Even though there is a lockout underway in the NHL, there are plenty of young players who are out there playing for keeps trying to earn their place for a chance to compete in the AHL. The Hamilton Bulldogs camp is underway in Sherbrooke PQ., and there have already been Habs prospects re-assigned to the Wheeling Nailers based in Wheeling West Virginia in the ECHL.
Most notable among those on their way down the ladder is Ian Schultz who was the secondary piece acquired by the Canadiens in the Jaroslav Halak for Lars Eller deal. Though the move comes as somewhat of a surprise considering Schultz seemed to earn a call-up last season, but stories of his poor conditioning have plagued him over the past few seasons. Add to this that the Bulldogs seem to have a lot of grit on the club in the form of Zach Stortini and others, and Schultz may have been in tough to make the team from the start. Still, it should also be noted that there is a much higher competition for jobs in the AHL this season given the NHL work-stoppage, and that a demotion to the ECHL is in no way a death sentence for an NHL career. David Desharnais is proof of that.