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Players such as Oilers prospect Justin Schultz and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Jake Gardiner should be able to do that whenever the lockout ends. As they play in the AHL, attendance is up about 7 percent from this point last year.

It’s evidence of continued growth, given that there as a 4.8 percent jump from 2010-11 to 2011-12, but there’s no doubt the lockout added buzz to the AHL.

Even if it hurts attendance or TV ratings, Andrews is hopeful something will get done to end the lockout and the “negativity” surrounding hockey.

“I think everybody’s stressed and frustrated, you can choose your word. There’s still some time,” Yawney said. “I hope that it gets back to where it needs to be. It’s such a great league.”