Photo: Buffalo Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko might be on the cusp of a NHL career, but he and other young players may find themselves back in the development leagues if the NHL lockout proceeds (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Lockout. It's on the tip of the tongue of every person involved with hockey right now.
As the Collective Bargaining Agreement's expiration date of September 15th approaches, a work stoppage between the NHL and the NHL Player's Association (the third such interruption over the last 18 years) is seemingly inevitable at this point. Not only will a lockout affect the individual teams and their staff and personnel, as well as the players, but a work stoppage in hockey's top league will have a trickle down effect for many prospects at various levels around the world.
Photo: Belleville Bulls defenseman Jordan Subban was one of the top performers for Canada's gold medal team at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Tournament (courtesy of Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
The annual Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, considered by some to be the most prestigeous international hockey competition of players under eighteen years of age, was held last week in Břeclav, Czech Republic, and Piešťany, Slovakia. And as is usually the case in the world of hockey, some results and statistics were simply surprising.
Photo: Winnipeg Jets prospect Lukas Sutter is currently in the hunt for a roster spot on Canada's 2013 World Junior squad (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
In sports, there is an old adage that says a competitor should always play for the logo on the front of the sweater and not for the name on the back. It is one of those bits of wisdom, like giving 110% or the fact that there is no "I" in TEAM, that is constantly repeated and now borders on being a cliché due to overuse.
Photo: Goaltender Mark Visentin was the #1 goaltender for Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championship. Hockey Canada's Ron Tugnutt is working on finding this year's goaltenders for that tournament (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Among the players on the ice, the goaltender stands out as a unique presence. Not only does he wear different equipment, play the entire game and often has peculiar mannerisms, but as the last line of defense, a goaltender can find himself singled out for both praise and blame.
Photo: Edmonton Oil Kings defenseman Griffin Reinhart was the second of six WHL players chosen in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
While the WHL didn’t get to boast of having the first overall pick at this year's NHL Draft, there was a heavy dose of WHL talent drafted in the first round. Five of the six WHL-bred first round picks were defensemen, and they were snapped up in a hurry. Of those six first round picks this year, five were selected within the top eight selections.