Isn't this the offseason? Isn't it supposed to be quiet? Why do I have these massive fistfuls of internet for you?
To begin, after yesterday's encouraging news about progress on the arena lease issue, we had commentary from Jeff Little at TMM (including the point that it's not just what's being said, but who is saying it) and reactions at Pro Hockey Talk.
Looking for some live hockey? If you can look around for a convenient internet stream, the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament started today in Eastern Europe, and you can get a look at some of the potential up and coming U18 players who might be on the team's draft board soon.
Speaking of live hockey, the Team Canada and Team USA evaluation camps for the World Junior tournaments continued yesterday, with Ryan Johansen contributing another goal and an assists as part of a "dominant" line with Jonathan Huberdeau and Mark Stone. If Johansen doesn't stick with the Jackets, he's clearly on Team Canada's planning board, but like top Oilers prospect Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, it's an open question if he'll be available.
On the Team USA side, TJ Tynan had a goal in the Blue/White game, and got some love from Hockeybuzz's Julie Robenhymer. He'll be playing Sweden this afternoon as part of Team Blue.
Want to learn more about the craziness that is hockey analytics? Lighthouse Hockey is continuing their introduction series with a look at possession metrics.
Two neat images from yesterday - Jared Boll meeting fans at the Dublin Irish Festival, and a designer's project at Reddit to make "soccer style" jerseys for NHL teams produced this Jackets' creation. I actually like the "away" jersey. The "home" jersey with the flag, not so much.
NHL.com featured the Jackets today as part of their "30 in 30" series, and they think that Scott Howson has had enough of waiting.
Another team making the most of the offseason is Tampa Bay, who capped off the news of their revamped arena and new jerseys with selling 10,000 season tickets. Tampa could easily be one of the harder tickets to get next season if you're planning a road trip.
Alex Stallings took a look at the Jackets' offseason in a fairly comprehensive recap.
Finally, Eric Smith over at Hockeybuzz wants to know - are you ready for a blast?