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FlightZone: Time to Cheer for USA Hockey

I may find myself rooting for a Ron Wilson-led team. Thanks Chevy.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Cheveldayoff has given Jets fans a reason to cheer for the stars and stripes come 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, with Kyle Connor, Jack Roslovic and Erik Foley all attending USA Hockey’s National Junior Team Evaluation Camp.

From the way things sound, FlightZones may become a play-by-play Twitter feed of all the important bits:

Finally, you'll be happy to know that any and all Roslovic-related misgivings can be put aside. He's a playmaker, confirmed:

And now, your lazy Sunday news.

Central Division

Duncan Keith's name has now joined teammates Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on the Conn Smythe Trophy. That's your three Blackhawks statues from this current era right there, plus possibly Joel Quenneville:

Our Colorado frenemies would like to add a winger to their top-six mixture, but don't see much remaining at the free agent market other than possibly Jiri Tlusty. There's a few more options than just Tlusty still available, but not many. (Mile High Sticking)

As it applies to hockey, Jim Nill's Stars are set to test that NFL adage of "if you have two starting quarterbacks, you don't have one." Having a capable backup is of incredible importance, but the lack of a definitive starter come playoff time still makes for a bad look. Then again, the alternative Dallas faces is, 'If you have everything but goaltending, you have nothing at all', something Jets fans may be mildly familiar with. (Dallas Morning News)

Speaking of Dallas, our Texan friends provide a multitude of reasons why doubling down on the team's offensive strength was a smart move. With players such as Brad Boyes and Mike Santorelli still available, it's just a shame their current roster and cap situation will probably keep them from enhancing the forward corps further. (Defending Big D)

The Minnesota Wild will be well-represented among the nations gathering at Lake Placid for the August National Junior Evaluation Camp this week. Americans Alex TuchLouis Belpedio and Jordan Greenway, plus Swede Joel Eriksson-Ek and Finn Kaapo Kähkönen constitute their contribution. I'm wildly curious to see both what Ron Wilson's Team USA will look like come December and how well they'll do. (Wild Xtra)

It's time for your Ryan Lambert take on the whole trading Shea Weber conversation. "While no one is saying Weber isn't still very good, it's clear that his best years are almost behind him" encompasses much of the pro-trade folks' animus, but here's the real takeaway from his article: "No one over the age of 28 should be untouchable in the right circumstances." (Yahoo! Sports)

St. Louis Blues chairman Tom Stillman sounds like he's happy with the team's Jake Allen / Brian Elliott tandem. Any readers picking them to get over the hump and go the distance this season? Anyone? (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

In case you missed it, Episode 3 of the AIH Superfans Podcast is ready for its adoring public. Here's a heads up: Producer @sliiiiip gets to use that flaming effect on the soundboard again. (Podomatic)

And All The Rest

Hockey Canada's holding their national junior team summer development camp too, I suppose. (Winnipeg Sun)

The defence and Evander Kane may be rolls of the dice for Sabres GM Tim Murray, but banking on Robin Lehner becoming a starter strikes me as the riskiest gamble. (NHL)

The Carolina Hurricanes are in the intriguing position of having Eric Staal and Cam Ward (finally) entering the last year of their respective deals. An interesting way of framing things: in the event they are both re-signed to a lower dollar amount, "the two new deals may create about $2 million, which would essentially offset the buyout cost of Alexander Semin". (The Hockey Writers)

"The Florida Panthers are going all bilingual this season" is one of the most delightful things I've read all offseason. All 41 Panthers home games are slated to be broadcast in Spanish by 1210 ESPN Deportes, which seems like a great way to potentially bring new fans into the fold. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

Despite being in the midst of a rebuild, Cory Schneider sounds happy to continue being the guy for New Jersey. One gets the feeling that whole Vancouver experience showed him the value of having a definitive starting gig in the NHL. (NJ.com)

I'm not sure how I expected to reintroduce former Leafs forward Sergei Berezin into my life, but this probably wasn't it: "Florida’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit said Sergei Berezin and his wife paid a Boca Raton-based company called American Advisory Associates to obtain Medicaid and food stamp benefits they were unqualified and ineligible for." (WPBF)

Pavel Zacha's lack of an entry-level contract is becoming problematic. It's now led to Zacha opting out of the Czech Republic's 2016 world junior team evaluation camp as an injury precaution, which probably won't hurt his ability to make the team but doesn't look great for anyone. (Fire and Ice)

Flyers GM Ron Hextall appears to be drawing the contract extension line at Brayden Schenn, at least for the time being. I'm sure that won't fuel the rumour mill at all. (CSN Philly)

The Washington Capitals have signed 2015 draft selection Jonas Siegenthaler to his entry-level contract. He's one of those cases where don't be fooled by point totals the past couple of seasons; playing in a European adult league as a teenager does that sometimes. (Washington Post)

And finally, it sounds like a key part of Ron Wilson's preliminary team assessment is that "The one thing we can do especially well is skate". But more importantly, Wilson has never before visited the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center and I presume it's because he hates America. (NHL)


Thanks for reading! Be sure to say in the Comments section below whether you'll bring yourself to cheer for Team USA should any or all of our three Americans make the team.