With less than 8 hours to go before the inevitable NHL lockout begins (seriously guys, actually try to get something done? Please?), teams are starting to pass players through waivers and assigning those who can be sent down to the AHL. New Jersey joined the parade earlier this afternoon, assigning a total to 24 players to Albany, making all eligible to play in an A-Devils uniform as long as the lockout continues:
I guess you could say a few names, well, stick out? The two biggest ones are Henrique, fresh off a Calder Trophy nominated season (and two huge series clinching playoff goals in overtime to boot), and Larsson, last year’s #4 overall draft pick. Other than Larsson, all but two (Butler and Pesonen) have spent some time in an Albany uniform. Due to contract terms, you will not see either Cam Janssen (despite being on a two way deal) and Stephen Gionta come down, which means there will be a new Albany captain on the ice come October. My guess is Jay Leach, but you never know.
In Lou We Trust breaks down who stands to benefit from playing here during the work stoppage.
Other than being placed and then clearing waivers before today, AHL teams can also sign any players that were on the Clear Day lists last spring. One Devil will be signed via this route: defenseman Matt Corrente.
Training camps for all are slated to open on September 28th. If nothing is settled in the NHL by then, this could be a very interesting season in the AHL for many teams. Check out the assignments to Charlotte and Oklahoma City, for example.