TROY, Mich. -- Given the death knell imminent for the Winter Classic, several Detroit Red Wings players wonder if losing such a marquee event is an omen.
The outdoor game between the Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium is expected to be canceled by today, the latest casualty of a lockout that began Sept. 16 when the NHL and the NHL Players' Association failed to agree on a new collective bargaining agreement.
While this week's lack of meaningful talks can be blamed partly on the superstorm that for two days shuttered New York, site of NHL headquarters, negotiations weren't scheduled anyway.
That has left some of the players skating at Troy with little optimism.
"It's fading," forward Johan Franzen said. "The longer it goes, the more likely it is there's not going to be a season."
Hall heading to AHL
EDMONTON Oilers winger Taylor Hall signed an American Hockey League contract on Thursday and will make his debut with the Oklahoma City Barons this weekend.
He had spent the final time of his recovery from shoulder surgery working out with the Oilers' affiliate. He was cleared to play on Tuesday.
Hall, who turns 21 this month, had suffered a concussion late last season and while he was out, the team decided to take care of his injured shoulder.
"With Taylor coming off his shoulder injury from last season, it is important for him to continue to play hockey as he is still in his prime development years," Barons general manager Bill Scott said.
Instead of his usual No. 4, Hall will wear 22 in Oklahoma City. There, he'll join fellow No. 1 overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and all-star Jordan Eberle. Those two were assigned to the Barons before the lockout began. Because of his injury, Hall could not be assigned at the time, but he received his NHL salary while recovering.
Hall, taken first in 2010, will be making his first appearance in the AHL. He made the Oilers out of training camp and had 42 points in 65 games as a rookie. Last year, he had 53 points, despite missing 21 games with injuries.
Puck's probation extended
RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- U.S. authorities in California say former Edmonton Oilers owner Peter Pocklington will serve three extra months of federal probation in a 2010 perjury case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Antoine Raphael said Thursday the probation was to end Oct. 26 but was extended at a hearing in a Riverside federal court Wednesday.
Raphael says authorities are looking into whether Pocklington may have withheld personal financial information from probation officials.
Prosecutors will use the extra months to determine if there was wrongdoing.
Pocklington's attorney, Brent Romney, did not return messages seeking comment.
Pocklington pleaded guilty to perjury in May 2010 after prosecutors alleged he concealed assets during bankruptcy proceedings.
-- from the news services