in the Denver area currently and will continue a normal off season regiment and will likely skate together to keep the rust off.
Other players considering alternatives to the NHL include rookie of the year Gabriel Landeskog, who may play for the Lake Erie Monsters and has drawn some interest from pro teams in Norway. Paul Stasny may potentially play in Germany and Jan Hejda will make a decision around November if he will decide to play in Europe.
Players are not the only people effected by this lockout. Season ticket holders will find out later this week if they will receive credits or refunds depending on how long the lockout lasts. Employees of Kroenke Sports and other NHL teams may be facing layoffs or delayed employment although the coaching staff of the Avalanche will receive their full pay even if the lockout lasts all season.
Either way we will not see hockey anytime soon unless Gary Bettman gets off his soap box and realizes the league may not survive another season lost. Hockey is already an afterthought when it comes to the 4 major sports and may not recover this time. Game tickets remain some of the most expensive in sports and with the NBA starting soon and the NFL in full gear, no one will be looking to spend their entertainment dollars on hockey unless this lockout ends soon.
Denver Sports Chat – Kris Loco