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Shrapnel - 7/1/12

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In an hour and a half, the craziness begins.

As we wait for the official start of free agency, Backhand Shelf looks at a few hidden gems, while highly touted college defensive prospect Justin Schultz made the decision to go to Edmonton, but has he set unrealistic expectations after the media circus around his decision? (Hint: YES.)

Over at Martini Hockey, the series of letters continues with a missive to Rick Nash, Union Blue has a nice free agency primer, Burnside Carbine brings a few UFA suggestions of his own, and a newcomer at Jackets Peanut Gallery is just happy the whole Nash saga is going to be over soon.

Back to BSH, there's a nice primer for general managers, while Icethetics gives a neat history of the NHL's current set of team logos.

At Puck-Rakers, Portzline put up some summer scuttlebutt plus the new Jared Boll and Nick Holden contracts. Speaking of which, DBJ isn't happy at all with the "reshaping" as it stands, given that it's mostly been bringing back the same players at different salaries. On the one hand, I agree that I expected a lot more from the promised "big changes", but I remain patient - the biggest piece of the puzzle is still missing. Will a Nash trade change everything? No, but I suspect we'll see a lot of ripples after that stone hits the pond.

Oh, and before I forget...Happy Canada Day!