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FlightZone: Adam Lowry Gives Connolly a Smile

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"We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do."

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Our very own Adam Lowry gave 10 year old Winnipeg Jets fan Connolly a signed stick, and more importantly, a smile. The gift was made all the more meaningful because at the moment, Connolly can't play hockey for fear of hitting his head or spine. He "has recently been diagnosed with hydrocephalus (excess fluid on the brain), syringomyelia (fluid-filled cavity within the spinal cord) and doctors are quite certain he also has neurofibromatosis (NF) type 1". Surgery is scheduled for September 22nd.

His family started a GoFundMe campaign to help raise donations for the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation, and have nearly hit their goal of $3,500. If you would like to read more about Connolly's story and possibly donate to a good cause, click the link here or in the embedded Tweet below.

And now, the AIH News at Noon.

Central Division

According to a source, Marcus Kruger still believes he will have a new contract before training camp begins on September 17th. Now that we're into September, the clock sure is ticking louder than ever. (ESPN)

Jordie Benn continues to be an underrated (and oddly maligned) presence on the Dallas Stars' blueline. If he's allowed to walk as a UFA in 2016, someone's going to find themselves a real nice depth defenceman. (Defending Big D)

The stories of Mikael Granlund and some sort of break out are beginning to grate on me, but all this attention is because it really would be a game changer for the Minnesota Wild. (The Hockey Writers)

If games in Nashville look different, don't go hitting your old CRT television: the team is upgrading Bridgestone Arena with a new LED lighting system. (Predators.NHL)

Defence, Defence, Defence

Adam McQuaid wants to reward Boston's faith in him, after inking a four-year contract extension worth $2.75 million per. Given the subject of our next story, it might not be a kind year for him should he struggle. (Bruins.NHL)

The addition of Dougie Hamilton gives Flames Head Coach Bob Hartley options, and a greater ability to roll defensive pairings in tune with the team's style. I hope Boston are happy with their Adam McQuaid. (Calgary Sun)

To say that Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen believes in his defence would be putting it mildly: "I don't really care what people think of our defense, to be honest. I respect everybody’s opinion, and they're entitled to it, but I think it’s a good defense". And he's not necessarily wrong; there's simply a lot of uncertainty surrounding the BJ's blueline. If only Ryan Murray can stay healthy. (BlueJacketsXtra)

Longtime Ottawa Senators defenceman Chris Phillips has suffered a setback in his recovery from back surgery, and now looks like he'll be out for months. To be completely honest, his absence will likely be addition by subtraction for the team's d-corps. (Ottawa Sun)

The Philadelphia Flyers enter camp with a whole lot of question marks and possibilities surrounding their d-corps. GM Ron Hextall knows what many think he'll do when it comes to prospects: "I think you guys all have the impression that I'm going to send kids down no matter what; that's not the case. But I do err on the side of...not going to put a guy in when it's too early." (NHL)

And finally, Vancouver Canucks President of Hockey Operations Trevor Linden will measure success this season by integrating young players and making the playoffs. Going by that criteria, 2015-16 will likely be a failure for one of those reasons. Can you guess which one? Hint: it's the playoffs. (The Province)

Blight On The Land

<br>Thanks for reading!