Sorry for the absence, everybody. Was there any big news the last couple weeks?
Well, we have flipped the calendar to November (hello, darkness at 5:30 p.m.) and in doing so, said goodbye to the worst month of CBJ hockey. Ever. The team right now is out in California on a west coast swing - and wow, I do not miss being in the Western Conference. Shout out to all you fans who stayed up for those late night games from 2000-2013, especially if you had kids to get to school in the morning and/or work at 8 a.m. (or earlier).
[EDIT from Dan P.]
I asked Eric if I could add something to his Cannon Blasts, and then I totally bricked on getting it to him in time for publication. And now, I'm comandeering some prime real estate. Call it "pulling rank" at The Cannon, I guess. At any rate...
It's November, and as you probably know that usually means it's time for crazy mustaches all around the NHL. #Movember became a thing a few years ago as a means of bringing attention to prostate and testicular cancers as well as general men's health issues. I did a mustache in 2013 (it was brutal, believe me) and I did a beard most of last November (until a close friend's special event prompted pictures and I shaved 19 days in). I did those mostly for kitsch.
Not this year.
This spring, my dad found out he has Stage 3B prostate cancer. The good news is that he found this out through a routine screening. And because of that, it was caught before it had spread anywhere else. He had rather aggressive surgery in June, and has recovered from that procedure quite well. There are still pre-cancerous cells in his body, but so far they haven't reared their ugly heads. That said, radiation is most likely still in his not-too-distant future.
I tell all of you this because it's important for men of a certain age (40+) to get ROUTINE, REGULAR SCREENINGS. Doing so enables you to catch this shit early and have as good a prognosis as my dad now has, even given the advanced nature of his cancer cells. So, if you're 40 or older GET SCREENED REGULARLY.
With all of that on the table, I'm again doing a Novem-beard this year, but I'm raising money to go with it. As of right now, you can make a donation via my #Movember page here. I set a rather modest goal to raise $500, and my contribution will be 10% of whatever my friends and family donate. So, if we get up to $1000, my personal donation jumps to $100, and so on. So, I'm politely asking you all to consider donating a little bit of money. Every little bit helps, but please DON'T feel obligated under any circumstances. I just know that, after my dad's experience, I want to do every little bit to help make sure that everyone else has the resources to catch it early if they have it.
I'll post updated pictures of my beard (spoiler alert: it will be patchy and hilariously bad) throughout the month, so at least you've got that going for you. Thanks for reading, and for any consideration. You may now return to hockey reading.
With that, let's get to a bevy of links for your reading pleasure (or, perhaps more likely right now - your misery):
- We start off in slight trolling mode - Take a look at an early ranking of the 2016 draft prospects.
- In exciting news for Columbus area residents - the team announced the return of the Winter Park and outdoor rink to McFerson Park (same location as last year). I thought after last year that an outdoor rink would be a really cool thing to have in Cbus - either at McFerson or the Columbus Commons. The club and its corporate partners agreed and we will see a setup very similar to last year's rink and outdoor park - it is scheduled to be open from January 22 through February 21.
- On that note - the 5th line 5k is also returning.
- In more off ice news - Scott Hartnell and Jody Shelley will be hosting the HA HA HArtnell Down Comedy Fundraising Event on November 14.
- 2015 Military Appreciation Night will be on November 10, when the Jackets host the Canucks.
- Sad Power Rankings via ESPN - "This market deserves so much better, a loyal fan base that has seen so much disappointment for so long. It's sad."
- USA Today's Kevin Allen on the John Tortorella hiring.
- Also on Torts - Joe McDonald of ESPN writes about the changes the new Jackets coach has gone through.
- A look at fantasy hockey rankings for the rest of the season.
- It sounds like John Tavares has a similar mystery illness to Ryan Johansen's.
- Shout out to Scott Tennant (@Scott_Tennant) who has been updating you (us? the world?) on the Lake Erie Monsters this season. His coverage here has been excellent!
- Staying on our AHL theme - If you're here and a big LEM fan and want to read even more on the Monsters - Rob Mixer provided a nice summary on the season so far by the lake. As Scott has talked about here, Kerby Rychel is killing it and both goalies are playing well right now.
- At least one writer thinks the Jackets should NOT trade Rychel.
- He does not, though, make The Hockey Writer's list of "untouchables" for the CBJ.
- Ryan Murray did not sound pleased with the home crowd last week.
- Some really interesting stats here from Behind the Net. If you filter to the D, you'll see Murray and Goloubef are actually "plus" players at even strength per 60 minutes. Dubi is a net zero and everyone else is negative (this was prior to last night's win in San Jose).
- Lastly, we have updated odds via Bovada. The Jackets have slipped to 66-1 to win the Cup. They are 33-1 to win both the Eastern Conference and Metro Division. All individuals on the CBJ are off the board for any major awards.