Replacement Players in the NHL(Via All things Canadian )
The Sun Newspapers are reporting that the Edmonton Oilers have already inquired as to the willingness of their farm team's players to be utilized as replacement players. It would seem that 18 of 22 would be receptive to such an opportunity. I don't find this surprising in the least. My opinion is that for all the talk of union solidarity, it wouldn't last for more than a month. The players on the farm teams are dying for any opporunity to play in the big show as it were. They would all be willing to suit up if called up. Furthermore, the workhorses of the NHL the 3rd and 4th line players would start to wonder if a new season was called upon why they were sitting out and missing paychecks, albiet smaller ones so Sergei Federov could earn $10 million US rather than 6 or 7.
The first players back will be the ones who were marginal in the NHL to begin with and those with smaller contracts, whom can't absorb the loss of work for a long period of time. After that, it will be the vetran players who return. The players whom only have 2 or 3 more seasons left in them, and don't see the point in squandering them on the picket lines even if they do take a pay cut.
Inevitably once players begin to make their way back, the more moneyed players will return as they will be making less in Europe than they would be in the NHL. Furthermore, pride and greed will have exhausted themselves as a reason to hold out and they will simply return in a fairly non-challant fashion muttering bromides about "missing the fans", the "chance to play with such a great group of guys", "their family" or "feeling the itch to take another run at the cup". But that will all simply be a matter of saving face.