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Actually, the AHL and ECHL are most likely to benefit.

Good point, the AHL and ECHL have a major advantage over college hockey; growth. The AHL and ECHL can (and have) add teams. It isn't so easy to add a new college team, since you'd either have to add a team to an existing college (and those that want teams already have them) or start a new college... and neither option could be implemented fast enough to take advantage of this lockout... unless it lasts several years (in which case it would be a moot point).

That being said, I do think that existing college programs will benefit, as will the AHL and ECHL, short term. Perhaps the AHL and ECHL have more to lose once the lockout ends though, since the NCAA doesn't pretend to compete with the NHL as a "professional" league because, well, they can't. By definition the NCAA is for amatures only.

The AHL and ECHL may get some players wanting to turn pro but unable to skate in the NHL... but only until the NHL returns. In theory the NHL would regain it's elite status upon it's return, siphoning off any extra attention (and money) that would go to the AHL and ECHL during the lockout. The NCAA status will be what it has always been, the place where tomorrow's stars hone their skills. So the AHL and ECHL have more to gain from the lockout, but more to lose once it ends. If they're smart they'll take the money and run.

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