- We're going to start today's Cannon Blasts on a positive note. The prospects beat up on St. Louis in Traverse City yesterday in a 7-2 victory, going 3-0 in the Gordie Howe Division of the tournament. The offensive skill has been on full display as the team has scored 17 goals over the three games thus far. That's with Sonny Milano going down early in the tournament due to an orbital bone fracture (sadly, a Milano - Wennberg - Bjorkstrand line never came to fruition).
- The prospects will take on the Dallas Stars team tonight (7:30 I believe) for the championship. The Blue Jackets last won this tournament in 2006 as repeat champions. Hockey's Future had a review of all the teams there through the first couple games. The Union Blue's CBJProspects has been all over the tournament on their site and on Twitter (@CBJProspects). It would seem in every game, both Dansk and Forsberg started out shaky in goal, but then settled down as the game wore on. Multiple lines have gotten in on the scoring action, most notably Josh Anderson, Kerby Rychel, Marko Dano, Oliver Bjorkstrand, and TJ Tynan. We will see tonight if the team can earn the championship against what appears to be an equally-deep Dallas Stars team of prospects.
- Ok, on to the news that, well, isn't so good. As Matt posted last night, Jarmo has taken his hardest stance yet in the Johansen negotiations, going public with some scathing comments in the Dispatch. Joe Yerdon (SBNation) says the Blue Jackets need to start seeing it from Johansen's point of view (although all the leverage in the current CBA gives the team the upper hand in this stand off). Jarmo set a fairly hard deadline for Thursday, a "Decision Day" if you will. It's clear he doesn't want to deal with a holdout and contract negotiations after camp has started. They feel they're deep enough at center to move on through the preseason without him, but missing your top offensive player will certainly hurt.
- I missed this last week, but The Hockey News had a breakdown of most of the current RFA situations (those RFAs still without a contract, that is). Elliotte Friedman (SportsNet) has some thoughts on the new rules and summer news, including a few points on the Johansen situation.
- A late addition to the Cannon Blasts - Aaron Portzline is tweeting on the RyJo negotiations. Apparently, the front office is willing to listen to a long-term deal. Perhaps this change in their stance is a sign a deal could be coming? Who knows. This thing is dripping with drama, that's for sure.
- Are you active on #SocialMedia? It can be hard to keep up with all of the different platforms now, but give it a try on Thursday - in the Blue Jackets (and NHL's?) first ever #SocialMediaDay. The correct hashtag is actually #CBJSMDay. Interact with players, Jody Shelley, Bob McElligott (side bar - what happened to #CBJin30?) and more on Thursday on Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Facebook, etc. It all kicks off at 9 AM and then there's a livestream at noon with the players. This will be a pretty neat way to kick off camp and gives you an opportunity to interact with the players and coaches.
That's it for Cannon Blasts today. It could/should be a tense 48-72 hours trying to get a contract signed. The prospects can distract you tonight (no live feed, but you can follow along on Twitter perhaps?). And camp gets underway in just a couple of days, but will The Johan be there? Drama, indeed.