Well boys and girls on Monday we have our first preseason game against the Devils at the Prudential Center and it certainly has been a long time coming. The disappointment of not being able to actually watch more than clips (from peculiar angles on video cameras that seemed to be from the 1980s) of the Traverse City games is finally going to fade away as we get to watch hockey players compete for roster spots in otherwise meaningless games. Is it bad that I am this excited for preseason? Perhaps its because I still feel dirty and strange about the forty-eight game season last year and I am anxious for a return to normalcy.
Well those opening paragraphs are getting worse and worse, aren't they? Let's jump right into your links for the week and prepare ourselves for the preseason hockey that is just days away. Man, it feels good to write that.
- WSH: Caps Cap Comparables: Marcus Johansson. | Caps Top 25 Under 25. | Adam Oates hung out with Ovi this August in Russia, expect a buddy cop movie soon. | Divining the Caps lines. | Brooks Laich is banged up again. | Holtby's new helmet. | Ovi juggling Caps opener with Olympic Torch duty.
- NJD: Training Camp Notes. | Olesz trying to crack the lineup and a look at forward depth. | Which Devil(s) are most poised for a breakout season? | Scott Stevens wins CANY Award. | This is what Schneider looks like in Devils gear.
- NYI: Isles to keep orange and blue and will add a third jersey after their move to Brooklyn. | DiPietro selling his home (bummer) and is ready for another chance in the NHL. | LHH's "John Tavares workout regimen." | Tavares officially named captain. | Looking back on one of the worst jersey designs in the NHL. | The Hockey News predicts the Isles will finish 5th in the Metro Division. | Boyes in Panthers camp.
- PIT: Time Running Out for Fleury. | Chuck Kobasew on tryout contract. | Would Pens Demote Despres to fit Niskanen under the Cap? | Time for Pens to extend Orpik? | The much needed resurrection of M.A. Fleury. | Training camp groups might hint at lines.
- PHI: Steve Mason has the founding fathers as zombies on his goalie mask. | Emery honors Tuskegee Airmen on his mask. | Steve Mason and Ray Emery battling it out for the top spot. | Simon Gagne won't return... and he's pissed off about it. | Health a Concern for Grossman. | Dan Cleary returns to Red Wings, leaves a hole in the Flyers' lineup. | Sean Couturier; a two-way threat? | Hal Gill invited to Flyers camp. | What to expect from Ray Emery. | Chris Pronger's life in Two Worlds.
- CAR: Joni Pitkanen to miss 2013-14 season due to heel injury. | 'Canes ink Ron Hainsey to one-year deal. | Well... that is going to be an awkward Christmas.
- CBJ: The Cannon answered questions about their team for Pensburgh in a preview piece. | Puck Daddy's Preview of the BJs. | The Hockey News predicts Columbus to finish 4th in the Metro Division. | Bobrovsky admits that choosing Columbus over the KHL wasn't easy. | Defense is the new offense. | When will the Jackets announce their captain?
- NYR: Richards is focused on future and is happy to still be in New York. | AV wants "suprises" from different players in camp. | Messier's new job. | Torts has carried his hatred of social media to Canada: Torts vs. "That Damn Twitter." | Derek Stepan should get paid, NYR deserves criticism. | LHH's take on the Rangers new coach. | McIlrath 100% healthy. | Hank's new mask. | Brassard and Arniel are cool with each other.
- Life Links: Banterer MPepe26 shared this in a thread earlier this week and I thought more of you should see it; "The Man in the Red Bandana". | New goalie masks in the league this year. | A beautiful song because I don't know what else to put here. | Canadians start early. | Skateboard turtle. | Bubbles on Hockey Night in Canada (old but hilarious).
In the Division
Well those are your links and reads for the week. I hope they succor your thirst for hockey until Monday rolls around and I certainly hope we hear nothing but encouraging, exciting, and good news out of the Rangers camp until then!
Have a must-read or interesting story related to the Metropolitan Division, the Rangers, or hockey in general? Share it with us in the comments section because lord knows I miss out on a lot of stuff when I do these.
Special Note: If you own an Xbox 360 and have purchased NHL 14 we have started a new club in the EA Sports Hockey League and are happy to welcome anyone from the Banter who wants to join us! To join us in our shenanigans, search for the club name; "Blueshirt Banter HC", and ask to be invited to the club. We are happy to accept anyone no matter their skill level, all we ask is that you not be a gigantic douche. Also, everyone please bother TheOneAndOnlyGlenSather and tell him to get the game because we need his offense back on the club.
Hope you all have a fantastic weekend. Let's talk some hockey!!!