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A few notes on what would have been opening night in the NHL

10.11.12 at 4:34 pm ET

As you’ve probably noticed by now, the NHL isn’t exactly happening these days. The lockout is still going strong as recent negotiating sessions between the owners and NHL players association have focused on secondary issues rather than the biggest issue: money.

The league was set to begin its regular-season schedule Thursday, and the Bruins would have been in Philadelphia to kick off the season against the Flyers. Games through Oct. 24 were cancelled last week, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if more games are cancelled soon.

Instead of watching hockey on Thursday, you can check out these notes and links:

– The great Greg Wyshynski has a tremendous column on Puck Daddy on what hockey fans are missing out on Thursday. Wyshynski writes of what Thursday would have been, including a chance for fans to see new line combinations and new players on new teams, amongst other things.

Speaking of which, there wouldn’t have been too many new faces for the Bruins were they to take the ice Thursday night in Philly, though it likely would have been Dougie Hamilton‘s NHL debut. Hamilton is back in the OHL season, where he has recorded three goals and four assists for seven points through eight games for Niagara. Once a new collective bargaining agreement is reached, Hamilton will be free to join the Bruins.

– While several players are currently playing overseas in Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin, David Krejci, Andrew Ference, Rich Peverley, Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin, there are plenty who aren’t.

Some Bruins have held informal practices in local rinks since the lockout and have been joined by local NHLers such as Keith Yandle. Shawn Thornton has been looking for work overseas but has yet to secure a deal, while Nathan Horton has chosen to not play hockey at all during the lockout. Brad Marchand is sticking around these parts for now, but his agent told Thursday that he will look at European options once it appears the NHL season is in jeopardy.

– Bergeron made his presence felt in his Swiss League debut on Tuesday, turning in a monster performance with two goals and two assists for four points. Bergeron played for Providence during the 2004-05 lockout. For a look at how other Bruins have fared overseas thus far, check out the latest edition of Bruins away from Boston.

– The longer the lockout drags on, the greater the chance that NHL players will injure themselves playing elsewhere. Thus far, the likes of Rick Nash, Jakub Voracek, Jiri Hudler and Kris Russell have been hurt playing overseas. Before signing with other teams, NHL players price insurance policies depending on their injury histories, with their European teams often footing the bill.

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