9:31 PM PST, December 19, 2012
In 2005, the Alaska Aces of the ECHL garnered a little bit of national attention when Alaskan-raised Scott Gomez decided to join his hometown team during the NHL lockout. As rumors began to swirl in the summer of 2012 that another work stoppage was in the works, Alaska's crew of NHL players began pondering their options. Then, with the league's second lockout in nine seasons becoming official on September 15th, Anchorage products Joey Crabb, Nate Thompson, and Brandon Dubinsky, all NHL players, decided to follow Gomez's lead from 2004-05 and play in front of their friends and family. The trio joined the Aces during training camp and began playing for the minor league franchise during the season. The big surprise came in early November, when unsure whether a new collective bargaining agreement would be reached, Gomez opted to sign with the Aces as well. Four NHL players on one ECHL team. That's one better than a hat trick.