Can you believe it? It's September! Here is just a small selection of hockey you can look forward to this month:
September 16th - 19th
Brock Boeser. Olli Juolevi. Need I say more?
Pre-season exhibition games
September 27th - October 8th
A handful of games to figure out where Rodin fits.
I've turned full circle on the World Cup of Hockey. It's still a cash-grab. It's still utterly pointless. But by God am I glad hockey is back, and I'll take it in whatever form Mr Bettman deems necessary.
But that's still a while away. What's happening around the league right now, I hear you ask?
-The Sedins and Loui were paired together in practice. As if there was ever any doubt. [NHL.com]
- And Captain Henrik is now also the Team Sweden Captain, following Henrik Zetterberg's withdrawal. They chose the wrong Henrik to begin with. [The Score]
- Potential Canadian lines for the WCoH. Spoiler alert: Crosby gets the safest wingers in the group. [CBC]
- Watch Demko and Garteig being put through their paces. I like. [Canucks' Youtube]
- Brotherly love from PK for Malcolm and Jordan. While it's a crap shoot for goalies, I think you can be a bit more confident that Jordan will see some NHL action. Whether he'll amount to a 500pt D man, who knows, but I'd like to think he'll see at least 200-300 NHL games in his career. [CBC]
- Just look at the NHL's free agent tracker. Players still without a deal for the coming season: Hampus Lindholm, Rickard Rakell, Tobias Rieder, David Legwand, Kris '$5m' Russell, Nikita Kucherov, Nikita Nesterov, Matt Bartkowski and Dmitry Orlov. There is some serious talent there. [NHL.com]
- 'Bold' predictions for next season from Sportsnet. 'Downright stupid' in my estimation, but then again, I'm not being paid thousands to make things up. [Sportsnet]
- Ben Bishop had a lucky escape. He was nearly a Flame apparently. [NBC]
- For all those who bought Kris Versteeg out of their fantasy leagues, he's coming back to the NHL after his European gig was scuppered by insurance issues. [The Hockey Writers]
- It's been a long time since I read anyone mention fighting (seriously, anyway). This link shows how it is, statistically, on the decline. I don't believe it will ever be removed from the game, but look at the decline in just 6 years. Nearly half of the number there was. [The Tennessean]
Your question for the day: Who will win the World Cup of Hockey?