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FlightZone: Into the Grizzly Maze

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You're a legend in the eyes of those who live on #fancystats. That's why you'll have to handle playing with Drew Stafford. Put those KHL years behind you, and return as Alexander Burmistrov. Now go! Let the legend come back to life.

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, fans of all ages: it's gameday. Winnipeg v. Boston, live on pay-per-view TSN3 at 7:00 PM. Ondrej Pavelec starting, Nicolas Petan and Nikolaj Ehlers making their NHL debuts, everything else likely as expected, let's get this show on the road. #GoJetsGo

On the other side, no Zdeno Chara and no Dougie Hamilton make Boston's d-corps something something:

Look, I like Torey Krug, Matt Irwin and Zach Trotman, I really do. But seeing that Bruins' defence gives me a devilish grin.

And now the news.

Winnipeg Jets

  • The Oct. 7 edition of Dan Rosen's weekly mailbag certainly was an interesting one. In addition to discussion of waiver surprises, goalies and the St. Louis Blues mini-youth movement, Dustin Byfuglien came up as a potential Pittsburgh Penguins target, with "forwards David Perron and Beau Bennett being floated in trade talks, especially if rookie forward Daniel Sprong proves he's the real deal". Couldn't we just get Daniel Sprong instead? Oh alright, fine, you twisted my arm. We'll settle for Derrick Pouliot. Shout-out to che.tulane for posting this link in the previous FZ's comments section. Sometimes, it takes a village to write a FlightZone. (Over the Boards)
  • Another day, another Winnipeg Jets season preview. Brace yourself, dear reader: the uncertainty surrounding Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien is a bit of an elephant in the room. (CBC)
  • Speaking of Andrew Ladd, here are some reassuring contract negotiation-related tweets:

  • Ted Wyman also helped shed some light on the Thomas Raffl situation moving forward. This still doesn't explain the one-way nature of his contract, but the Winnipeg Jets have unlimited financial resources so I'm sure it's fine:

  • Our good friend Patrick Williams will be wearing two hats this year, writing a weekly AHL news & notes column which will run every Tuesday on NHL.com, in addition to his big league duties. For those on Twitter, be sure to give both his NHL (@pwilliamsNHL) and AHL (@pwilliamsahl) handles a follow:

  • Last and certainly not least! @sliiiiip and I present to you Episode 3 of the AIH 20416 Podcast, featuring Travis Hughes (@TravisSBN), "founder and editor of Broad Street Hockey, the manager of SB Nation's 30+ hockey blogs, and the editor of hockey coverage at SBNation.com". In other words, our boss' boss. We use and abuse his treasure trove of knowledge to present our own NHL Season Preview show, division by division. Listen on CyberEars and iTunes, as we all give our Stanley Cup predictions and I desperately try not to get myself fired!

Central Division

  • The St. Louis Blues have been a land of opportunity not only for young players such as Robby Fabbri, Colton Parayko and Joel Edmundson, but for grizzled veterans as well. After bringing aboard Scottie Upshall, the Blues have also signed Scott Gomez to a one-year, two-way contract worth $575,000 + bonuses at the NHL level. Wait, you mean youth and cheap vets aren't mutually exclusive? (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

  • Keeping with St. Louis and Scott Gomez, Jared Clinton takes a closer look at how this might be a savvy signing for the Blues. On a deep St. Louis forward corps where he won't be asked beyond his means, Gomez is cheap, relatively productive veteran depth. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. (The Hockey News)
  • An excellent list from Tim Cowlishaw of five things to watch for in 2015-16, with a Dallas Stars focus. My favourite couple of lines, slightly reorganized: "Stars GM Jim Nill always wins the off-season...It's time to win the regular season." (Dallas Morning News)
  • Between Jordie Benn, Jason Demers and especially Alex Goligoski, the Stars' blueline has three pending UFA questions that need answering. Alex Goligoski should be a very desireable defenceman if he hits the market, and playing 2015-16 alongside Swedish revelation John Klingberg probably won't hurt his season. (The Hockey Writers)
  • Ken Paul Klee talks about how despite his legendary status, for Colorado Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy and his squad, "Clock's ticking. It's time to break out." Should the Avs stumble to a much-predicted last place finish in the Central, it will be fascinating to see exactly how long Roy's leash is. (The Gazette)
  • The Chicago Blackhawks fell 3-2 to the New York Rangers, but the loss was mitigated somewhat by a stellar NHL debut by Artemi Panarin. Calder Trophy speculators, hedge your bets now. (CSN Chicago)

