One reason Thanksgiving is a key date is that's about the time HBO would start filming the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs for its “24/7” series, leading up to the Jan. 1, 2013, Winter Classic at the University of Michigan.
HBO's hugely popular “24/7” series would include personal interviews with players on and off the ice to promote the outdoor game, which is a key event for NHL advertisers.
The Oklahoma City Barons will have three talented young Edmonton Oilers on their roster during the lockout. If the lockout continues until late November, the Barons have 16 games scheduled before Thanksgiving, including 10 home games in the Cox Convention Center.
During the lockout eight years ago, some notable NHL players benefitted from playing in the American Hockey League.
Ottawa's Jason Spezza was similar to Edmonton's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who will play for the Oklahoma City Barons. Coming off a solid rookie NHL season, Spezza played with the Binghamton Senators in 2004-05.
Eric Staal was a 100-point player with the Carolina Hurricanes the season after the lockout. During 2004-05, Staal scored 77 points in 77 games with the Lowell Lock Monsters.
Boston center Patrice Bergeron, who has 143 career NHL goals, played for Providence Bruins during the lockout at age 19. Los Angeles Kings All-Star winger Dustin Brown played for the Manchester Monarchs in 2004-05.