While the NHL lockout has been dominating the headlines for the last two months, it is still possible to see NHL players playing professional hockey in North America. Certain players on each team's roster were eligible to play minor league hockey at the beginning of the season, so an influx of young NHLers to AHL rosters has kept a few of them active within the organization.
The most talented, well-rounded young players would seem to get no benefit from playing a level below their capabilities; if there were something to be gained from a stint in the AHL, they probably would have spent time in the minors already.
But for other players, the lockout presents them with a low-pressure shot at development, where they can sharpen their skills and work on aspects of their games that have been lost at the NHL level.
The Philadelphia Flyers have six players on the Adirondack Phantoms roster who likely would be playing in Philly without the lockout.
Here are the four players who stand to gain the most from time spent in the AHL.