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Shrapnel - 5/29/2011

Welcome, and congratulations on surviving the first of several Saturdays devoid of NHL hockey. (Well, until September or so, anyhow.)

Hope you got out to enjoy the nice weather. 

In "Well, at least it's hockey!" news, Binghamton evened up their series with Houston last night with a 2-1 OT winner by Jim O'Brien.

Meanwhile, as we prepare for the Stanley Cup finals, Manny Malhotra was cleared to play after practice yesterday - though it's not certain if he'll be in the lineup for game 1, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see him on the ice before all is said and done.

Kevin Allen of USA today has produced his top ten picks for the upcoming NHL draft - if things went according to his rankings, he sees the Jackets going after Ryan Murphy.

In the continuing saga of They May or May Not Actually Be Called The Jets, Winnipeg native Jonathan Toews thinks that the city could support the NHL once again, but leaked emails from the Atlanta Spirit group seem to indicate that they're still trying to peddle the team to a local buyer, though it's hard to tell if this is a good faith attempt, or just paying lip service to make sure they pass the NHL's guidelines.

With the Memorial Cup to be settled tonight, there's a bit of P.E.I. bragging rights up for grabs.

You may have asked "Is there an NHL team with even more problems on the blue line than Columbus?", and the answer is, as always, Edmonton.

How the city of Nashville embraced their love affair with the Predators this season - and no, it wasn't just acquiring Carrie Underwood's husband.

Puck Daddy posted their eulogy for the Tampa Bay Lightning, and, it makes the good point that A) maybe it's good that the Southeast is suddenly competitive again and B) it's much easier to divide and conquer.

You may have been hearing about the new ESPN "tell all" book coming out soon. What surprises me is that the rivalry with NBC (including competition over the NHL) is apparently a major theme of the book. Might be worth picking up.

It appears the Islanders are trying to build a stronger team by getting the "big guns" to take a hometown discount. If they can get John Tavares to buy in, could we see the Isles acquire what they need to turn into a real contender again? Perhaps...

And finally, in "really, guys?", Boston Pizza will rename itself for the duration of the Stanley Cup Finals. Look, I get it, you don't want to be seen as supporting a team playing against a Canadian club in the playoffs. Fine. Maybe it's even decent marketing. But wouldn't it be simpler to rebrand as "Canadian Pizza" or "We're basically Applebees with Pizza", or maybe "Hey, the Pad Thai Is Surprisingly Good Here Pizza" so you don't have to keep doing this every time the Bruins make the playofs?