October 19, 2012

Pirates fans get added treat: NHL players

By Paul Betit pbetit@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

"In terms of criteria, players who spent the majority of last season in the NHL were obvious inclusions," he said in an email explaining how he assembled his list. "After that it gets a bit murky. Not all of these players would have been full-time NHL players this season, but they were expected to at least challenge for a roster spot and to play at least some games with the big club."

Notoarianni's list is tilted toward young prospects still on their three-year entry-level contract, or older players who could be moved from NHL teams to the minor leagues without being lost during the waiver process.

Some NHL-caliber players are playing in Europe, but nearly 500 locked-out NHL players will remain idle until the contract dispute between the league and the players association is resolved. The last time the NHL owners and the players failed to reach a new agreement, the entire 2004-05 season was wiped out.

While AHL fans may care what happens in the top league, they won't have to give up watching professional hockey.

"I decided to come back to the Pirates prior to the lockout happening. I went to one or two games last season, and they were pretty fun," said Stephen Tapley, a South Portland resident who has followed the team off and on since 1999. He also owns two season tickets to the Boston Bruins.

"I'm pretty upset this lockout is taking place," he said. "It's just ridiculous. It's too soon to have another lockout."

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

pbetit@pressherald.com

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH

CORRECTION: This story was updated Friday, Oct. 19 to reflect that the Pirates will play a total of six games in Lewiston.

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