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The Rockford IceHogs, the Chicago Blackawks' AHL affiliate, open their season on Saturday night against the Chicago Wolves.
The NHL players are currently locked out, but the AHL 2012-13 season begins for the Rockford IceHogs -- the Chicago Blackhawks' affiliate -- on Saturday night with a game against the Chicago Wolves. Three Blackhawks players are participating in AHL play: Michael Frolik, Michal Roszival and Bryan Bickell. The IceHogs follow up with another game against the Wolves on Sunday afternoon, and they get their first home matchup of the season on Oct. 20 against the Charlotte Checkers.
The AHL is generally considered a pipeline for NHL squads to develop players, so if you are lovesick for hockey and hope to catch some professional talent, there are plenty of players who will make the transition into AHL action over the next few days.