Minor hockey reacts to NHL lockout

It's day one of the NHL lockout and there are no planned discussions between the league and the players union, leaving many people at every level of hockey to discuss what this means for the future of the game.

In Nova Scotia, this is one of the biggest weekends on the calendar for minor hockey with most minor hockey associations started conditioning camps and try outs.

For the players, their parents and coaches, the NHL lockout provided a lot to talk about.

"It can't always just be about the money," said hockey parent John Finck. "I mean realistically is anybody really worth that amount of money to play a game that they supposedly love?"

Andrew Schnare, Chebucto Minor Hockey Association coach, said he knows the lockout is a hard thing for young players to figure out.

"It's disheartening to see the professionals locked out, knowing that these kids all have aspirations of getting to the big leagues someday," said Schnare.

"Their idols are locked out and they don't really understand why, they just want to watch a hockey game and follow their idols."

The collective agreement between the two parties ran out at midnight Saturday.

The impact of the work stoppage will be felt immediately. The first pre-season games are expected to be cancelled next week and the possibility of having the regular season start as scheduled on Oct. 11 will become less and less likely with each passing day.

During the lockout that wiped out the entire 2004-05 season, both the league and individual teams decided to lay off employees. On Saturday afternoon, Daly said the NHL has no plans to cut staff "at this point in time."

A number of players are expected to seek alternative opportunities in Europe, with the Russian-based KHL offering the most financial appeal. Switzerland, Sweden and Finland will also likely be popular destinations.

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