Last night was an active one for the Jackets' prospects, as Team Canada held an exciting intra-squad matchup at their World Junior camp (featuring Ryan Johansen on Team Red and Boone Jenner on Team White), while Team USA had their own Blue & White game, and T.J. Tynan delivered the tying goal for Team Blue as part of their late rally to victory.
(It also appears Johansen had a bit of a scare blocking shots, but returned to the game, tallying 2 assists on the night.)
Check out the raves from various media members on all three players at the CBJ Prospects twitter feed.
Interestingly, as of this morning's Dispatch, we're also getting a full court press on the arena lease issue. The possibility of using casino tax revenue, long discussed as a possible solution, is a front page story today. The paper also confirmed that OSU would continue to assist with the management of Nationwide Arena for another year, and Michael Arace delivers a commentary that reads as ringing endorsement for the plan - including the news that Gary Bettman quietly came into Columbus to discuss the solution with both the team and the City.
Why the sudden jump in coverage? Despite the claims that the deal is 'not a lock', one wonders if this is a case of laying groundwork - making sure the spin is favorable before the matter is ready to be announced.
Perhaps that's one more stone around the franchise's neck that might be lifted this offseason...
Over at On The Forecheck, Dirk had a very interesting look at how the US's credit rating being downgraded might affect the NHL.
Puck Daddy looks at Marty Turco - he appeared to make a major misjudgement about the goalie market last season, and he's yet to find a new home. Is this the end of his career? (Despite their suggestion he could land in Columbus, I just don't see it barring an unexpected trade or some kind of an injury to Mason, Dekanich, or Sanford.)
Sam Fels of the Committed Indian is the next Puck Daddy guilty pleasure.
The NHL has yet to announce the venue for next summer's entry draft...but there's an interesting clue in Pittsburgh, where a regularly held...anthropomorphic enthusiast's gathering...is being rescheduled to make way to allow the city to "host a major event" - and it normally takes place the same weekend in June as the NHL draft. 2+2 = Yinz?
The Predators want to buy out Brett Lebda - probably in no small part due to opening up their wallet for Shea Weber. But they may not be allowed to do so. If the buyout is denied, that'll be a fun conversation in training camp, huh?