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AHL already reaping benefits of lockout

Updated: September 27, 2004, 11:17 AM ET
By Scott Burnside | Special to ESPN.com

Fast, innovative, cheap and recently armed with a little more star power, the American Hockey League stands ready to fill the gaping North American hockey void quite nicely, thank you very much.

With the National Hockey League doors locked because its owners have driven it off the economic rails, the AHL has become the best alternative, high-level hockey, and doesn't force fans to break into junior's college fund to take the family down to the rink.

And it's all a bit ironic considering ...

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