Thirty-two players were on ice for the Stockton Thunder on Friday when it began training camp. And many of them will never see the opening faceoff of a regular season game in a Stockton uniform.
The odds are never great for some of the free agents, but this year there is more uncertainty because of the NHL lockout. This could cause the Edmonton Oilers, Stockton NHL parent club, to send extra players to its AHL team in Oklahoma City, and thus push some extra players down to the Thunder.
No one can guess how many will show up. There’s 18 or 20 spots open on the Thunder, and there’s no way of telling exactly how many are truly available.