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Weekend Links and Open Thread

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Not pictured: Toews just out of frame, silently waiting... watching.... STALKING.
Not pictured: Toews just out of frame, silently waiting... watching.... STALKING.

Training Camp has started and preseason games are less than a week away. There's a chill in the air and a weekend full of football games. What has me excited? Hockey's almost back!  Kill time until then with some links.

Red Wings News

Groups for Saturday's practices at Red Wings training camp | MLive.com
If you're heading out to watch them practice today (hint: leave now!), here's how the Wings will break into groups for Saturday. Note that everybody in the first group is there so that they can get a chance to get out early to get back  to Detroit for Brad McCrimmon's funeral.

Contract did weigh on Howard’s mind last season | Red Wings Front
Jimmy Howard admits that the pressure of contract negotiations last season weighed on his mind during games. Without that affecting him, can he get back to his more rookie-like numbers for the Wings this season?  Also,

Future Bright for Red Wings | The Off Wing View
One piece of growing dread for Wings fans has been the niggling doubt that the development pipeline won't turn up another superstar to take over as the next core member of the Wings squad. While there are no sure things, it's a bit comforting to know that the Wings have four prospects in the top-25 ranked by Hockey Prospectus.

As Red Wings take physicals, Tomas Holmstrom dreads the needle, Danny Cleary brags | Detroit Free Press | freep.com
Homer dedicates his career to getting chopped with lumber in the back, but he has to lie down when faced with a needle. For some reason, I'm not surprised (but I'm amused as hell). Also, Cleary shows why he got to be honored with a bobblehead, showing his noggin is just the right size for caricature, especially when it comes to fitness testing.

The Left Wing Lock" Slow Road to the NHL Fine With Jurco
The 18-year old taken with Detroit's first pick in this year's draft has some mature words about what he wants out of his professional development and what pace he expects to be realistic.

Hudler is Ready to Rock 'n' Roll | Nightmare on Helm Street
Hudler sounds committed to improving on last season's dismal performance. Let's see if he can quiet the trade rumors before December.

Late Addition: From the official Detroit Red Wings Twitter feed:

Rwingstweet_medium

Elsewhere Around the League

Chris Pronger Named Flyers Captain for 2011-2012 - Broad Street Hockey
If there's one thing that confuses Chris Pronger, it's doorknobs. If there are two things that confuse Chris Pronger, it's doorknobs and letters. Now he has two on the front of his jersey. Microsoft should get him to beat up Justin Long in a series of commercials.

Lombardi: Drew Doughty’s contract offer drops nearly $25,000 each day he isn’t signed | ProHockeyTalk
Every day Drew Doughty goes without signing a contract, the Kings drop $25 grand from his offer. It's fair, but geez that's a lot of money. You could eat one of these every day with that and look like Dustin Byfuglien in no time!

Byfuglien says he's fit and ready to play for the Jets
Oh, hey there follow-up lede! I didn't see you there... When considering he said he's "Fit", I have a feeling Byfuglien will eventually admit that he has a trouble with vowels in three-letter words when called out for pronouncing it "This ind that."

Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews on checking a child: ‘It was ugly’ - Puck Daddy - NHL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Sure, Toews says the kid was ok. What he doesn't say is that he told the kid he'd make Duncan Keith hide under his bed and growl if he didn't tell everybody that.

Scanlan: Melnyk shoots down talk he might sell Sens
The Senators somehow find a way to lose money in Canada, but Eugene Melnyk, the nerdiest-named owner in the league is committed to the city.

Martin Brodeur: One of 34 Goaltenders to Play in NHL Beyond 38 - In Lou We Trust
As Brodeur increases in size and age, the number of his peers decreases. How long can he keep it up? The answer seems to be "as long as he wants."

The Five Things I'm Looking Forward To Most - The Copper & Blue
Even Oil fans have reasons to look forward to the season. No, seriously, actually good reasons. They've got some exciting youngsters up there.

Question for the weekend, who's looking forward to watching the Penguins/Wings preseason game on Wednesday?  Do you all want to do a preseason game thread?