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FlightZone: The Continuing Saga of Blackhawks Celebrating

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What happened to the days when a baby could poop in the Cup in peace.

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

All right, let's get this out of the way. Everybody loves Kimmo, who finally has something to hang all of his medals on:

But I don't think I expected Kimmo to be quite this beloved:

So long Kimmo, farewell.

And now the news.

Central Division

Our friends at Second City Hockey have a rundown of highlights from the Blackhawks Fan Convention, including the time Patrick Kane confessed to being distracted by Taylor Swift. No, seriously. (SCH)

Mikhail Grigorenko's development was so bungled by Buffalo that I don't think we have any idea what he'll be for the Avalanche. To say he needed a fresh start is putting it mildly; the fact that he's together again with Patrick Roy is just icing on the cake. (Denver Post)

This post may only list four reasons instead of the headline's stated five, but the point about the Stars having an excellent offseason remains. Though it frankly could have repeated "The goaltending can't get any worse" five times and I would have been fairly convinced. (The Hockey Writers)

Is Sergei Zubov having more career points than Scott Niedermayer as big a surprise to you as it was to me? On a side note, I wonder if anybody ever called Zubov enigmatic. (ESPN)

Dan Rosen reiterates his bold prediction from last week that the Minnesota Wild will win the Central. I'm just left shaking my head at the forthcoming divisional bloodbath. (NHL)

Our St. Louis frenemies have begun to speculate over who the Blues would protect in an Expansion Draft. From a Winnipeg perspective, I think we all look forward to safeguarding Ondřej Pavelec and Mark Stuart. (Bleedin' Blue)

In case you haven't been keeping up with Cole's Notes, here's a quick Central Division version for you, complete with lightning round analysis. "The Jets should hover around the Western Conference playoff picture" is the most upbeat way of saying we'll finish 8th-10th I've read in a while. (The Tennessean)

And All The Rest

In today's surprise, a hockey analytics writer found the old maxim of defensively leaning on your veterans to be less-than-impervious. It's not a doctoral thesis, just a few general observations and thoughts following from them. My favourite quote, and one which may appeal to eye-test folks: "The veteran hockey player may know where to be, but he may not always get there." (TSN)

Zac Rinaldo doesn't plan on getting suspended or taking stupid penalties. I don't plan on getting irrationally angry at my television during hockey games, but it's going to happen. (ProHockeyTalk)

The Calgary Flames and Lance Bouma are wrangling (see what I did there?) over the $1 million difference between them. Though at least they took their time to talk things through:

Between Mathew Barzal, Anthony Beauvillier, Joshua Ho-Sang and Michael Dal Colle, the Islanders sure will be representing at this summer's Canada national junior team development camp. There isn't a Jet to be seen, because Chevy clearly hates good Canadian boys. (NHL)

If term is important to Cody Franson, the question becomes how low he's financially willing to go in order to secure it. Which is perhaps a sensible course of action regardless, given how circumstances would seem to preclude Andrej Sekera-type money at this point. (Yahoo! Sports)

There was a time this offseason when it seemed Los Angeles would receive a brief respite from salary cap hell. And then we all remembered Anze Kopitar needs to be re-signed. (Yahoo! Sports)

Andrew Gross seems pretty firm in the belief that Martin St. Louis is a Hall of Famer. **Insert joke about the bar not being especially high**. (NorthJersey.com)

The Penguins are being patient with the AHL's reigning Best Goaltender Matt Murray, and as they should be: not only is he a 21 year old coming off of his first professional season, but they've got Marc-Andre Fleury locked up until their window closes anyways. At this stage, it's better for Murray to rack up starts than ride the pine with the big club. (Pens Labyrinth)

Everybody's having a turn at calling Markham, Ontario out on their missed expansion opportunity. Meanwhile, with only so much disposable income to go around, the Blue Jays are breathing a sigh of relief. (Sportsnet)

On paper, Connor Carrick looks like he'll be hard-pressed to make the Caps' opening night roster, but on paper Dmitry Orlov still has a wrist. (Washington Post)

And finally, with Quebec City in a surprisingly good position to receive Nordiques 2.0, TSN saw fit to post this video of when Ottawa and Tampa Bay won their expansion bids in 1990. It's a pretty cool blast from the past, though let's try not to dwell upon how much of our readership wasn't yet born when this segment aired. (TSN)


Thanks for reading! Be sure to say in the Comments section below who you would protect in an Expansion Draft, according to the ruleset found in the Bleedin' Blue article.