Devils Fans Will Get To See Adam Henrique and Adam Larsson in Albany
With three preseason games cancelled and counting, it is highly unlikely that the NHL and NHLPA will reach an agreement before the start of the regular season.
New Jersey has sent five potential starters to the AHL for the beginning of the 2012-2013 season, meaning the best way to see players like Adam Henrique and Adam Larsson will be to travel to Albany.
Due to the NHL's new waiver rule, many teams around the league took advantage of sending their young prospects to the AHL, meaning there will be a large amount of talent playing against the Albany Devils this season. Here is a list of five games that are worth paying admission for while the lockout continues.
Slava Voynov Raising The Cup for the LA Kings
February 9, 2013 was supposed to be the Stanley Cup Final rematch between the Devils and the Los Angeles Kings. However, due to the lockout, fans will get a sneak peak a little earlier.
On October 13, the Albany Devils will open the 2012-2013 season against the Manchester Monarchs, the AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings. The game will begin at 5:05 in Albany.
Slava Voynov will be one of the only big names playing for the Kings in Manchester. The 22-year-old scored eight goals and 12 assists with a +12 rating for Los Angeles last season, and was apart of the team's Stanley Cup run through the playoffs.
The Monarchs also got to spend time with the Cup during the off season, so for now this may be the closest thing to a rematch you get.
Rangers Rookie Chris Kreider is Expected To See Time in the AHL
Many fans will miss out on the Devils-Rangers rivalry during the lockout, especially after the dramatic finish to the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals.
In the meantime, the alternate for the AHL will be on October 24 when the Devils take on the Connecticut Whale. The first meeting between these two teams will be held at 7:00 PM in Albany.
According to Blueshirt Banter, Chris Kreider is expected to be sent down to the AHL before the regular season begins. He will undoubtedly be the biggest name the Rangers send down during the lockout, and the match-up between Kreider and Henrique will be exciting to watch.
These two teams will play four more times during the regular season, but with the uncertainty of the lockout pending, the earlier games will be the most intriguing.
Kyle Palmieri is one of the best young talent the Albany Devils will face
One of the league's brightest young prospects is Kyle Palmieri.
The Anaheim Ducks future star had 33 goals and 25 assists last season in the AHL, and many expected him to make the NHL roster if the season started on time. Palmieri will face off against the Albany Devils on November 12 at 2:00 PM.
The Devils will unfortunately not play against the Oilers or Hurricanes AHL affiliates, two organizations that sent down the likes of Jeff Skinner and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. While there is a lot of talent on the team's schedule, Kyle Palmieri will be one of the best they see.
Nobody wants to see the NHL Lockout run through 2013, but if the league doesn't reach an agreement by then, this will be the highlight game of the year.
On January 20, the Albany Devils will take on the Adirondack Phantoms, the AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. While the Albany Devils are considered the home team, there is no doubt that the faithful fans from Philly will make the short commute to see their young talent play a rival organization.
The Flyers have already sent down some key players to the AHL since the waiver rule went into affect, including starters Sean Courtier, Zac Rinaldo, and newly acquired Brayden Schenn. Although Albany will take on the Rangers AHL affiliate this season, Boardwalk Hall should be rocking for this matchup.
It's the closest thing we'll see to a Devils-Flyers playoff matchup, and with all the young stars going up against each other, it should be worth the price of admission.
The final game to watch will be held on February 24 when Albany takes on the Hershey Bears in Atlantic City.
The Washington Capitals didn't send down many players to the AHL, but one of the key pieces to their future will likely start this game against the Devils. Braden Holtby, the 23-year-old goaltending prospect, should be in net for Hershey when they travel to Boardwalk Hall.
Holtby went 4-2-1 in 7 starts with Washington last season, but more importantly posted an impressive 1.95 GAA in the 2012 NHL playoffs and won the starting job from Tomas Vokoun and Michal Neuvirth. However, despite his success, the Devils owned him in the only game he started against them in 2011, as the young goaltender gave up five goals on 23 shots.
While we all hope the NHL Lockout ends sooner then later, it is for certain that the AHL will get a lot of attention as the negotiations continue through Fall and Winter. Die hard fans who strive for hockey may have to travel a little farther to see some action, but many of the league's AHL affiliates have the potential to host great games this year.