Shrapnel - 9/2/11

We're two short weeks away from training camp. Can you feel the excitement? 

Over at Heart of a Jacket, Alison can see it all coming together. Dannie at Strait Jackets describes it as "Almost time to be almost time", which sums it up perfectly.

We'll finally get a look at the Jets' new jerseys on Tuesday morning. I get paid a week from Tuesday , and if they look halfway decent I suspect my jersey collection will increase. Love those new London Knights jerseys, too. Kinda tempted to get one - after all, they gave us Rick Nash, Marc Methot, and Steve Mason...

Over at DBJ, Tom touches on the difficult subject of Wade Belak and the tragedies this offseason. Related to that, the Widow Belak has released a statement requesting a chance to deal with the matter privately - something the Belak family has every right to, while the NHL and NHLPA have pledged to take action on the quality of care for players, and assistance with dealing with life away from the rink, particularly after a career has ended. 

Over at Jerseys & Hockey Love, Tapeleg has taken some time to write about his own battle with depression, as have Cassie over at Raw Charge and a pair of discussions at Hockey Wilderness that I strongly suggest you read.

Part of why this issue hits so close to us is that many of us have dealt with depression and mental health issues in our lives. if you are out there and looking for help, remember, you are not alone. You are not alone, and we understand. So many of us have been there. I have been in a battle against depression that I couldn't admit I was fighting for much of my adult life, and it took the near loss of a family member to give me the strength to seek professional help. It has made an incredible difference in my life, along with the love and support of my friends and family.

There is hope. There is help. Please know that, and do not be afraid to reach out if you need to talk to someone. It's not a weakness or a failure to know you are in need, and to ask for help - it's the very meaning of strength.

 

The Jacket Backers will have two busloads of fans heading down to Nashville! We want YOU! to get on board. The lower bowl tickets are gone - help us put a crew in the club section to cheer our boys on!

I appreciate the fact that Dustin Byfuglien was authentically on a mother----in' boat, but perhaps he should have considered letting someone else drive. Also, the note that he's put on a great deal of weight in the offseason is a real concern for Winnipeg fans - I know from personal experience that you can drop 15-25 pounds in a month with strict diet, excercise, and concerted effort, but with only two weeks to training camp, he's put himself in a difficult position.

Jeff over at TMM wraps up the Lifting The Shroud series and prepares for the season - looks like there's more great stuff coming soon!

Alex Ovechkin has graduated from chocolate bar endorsements to his personal equipment line and a massive deal with Nike.

Another Jackets' player is now on Twitter! Matt Calvert is now using the service, and apparently Ryan Johansen needs to work on his short game. 

Dmitry Chesnokov had a chance to talk to Mikhail Grabovsky about Phil Kessel, the ups and downs of the Maple Leafs, and getting ready for the season. 

The Columbus Business Journal is asking what the future might hold for the Arena District should they lose the Jackets. Harsh topic, but the good news is that many business owners agree the team makes everyone downtown stronger - another reason to believe the lease WILL be resolved sooner than later - these kind of articles are the topics I'd expect to see more and more in the media as all sides work on an agreement and look to sound public opinion.

Final report on the Vancouver Riot? "Too many drunk people, too concentrated a gathering, not enough cops." Gee, thanks, Captain Obvious. I hope the BC taxpayers didn't pay too much for that expert analysis.

The Jackets are expected to start negotiations with R.J. Umberger on a new deal shortly, but Tom Reed is reporting that they have not planned to work with soon to be restricted free agents Derek Dorsett or Jared Boll this offseason. This will upset some, but remember that as the team gets deeper, they'll be competing for spots, too. Expect more on this soon.

Sean Avery is going to be arrested again - but this time it's part of supporting a good cause. 

As part of their "Countdown to Faceoff", Fox Sports Ohio and the Blue Jackets have released a preview of their Slap Shots Summer Special.

Puck Daddy has started their Season Previews series with the Anaheim Ducks - and this year's theme will be badass action flicks. Cool - but I actually miss the Mad Men theme....

The guys at Winging It In Motown are trying to get to know us a little better after the sweeping changes this offseason. Take a look and see what you think.

Last but not least, Aaron Portzline has been checking out the pre-Training camp workouts with former coach Agnew over at the Chiller, and is tweeting reports on the proceedings. Go see who has shown up from the Jackets and elsewhere this week!

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