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NHL Lockout 2012: Nate Thompson will play in Alaska

Nate Thompson is taking his talents back to Alaska with the NHL lockout still ongoing.

Bruce Bennett - Getty Images

Nate Thompson will get the opportunity to lace up his skates for a hometown crowd when he plays for the minor league Alaska Aces this season. It's easy to see the sentimental value of his decision, because Thompson won't make a lot of money doing this.

The Aces play two rungs below the NHl in the East Coast league where player salaries start at $425 a week for players with 25 pro games of experience. The teams have a $12,400 weekly salary cap, and Thompson will pay for his insurance.

Thompson said the move was important to him because it's the tight-knit community that he grew up in. He talked about possibly helping a young guy along the way, with Anchorage being a big hockey community. He told the Tampa Bay Times that "they're helping me, too, having a spot for me and being able to play.

In 68 games last season, Thompson had nine goals and 15 points.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.