Depending on where you live, today may have been the first day of school.
Parents, please remember to show some decorum and wait at least 5 minutes after the bus has pulled away from the curb before breaking out the party hats.
On the Jackets front, Aaron Portzline takes a look at the new approach towards the Traverse City tournament, and expands a bit on it for the print edition. Porty also confirmed over on Twitter that the Jackets will hold a training camp tournament (aka the McConnell Cup) once again.
Pittsburgh Penguin Matt Cooke is making a lot of news - but for once it appears to be for the right reasons. After performing a "first puck" opener at a minor league baseball game, he talked about his desire to change his game - caused partially by the introspection of his wife dealing with a serious illness during last season and his suspension. PHT also offers their commentary, hoping for a change, but concerned the damage has already been done. In my opinion, I sincerely hope this is a change for Mr. Cooke. I hope that he will realize the danger he has put fellow players in, and work to not only fix his game, but to better police his peers.
But that still won't magically take Marc Savard's concussion away, or magically erase the sick feeling of watching him slam Fedor Tyutin dangerously into the boards.
Matt Cooke was given a second chance, a third chance, and a fourth chance. He's saying the right things now. I do believe that he's sincere. But if he returns to his old habits, especially after making the public statements that he's going in a different direction, it's time for him to be shown the door by the NHL.
On to happier news: The Oshawa Generals have named Jackets' 2011 2nd round pick Boone Jenner their new captain. The Miami University ice hockey team will also be announcing their new captains later today on twitter - expect Will Weber to be one of them.
Puck Daddy has another great Pavel Lysenkov interview, this time with Sergei Bobrovsky, discussing his wedding, the offseason, and the Jeff Carter / Mike Richards trade, among other things.
Real GM Hockey has their central division preview up, including the Jackets. It's a fair look at the potential for the team.
Following the loss of Rick Rypien, the Canucks are looking at finding ways to spread awareness about depression.
Over at The Hockey Writers, Darren Coslov has a nice profile of Mark Dekanich.
Turns out the bottles on the bench may say "Gatorade", but they're most likely filled with something new called BioSteel. If that name sounds familiar, it's because one of the guys using it (and training at their pre-season pro camps) is Steve Mason.
DBJ weighs in on FanFest from a Cannonfest perspective. I agree with him for the most part, except for the "If the Jackets had done this last year, there might not have been a Cannonfest" part. I think that the fan community coming together outside of team organized events is just as fun and important as anything arranged and sponsored by the team.
We joke a lot about golfing in the NHL, but Justin Bourne makes an excellent argument for how it can improve your on ice game.
Finally, a former Jackets slugfest from the KHL, as Jon Mirasty takes on Alexander Svitov in a pre-season tilt.
(Mirasty's the guy in the white, Svitov in the green.)
Take it slow - we'll be around later to see how it's going.