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FlightZone: Auston Matthews Really Wants to Turn 18

The (hopefully) future Arizona Coyote can't play until his 18th birthday on September 17th.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

As per ESPN, ZSC Lions head coach Marc Crawford is quite happy with young North American forward Auston Matthews, even before he's allowed to play a single game.

It's important to note that Matthews is not living in isolation over in Europe. Aside from living with his mom and sister, "Crawford and some of his coaching staff live in a condo across the street. Former NHLers Dan Fritsche and Ryan Shannon live next to and above the Matthews family, respectively, while defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron is around the corner." They may be former NHLers, but that's not a bad list of folks to be rubbing shoulders with.

He also gets to experience bus trips through postcards such as this:

And now, your AIH News at Noon.

Central Division

Tomas Kopecky would very much like a reunion with the Chicago Blackhawks and head coach Joel Quenneville. They could do worse in terms of bottom-of-the-roster depth, but there's just one problem: "The Blackhawks have about $230,000 in cap space with restricted free agent Marcus Kruger still unsigned." (The Score)

While he hasn't made a final decision on his playing career, Stanley Cup winner and again-former Chicago Blackhawks forward Dan Carcillo sounds at peace with retirement. A large part of that is the downright necessary initiative he's started in Chapter 5, "a non-profit organization aimed at helping NHL players after their careers end." Good on that crazy Car Bomb. (The Score)

Corey Abbott starts into the Central Division in his 2015-16 preview series. He also isn't sold on the Allen/Elliott tandem, though considering the fantasy hockey subtext, I might have expected Dmitrij Jaskin to garner a sleeper pick mention among the Blues forward corps. (Rotoworld)

Are the St. Louis Blues completely insane? I'd argue not: let's see if Jake Allen further develops, Hitchcock evolves, Paul Stastny steps up, and the Jaskin and Rattie show are ordered for a full season. Easy as pie. (The Hockey News)

It's Winnipeg Jets day on ProHockeyTalk. At the very least, there's no way we can hate their articles more than that J.J. Regan Season Preview, right? They start things off on a good note: "Using the term 'close sweep' might start a brawl at the wrong Winnipeg bar, yet it feels like a reasonable depiction of the Jets’ first-round exit." (PHT)

And All The Rest

Here's an interesting angle to the ads on jerseys kerfuffle: "...what would happen if a player had a personal endorsement that conflicted with an advertiser selected by his team or the league? Sidney Crosby, for example, has a deal with Gatorade. Would a league deal with Powerade supercede that?" (Sports Illustrated)

While the Detroit Red Wings are reportedly okay with keeping Jimmy Howard this season, it's probably not an ideal situation. With Petr Mrazek already in the system, the Howard contract was a bad one from the moment it was signed, if only because it was 2-3 years too long. (The Hockey News)

Taylor Hall and Connor McDavid have already started on the chemistry building, winning the BioSteel Cup while playing together on Team Cammalleri. My favorite quote from Hall on McDavid: "He seems to glide faster than most guys skate in full speed." (ESPN)

Montreal's reliance on Carey Price is one of the great narratives going into 2015-16. When scoring two or fewer goals, the Canadiens' record was 14-20-6 with a points percentage of .425, whereas league average was .271. Which coaches of interest are currently available, again? (CBS Sports)

Senators defenceman Chris Phillips is determined to continue being a boat anchor for Ottawa's d-corps. I'm sure Sens fans are thrilled. (Ottawa Sun)

Somewhere, in an alternate universe, Sidney Crosby is the best goaltender in the world. (CBS Sports)

I'm not a big fan of selecting goaltenders high in the draft, but Andrei Vasilevskiy makes a pretty good case for it still being a good idea on occasion. The way GM Steve Yzerman has deftly managed the Ben Bishop contract situation, Tampa Bay won't be in an unpleasant situation should Vasilevskiy supplant him. With all due respect to Ken Holland, the learner has become the master. (Sports Illustrated)

Unsurprisingly enough, Mike Babcock is a selling point for UFAs looking at Toronto. I wonder what return the Leafs will get for Shawn Matthias at the deadline. (NHL)

Sticking with Shawn Matthias, I would be remiss if I failed to mention how he twice went bungee jumping and skydiving while still a free agent this offseason. Not having an NHL team yelling at you not to do things has its perks. (Sportsnet)

And finally, Vancouver GM Jim Benning is okay "if we take a little bit of a step back in the regular season to make our team better in the playoffs". Could somebody please remind him that you need to make the playoffs before being better in them? At least their prospect pipeline isn't a completely barren wasteland. (NHL)

Thanks for reading!