While the NHL lockout is still ongoing, the AHL begins its season this Friday, giving fans a chance to see what players are in the pipeline of their NHL squad.
The Colorado Avalanche's AHL affiliate is the Lake Erie Monsters, and they begin their 2012-13 season with games on three straight days. Their season opener is on Friday, Oct. 12, when they go on the road to take on the Oklahoma City Barons at 5:30 p.m. MT.
In fact, the two teams play back-to-back, with an early Saturday game at 11 a.m. Lake Erie then travels on the road to go up against the Toronto Marlies at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
This Lake Erie team has seven players who were in the NHL last season, six of them with the Avalanche. Those players are left wing Mike Connolly, left wing David Van Der Gulik, defenseman Tyson Barrie, center Mark Olver, center Brad Malone and defenseman Stefan Elliott. They also have right wing Bill Thomas, who played with the Florida Panthers last year.