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From the Branches: We're number one!

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Oops, wrong team. It's a slow day in NHL hockey, but the time is ripe for NWHL news.

Jul 24, 2016; Toronto, Ontario; Novak Djokovic of Serbia (L) battles for a ball with Felix Auger Aliassime of Canada (R) during the Rogers Cup Sportsnet Ball Hockey Challenge during qualifying of the Rogers Cup tennis tournament at the Aviva Centre.
Jul 24, 2016; Toronto, Ontario; Novak Djokovic of Serbia (L) battles for a ball with Felix Auger Aliassime of Canada (R) during the Rogers Cup Sportsnet Ball Hockey Challenge during qualifying of the Rogers Cup tennis tournament at the Aviva Centre.
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

It's summer, the most exciting NHL-related news is that the Top 25 Under 25 will be revealed in just a few days! (I abstained from voting, nobody blame me for anything)

PPP

2016 Bottom 25 Under 25: Fifteen players go unanimously unranked - