The minor leagues are receiving major attention.
Since the NHL lockout went into effect Saturday night, owners and players have yet to reestablish contact and the state of the 2012-2013 hockey reason remains very questionable.
But there is good news: the work stoppage won't stop the AHL.
The NHL's most prominent league of affiliates—typically a temporary training step for mid-range prospects and depth players—will open the year in October in North America's hockey spotlight.
Now loaded with a collection of established NHL stars—youngsters with fewer than 160 NHL games under their belt are eligible for the AHL during the lockout—a plethora of tiny markets and 5,000-seat arenas will now house the best professional hockey in North America.
While Gary Bettman, Donald Fehr and others toil in their infuriating battle of Benjamins, which intriguing AHL clubs could capture your attention span this fall? We discuss five particular teams to watch on the following slides.