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From the Branches: More like No-lympics

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The league thinks it’s too much of a pain for players to play for their national teams.

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 12 - Finland v Russia Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

ICYMI

Morgan Rielly learns how to cook

Scouting Auston Matthews

Hockey Night in Canada: What do you think of the changes? -- TAKE SPECIES' POLL

The Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs management preaches patience as players fall short of Mike Babcock’s point standards | National Post
Feels like Babcock was setting himself up for this one.

Leafs’ funk no reason to eye trades, GM says | Toronto Star
"A 2-4-2 funk has sunk the Maple Leafs to last place in the Atlantic Division, but GM focused on building team."

Maple Leafs, Raptors Snubbed in FanSided’s Fandom 250 Rankings | Tip of the Tower
"The Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors both made FanSided’s inaugural Fandom 250 rankings, but each team was ranked extremely low."

Steve Dangle Podcast - Dec. 8 | TLN
"On this episode, Ken Reid joins the show to talk about his fantastic new book "One Night Only", a little bit of Leafs talk, comedy talk, and Jesse returns."

Swamp Rabbits jump on Solar Bears | Don Money
Best game story opener ever? “In nature, swamp rabbits can be nasty and tenacious when threatened or attacked by an adversary. Thursday night at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena, the Orlando Solar Bears found out that their namesakes on the ice can be just as formidable.”

The League

World Junior Hockey Championship Preview: Team Canada | Bloggers' Tribune
"During the evaluation camp this summer, I took at look at what Team Canada might look like in this year’s IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. While many of the players I expected to be a part of the team will be at the selection camp next week, there are a number of players that will be unavailable."

NHL has 'strong negative sentiment' towards 2018 Olympic participation | Puck Daddy
After the first day of the NHL’s Board of Governors meetings, Bettman painted a grim picture towards the possibility of the league allowing their players to go to the next Games.

Projected Team USA, Team Canada rosters if the NHL doesn't take part in the Winter Olympics | ESPN
The Team Canada goalie is Ben Scrivens.

Seattle street vacation allows for NHL-first arena, SoDo arena group says | Western Washington King 5 News
In a new two-page letter, Chris Hansen's Seattle Arena investment group says they would only vacate a street to build an arena if they acquire and NBA or NHL team first.

NHL Looks to Inner-Cities for New Generation of Diverse Players | Rolling Stone
"You've probably noticed, but hockey also isn't the most diverse sport. It also isn't the most popular in North America. It has its huge following in Canada, but many believe the thing that is holding the sport back in the United States is its lack of inclusivity, and that a combination of economics and access to the sport are the main factors explaining why the sport continues to be overwhelmingly white." -- Truth.

Down Goes Brown: 10 lies all NHL fans tell themselves | DGB
Number 6 seems so familiar!

Ex-NHL Star Looks to Combat Sexual Abuse With New Documentary | Hollywood Reporter
"They're some of the greatest actors on the planet, they could be winning Academy Awards," Fleury says of pedophiles that worm their way into pro sport leagues and other institutions before finally preying on children.