SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- It's Day 2 of the NHL's latest lockout, and the American Hockey League is poised to reap the benefits if an agreement isn't reached before the start of the season.
The NHL locked the players out over the weekend when the collective bargaining agreement expired at 11:59 p.m. Saturday. It's the NHL's fourth work stoppage in 20 years. The stoppage's second day saw no changes from either side as talks between the league and the NHLPA remain unscheduled.
Attention already has turned to alternative leagues like the AHL, where players will continue to train for the season and play the game they love. The AHL consists of 17 independently owned franchises, including the Syracuse Crunch, and another 13 owned by NHL clubs. It's the primary minor league of the NHL -- nearly 90 percent of today's NHL players spent time in the here -- and is a safe haven these days for younger players on two-way contracts who remain eligible to play at the lower level.