With the NHL lockout showing few signs of being resolved, Mike Commodore decided he had to take action.
And his decision to sign a 25-game professional tryout offer with the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs wasn't just an effort to salvage a season.
''I need to be playing, in my opinion, if I want to have a good chance of continuing my career,'' Commodore said while the Bulldogs visited the Abbotsford Heat for a pair of games last weekend. ''So here I am.''
The 33-year-old player from Sherwood Park, Alberta, was among a long list of unrestricted NHL free agents who were left in limbo when the NHL collective bargaining agreement expired Sept. 15. Teams raced to sign younger, core assets before the old CBA expired, but took a pass on older unrestricted free agents until new financial parameters, notably the salary cap maximum and contracting rules, were established.
''Obviously, they were looking to lock up guys long-term with the expiry coming up,'' he said. ''But for guys like me, there ...