It is way too quiet for Anaheim Ducks fans, and the coaching staff, inside the Honda Center, where their games are played and at THE RINKS ( 2 miles north of the Disneyland resort ), where practices are held. The lockout effects all participants, from fans, to players, to vendors. For Ducks Assistant Coach Brad Lauer, he keeps busy as best he can around the office, waiting for encouraging words from both sides of the stalemate, with hopes of an National Hockey League season opener - soon.

Lauer,46, a former second round draft pick of the New York Islanders in 1985, tells of having spent time a couple months back with the Ducks American Hockey League affilate , the Norfolk Admirals, during their training camp. When we spoke this past Thursday, Lauer was upbeat that the business part of the game would be 'fixed', and that he would be spending less time in the office, and more on the ice, hopefully soon. "This situation ( lockout ) is unfortunate and disappointing", says Lauer, who was coaching in the Western Hockey League during the lost NHL season of 2004-2005.

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