Colin Fraser would much rather be getting ready to defend the Kings Stanley Cup win from last season but instead players like him are trying to figure out the politics of the business end of the sport.
To stay in shape he hits the ice with his former junior team the Red Deer Rebels, something which he is enjoying.
“For one thing it brings back memories but it’s fun having a more competitive skate than just more of a summer shinny skate,” said Fraser. “ It’s fun to hang out with the guys and be a part of a team I guess.”
Joining him on the ice is another former Rebel, Brandon Sutter, who was anticipating he’d be busy setting up home in Pittsburgh following a trade from Carolina.
“I was looking forward to going to a new place and getting settled. I had kind of done that but now I have to sit and wait for us to get started,” said Sutter.
While those two NHL’ers find a way to ride out the lockout, a third pro hockey player is faced with some added frustration to not playing in the big leagues right now.
Paul Postma has put in his time with St. John’s Ice Caps in the AHL and finally signed a good contract with the Winnipeg Jets this summer.
With Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian out for months with a broken wrist one would think it would almost guarantee a spot for Postma on the big team after scoring 13 goals last season with the Ice Caps.
“For us young guys trying to get a full time job in the NHL I’m thinking this could be my year and then something like this happens,” said the Red Deer product.
He is also finding the ice time to skate when he can, getting to practice with the Midget AAAs along with the Senior AAA Bentley Generals in addition to working out at the Can Pro Training Centre with Sutter.
Some players have headed over to Europe to keep playing and Sutter says he had an offer to join a team there but opted out.
“I’m not really ready to go yet. I feel that we can still get this thing done pretty soon and if we do then I don’t want to be over across the world having to travel back.”
While Postma was looking forward to a training camp in Winnipeg he also covered some other bases by signing a temporary contract with St. John’s just in case.
“I might as well go play somewhere while I can, make some money and stay in good shape so that when the lockout is over and the NHL is back on I’m ready to go.”
Fraser says personally he hasn’t been very involved in the discussions but he hopes something gets worked out soon, not only for his own sake but for the fans as well.
“Whether they’re on our side or their side (owners) it doesn’t really matter. We’ve just got to get a deal done and get back to playing.”
As far as when the puck drops for real, Fraser says it’s very hard to put a firm date on it.
“I think we are going to play, it just wouldn’t be good for the sport to do it all over again (miss a season), with that being said, it could go either way.”