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NHL Lockout Would Still Allow Wild Players To Play In AHL

The NHL and the NHLPA have been struggling to agree to terms on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement to avoid a lockout scenario -- the current CBA is set to expire on Sept. 15 -- but the Minnesota Wild are planning to place young prospects into the minor league system with Houston Aeros (the team's AHL-affiliate) regardless of what happens. Which players will likely be headed to Houston? Ben Goessling of the Pioneer Press lays out the timeline for decisions:

Teams have to send players to the AHL by Sept. 15, so the Wild could make a handful of moves late next week. One player who wouldn't be heading to Houston is 2012 first-round draft pick Matt Dumba; the defenseman is still eligible to play in the Canadian Hockey League, so he would return to his junior team, the Red Deer Rebels, rather than starting his pro career.

Former first-round picks like Finnish forward Mikael Granlund and Swedish defenseman Jonas Brodin could return to play overseas during a lockout, so those are some other options that the Wild can explore.

For more on the Wild, check out Hockey Wilderness or stick with SB Nation Minnesota. For more news, notes and analysis from around the NHL, head over to SB nation's hockey news hub.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.