The expiring NHL collective bargaining agreement has its first Wild-related victim. Today the Traverse City prospect tournament, which features the best non-college youngsters from eight teams, and the host Detroit Red Wings announced that this year's tourney would be canceled. It's the first time Traverse City has not been played since being founded in 1998 and means Minnesota (one of the eight teams scheduled to play) won't get another chance outside of training camp to see their prospects in action.
The Wings and Traverse City join the Penticton Young Stars tournament, which was cancelled as a precaution back in May, in not being played.
While it makes sense that a September tournament scheduled to start the same day the CBA expires would end up not happening as both sides try to get what is best for them, that doesn't mean it isn't disappointing. Dan went to Traverse City for last year's tournament and saw first-hand how the drills and games helped players out. At the same time, it is a competition - Minnesota won the 2010 edition of the tournament - and with a plethora of young prospects looking to make an impact, this would have been a good chance to compare them against other pools.
Most of all, it hurts the Traverse City community. Yes, a prospect tournament in a non-NHL city is the league on a smaller scale, however, it is also a reminder that the season is not guaranteed with a month to go.
Photo Credit: Dan Shrader/First Round Bust