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Cannon Blasts: Training Camp begins

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The Jackets get back to work

NHL: SEP 11 Blue Jackets Media Day Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome to the preseason! The Columbus Blue Jackets went though conditioning tests on Thursday and Friday and scrimmages this weekend, then will suit up for their first preseason game on Tuesday at home against the Sabres. Here’s the schedule of games over the next week:

Tuesday, September 17 at 7:00 PM vs. Buffalo
Thursday, September 19 at 7:00 PM at Pittsburgh
Saturday, September 21 at 2:00 PM vs. Pittsburgh
Sunday, September 22 at 3:30 PM at St. Louis

There should be video streams of at least the home games. We’ll be sure to include that information in your preview/gamethread posts for each game. We’ll also have recaps of each one in case you miss any of the action.

At every position there is juggling for roster spots and playing time. We broke down each one last week:

Centers
Defense
Wings
Goalies

The battles began with some open scrimmages on Saturday in front of a standing-room only crowd at the Ice Haus. Here is the full stream:

Jeff Svoboda has recaps of Saturday and Sunday over at the team site. One line that has stood out is the Gustav Nyquist/Alexander Wennberg/Oliver BJORKSTRAND line. It’s too early to read anything into that, but it sure beats the alternative.

More Blue Jackets links

Our long regional nightmare ended just in time, with restricted free agent Zach Werenski signing a new three year contract. He will be an RFA again at the end of the contract, and it ends in the same offseason as his defensive partner Seth Jones.

Before camp started, GM Jarmo Kekalainen and coach John Tortorella met with the media:

While the hockey analytics community was in Rochester for a major annual gathering, the Blue Jackets announced their own analytics conference, which will be held in early February.

The Blue Jackets finished in third place at the Traverse City prospects tournament. Alexandre Texier was the standout player for Columbus, centering the top line. Both goalies got their first taste of playing on North American ice, but each made some impressive saves as well.

Columbus Dispatch reporter Brian Hedger joined the gang for last week’s episode of The Cannon Cast.

Elaine ranked the Cleveland Monsters promotional giveaways; Ryan recalled the greatest moment of smacktalking in CBJ history; Will is just happy that the talk is over and hockey is back.

Around the League

Nashville Predators center Matt Duchene was interviewed by ESPN. I was reluctant to read it, but he says more nice things about Columbus than he had to, and he sounds sincere about enjoying his time here.

Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore was diagnosed with testicular cancer this summer thanks to a flagged drug test at the world championships. Read his first person account at The Players’ Tribune. His surgery was successful and he will be playing again soon.

After a summer of many unsigned RFAs, the first giant domino fell with Mitch Marner finally reaching an agreement with the Toronto Maple Leaves on a six year, $10.893 AAV contract. Pension Plan Puppets breaks down the details here. Other prominent RFA forwards including Brayden Point, Mikko Rantanen, Matthew Tkachuk, Brock Boeser, Patrik Laine, and Kyle Connor remain unsigned as of this writing.

On the defensive side, following Werenski’s deal, Charlie McAvoy of the Bruins signed a bridge deal with very similar terms.

Speaking of RFA defensemen, Julius Honka of the Dallas Stars has requested a trade.

Play Me Out

I thought I’d start ending this article each week by featuring a music clip that catches my ear. Let’s begin by honoring the Cars frontman Ric Ocasek, who passed yesterday. He attended high school in Cleveland and began his music career in Columbus in the late 60s.