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Cannon Blasts - August 7, 2015

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Another rare offseason edition of Cannon Blasts is here, covering all the latest on the CBJ and the NHL.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Coming out of hibernation again, it's time for another offseason edition of Cannon Blasts.  Let's take a look at some of the top headlines from the last few weeks.

  • If you will recall from the last edition of Cannon Blasts a few weeks back, we were looking to be contacted by Nicky1992, the winner of our Bracket Challenge.  I have received no such contact, and I'm going to go ahead and aware the prize (read: Scott Hartnell photo) to Josh Owen.  Feel free to email me or DM on twitter, Josh.
  • Check out AprilFools' fanshot over here discussing Yahoo's "Top 25" at every position.  Hint: There are Jackets all over except on defense.
  • Las Vegas and Quebec City are moving on to Phase II of the expansion process.  All phases are expected to be completed by September 4th.
  • The Hockey Writers took a detailed look at Columbus v.s. Pittsburgh and potential matchups this upcoming season.  Overall, they gave a slight edge to the Pens, but after reading that is anyone building up some confidence for the season? I know I am.
  • CONFIRMED - Zach Werenski will head back to the University of Michigan for his sophomore season.  Werenski scored the OT game-winner against Finland at the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp.  Not in the article - Sonny Milano had the game-tying goal.  Blue Jackets prospects, they're everywhere.
  • Speaking of prospects, Oliver LeBlanc is at Junior Camp for the Canadian National Under-20 team.  He has a chance to make the team for the 2016 World Juniors.
  • New to the CBJ website - Contract Tracker.  Not included: AAV of contracts.
  • Union and Blue's John Gove has four predictions for 2015-2016.
  • With the acquisition of Brandon Saad and new raises kicking in for Bobrovsky, Dubinsky, and Foligno, the Blue Jackets are very close to the salary cap.  With all of the spending, expectations have never been higher for the franchise.  There is a lot of chatter locally and nationally about the team needing to produce results with all of the hefty contracts.
  • On that note, Christian Ehrhoff is still mulling over an offer to play for Columbus.  We've discussed here at The Cannon, but the Jackets are very tight on cap space, especially if potential bonuses force an overage into next season.  Time will tell if Ehrhoff is willing to take a lower contract for one season with the CBJ (or perhaps another team).
  • Kole Sherwood is foregoing college and will head to London.
  • Ryan Murray spoke with NHL.com about his injuries, moving forward, and what the team is expecting next season.
  • Ryan Johansen has a pretty sick backyard setup.
We're just five weeks away from the Traverse City Tournament, folks.  Don't forget Cannonfest either!