During this lockout, most of the Minnesota Wild prospects who are eligible are playing in the AHL for the Houston Aeros, and most of the veterans have settled in European Leagues or will not be playing during the lockout. One player who has chosen a different path is Devin Setoguchi.
Setoguchi is currently playing for the Ontario Reign, an ECHL team. Curiously, the Reign are affiliated with the Los Angeles Kings, but in that league, that doesn’t really mean anything so there’s no problem with him playing there. The logical question to ask would be, if affiliations don’t mean anything, why bother being affiliated? But that’s a different story for a different day.
Setoguchi started his first game with the Reign on Wednesday this week, and was named the game’s first star after tallying two assists en route to a 3-1 victory over the Bulls.
I’m not quite sure why Setoguchi decided to play for such a low-level affiliate, and I’m sure any game experience is better than nothing. But I am just a little bit concerned about the decision–he’s definitely a big fish in a small pond, and I worry about guys taking cheap shots at him. Plus, that level of competition is certainly well below what he is used to, so I wonder if he will be able to keep his game sharp while waiting out the lockout.
The NHL and NHLPA have been meeting for several days now, so perhaps the end is near. Ontario is just down the road from where I love–I will definitely have to get out and see a game while Seto is in town.