And All The Rest

  • Stop me if you've heard this before: Buffalo Sabres defenceman Zach Bogosian is on injured reserve. If this in any way, shape or form means more minutes for Josh Gorges and Mike Weber, the Sabres are in trouble. (Buffalo News)
  • Curtis Glencross is at home in Alberta, uncertain of what's next in his hockey career, though "he likely wouldn’t consider the KHL or AHL as options and will continue skating with hopes another NHL team may come calling". In retrospect, maybe he should have sought out a PTO with St. Louis or New Jersey. (Calgary Sun)
  • It will be a season of change for Ottawa Senators defenceman Mark Borowiecki, who will be playing with both a new partner in Jared Cowen and on the right instead of his usual left. I'm sure Sens fans are really looking forward to seeing this third pairing in action. (Ottawa Citizen)
  • Sticking with the Senators, head coach Dave Cameron wants to see more from $7.25 million dollar man Bobby Ryan. 18 goals and 54 points was a bit underwhelming, wasn't it? (Ottawa Citizen)
  • In my alternate reality, Daniel Sprong is one of the Boston Bruins' three first round picks in 2015. Instead, he's set to make his NHL debut for the Pittsburgh Penguins after falling to the 46th overall selection. Considering the Pittsburgh Penguins only had four picks in June's draft, it would be nice for the organization if Sprong was a home-run. (The Hockey News)

  • As stipulated in @KitKat_P's AIH Superfans contract, here is your mandatory Philadelphia Flyers update: it turns out Luke Schenn will draw into the lineup after all, replacing Radko Gudas. Can their d-corps of Medvedev-Schenn, Streit-Schultz and Manning-Del Zotto hold up against the rigors of the NHL? In other news, I wonder how much the Flyers will get for Mark Streit at the trade deadline. (Philly.com)
  • FlightZones will avoid being box score results of the previous day's games, but I did want to mention the San Jose Sharks' 5-1 victory over Los Angeles. Between a new coach, new starting goaltender and free agent additions at key positions, I wonder if we're all underestimating the boys in teal heading into 2015-16. Joonas Donskoi also scored in his NHL debut, which is always a feel-good story. (Fear The Fin)
  • Speaking of underestimating, I think most everyone underestimated how long Raffi Torres would be suspended. But despite the hefty 41 game length, he will reportedly not appeal the suspension. Maybe he can take the next few months to work on his golf game. (CSN Bay Area)
  • Your final bit of Sharks news is this heartwarming tale of doing a teammate a solid. After being drafted ninth overall by the San Jose Sharks, Timo Meier helped arrange for Halifax Mooseheads defenceman Cavan Fitzgerald to attend the team's rookie camp. The result? Yesterday the Sharks announced their signing of the undrafted defenceman to an ELC. In other news, Cavan Fitzgerald is a LHD. Sure glad the Winnipeg Jets don't need more of those in the system. (ProHockeyTalk)
  • Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock issued (and won) the first coach's challenge in NHL history, because of course he did. It was a pretty cool moment which enabled the right call to be made, and might have served as the best possible sales pitch for this new mechanism. In addition, the coach's challenge seemed to have a very tangible impact on the game's momentum, which is a conversation sure to be had throughout the season. (NHL Situation Room)

  • The hockey world was astounded yesterday at what appeared to be a competent Toronto Maple Leafs squad, despite the loss. Winnipeg Jets fans have some appreciation for the difference a coaching change can make. (ProHockeyTalk)
  • Hopefully this is the last time I post a trio of Leafs-related items, but have a looksie at this Tommy Salo-esque goal which even Ondrej Pavelec would think a bit soft:

  • Jason Botchford and Ben Kuzma debate whether the Vancouver Canucks will be a dumpster fire or a pleasant surprise. They may have smashed the Calgary Flames yesterday 5-1, but I remain skeptical of any team whose fourth line features Derek Dorsett and Brandon Prust. I eagerly await for the house that Jim Benning built to make me eat my words. (The Province)
  • And finally, other than Episode 3 of the AIH 20416 Podcast, the most important takeaway you could have:


Thanks for reading, and don't forget to follow @AIH20416 on Twitter! #ShamlessPlugsAreShameless