Minor leagues offer options for shut-out hockey fans

Friday, February 18th 2005, 6:40 pm
By: News On 6

UNDATED (AP) _ Now that the N-H-L has canceled its season, minor league teams see an opportunity to grow their business -- and an obligation to keep the sport alive.

Minor league rosters are filled with N-H-L refugees this season.

Chris Chelios and his Detroit Red Wings teammates Derian Hatcher and Kris Draper signed with the Motor City Mechanics of the United Hockey League earlier this month.

And more players are expected to follow now that commissioner Gary Bettman officially has called off the season.

Today, Red Wings defenseman Jason Woolley signed with the U-H-L's Flint Generals while Montreal Canadiens forward Steve Begin joined the American Hockey League's Hamilton Bulldogs.

More importantly, the minor league teams are the N-H-L's best chance to appease disgruntled fans.