Find out why Jeff Skinner didn’t report to the AHL’s Charlotte training camp, Adam Henrique’s not troubled about returning to AHL, while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is looking forward to his AHL debut.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner decided to stay in Toronto and train, rather than report to the Charlotte Checkers training camp for fitness training. The Hurricanes assigned Skinner to their AHL affiliate prior to the lockout, giving him the option to play with the Checkers if he so chooses. Checkers head coach Jeff Daniels said if the NHL lockout drags on, the Checkers could be an option for Skinner if he wants to play some games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting, as I was under the assumption those players assigned to the AHL had to play for those teams. Evidently, that’s not the case, at least for NHL stars like Skinner.
NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils sophomore forward Adam Henrique is taking his return to the AHL’s Albany Devils in stride, and participated in the club’s opening day of training camp. Henrique played three games in Albany last season before going on to his Calder-nominated rookie season with New Jersey, and netted 50 points in 73 games with Albany in his AHL debut in 2010-11.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Edmonton Oilers sophomore center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is looking forward to playing in the AHL during the lockout with the Oilers farm team in Oklahoma. Nugent-Hopkins bypassed the AHL entirely after being picked first overall by the Oilers in the 2011 entry draft, jumping directly to the Oilers from Junior. He credits the advice he received from Ottawa Senators center Jason Spezza (who played for the Senators AHL affiliate during the 2004-05 lockout) for giving him confidence about playing there.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For Henrique and Nugent-Hopkins, last season was their first in the NHL, and they’d like to stay sharp and build upon their promising rookie campaigns. Skinner has already played two NHL seasons, so it’s understandable why he’s not rushing into playing in the AHL just yet. If it appears the lockout will be a lengthy one, Skinner could decide to join the Checkers and get in some meaningful playing time.