Happy Friday! No matter how your week went, let's hope the next one is better.
The biggest stories around the NHL yesterday came from the release of the NHL's 2011-2012 national TV schedule. As usual, Steve Lepore at Puck The Media is over it like white on rice, and sadly, as usual, the Jackets are barely represented. On the one hand, I totally get that the Jackets won't get much national attention without #WINNING, but you'd think the offseason shakeups might have gathered a bit more attention.
On the other hand, those late season games could well be the clinching arc for a playoff push, and wouldn't that be fun to see on
Versus the NBC Sports Group. (Oh, and I hope you like Jeremy Roenick...)
Puck Daddy has the Jackets in their Winners and Losers, but take heart - there are a lot of teams in even worse position, including Nashville, Vancouver, most of the Californian teams, and even Winnipeg - while they wouldn't get ratings boosts in the US from the 'Peg, I'm a little surprised that NBC isn't trying to capitalize on the interest in the "new" team from casual fans / expats.
We've also got news that the Jackets invited AHL veteran Trevor Ludwig to training camp. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he's going to be earmarked for Springfield, to give guys down there some veteran leadership.
The other big source of news yesterday was the conclusion of the NHL's R&D camp. For pure "WHOA!" value, check out this trick shot competiton held by the prospects playing in the camp, then we'll get down to the meat. It appears that shallower nets and a verification line have not only passed muster, but could be seen in the NHL for the pre-season - and should they serve well, might be kept in place in October.
Removing the trapezoid, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have much support, but GMs do sound like they're willing to test hybrid icing in the AHL, and eventually bring it up to the NHL level.
Over at Ten Minute Misconduct, Jeff lifts up the shroud over the front office, making some excellent points.
Jo at Puck That Hurts has another look back at a major hockey injury, this time to Montreal's Trent McCleery, that shows the risk of blocking shots in graphic detail.
Over at DBJ, Gallos has a thoughtful look at fighting, tragedy, and passion that I suggest you read as soon as possible. There's also a somewhat related look at who are the modern goons in the NHL, and who they fight.
Justin Bourne also takes another look at painkiller use (and abuse) inside the locker room.
Mary over at Fire That Cannon has joined the Army to get ready for next season.
Driving Play has an interesting look at how the Blackhawks have been using Patrick Sharp.
Dannie has "10 perfectly serious predictions" for next season over at Strait Jackets.
Over at Copper & Blue, Derek has put together an NHL coaching family tree.
Sean Avery: not actually being charged.
Last but not least, looks like someone's started a CBJ T-shirt shop over at Skreened. Stick tap to Trevor for pointing it out.