We are still waiting around for a lockout to end, with little hope that less than half a season will be lost over a fight over HRR (Hockey Related Revenue). Recently I did an article on a former ECHL team, the Tallahassee Tiger Sharks, who happen to be a former ECHL affiliate to the Florida Panthers. For this time, I want to discuss the Panthers AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage. Panther fans should now care about this team more than ever, seeing how the NHL lockout has no effect on AHL play.
The season for the San Antonio Rampage starts Saturday against the Texas Stars. This will be a prime opportunity for Panthers fans to observe the future of the franchise by seeing our prospects in play against the prospects of other teams. Then again, it will be hard to follow if the games are not available for us to watch here in South Florida. If you do want to watch the games, there is an AHL version of Game Center similar to the NHL version. Hopefully, this will tide over fans until the NHL breaks this deadlock. I think that the team will do well this season, more so after the recent shuffle of NHL affiliates, adjusting all AHL rosters to a degree, as well as the fact that all the prospects will be available for ice time due to the lack of an NHL season yet.
The lockout has been seen as a curse for hockey fans, but it may be a blessing in disguise. This gives people the chance to see another side of the NHL working that may have been missed by many in the past, and may help this important league grow more. Whatever your team, I suggest fans support their local AHL team or their NHL teams affiliate.Its not like the NHL is gonna break this lockout anytime soon.