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From the Branches: A hot long weekend!

It's officially the middle of the off-season

Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

It's the start of a hot and sunny long weekend in the GTA. I hope you have somewhere cool to stay!

There is a big name on the arbitration schedule today, Tyson Barrie. His hearing will start at 9:00AM. Barrie earned $3.2M last year and is now asking for $6.0M. This could be one of the rare cases where a team chooses to walk away from the arbitration award, though a trade is much more likely. Remember that even after the hearing is over there is still time to hammer out a deal. The two sides have right up until the arbitrator files the decision, which is usually 24-48 hours after the end of the hearing.

Five blockbuster trades that almost happened - The Hockey News
Down Goes Brown reviews that time Stamkos was almost traded, and four other Blockbusters that never were.

Breaking Down Film: Weber and defensive-zone breakouts - Eyes On The Prize
[Species: an in-depth, though very GIF heavy, look at Weber's performance with Nashville.]

Bruce S. Meyer joins Players' Association as Senior Director: Collective Bargaining, Policy & Legal
[Species: Just when you had forgotten all about CBA's and lockouts, the PA reminds you they are already planning for the next one!]

Jimmy Vesey, Blackhawks, Rangers and the short list - Puck Daddy

Kessel gets the Celine Dion treatment, and it's beautiful - PensBurgh
You'rrreeee heeeeerreee, there's noooothing I feeeaaarrr...

Jets defend choice of Bobby Hull as hall of fame inductee - CBC
The Jets are defending its decision to induct Bobby Hull into its new hall of fame after a local critic argued that he should not be honoured because he had been accused of domestic violence in the past.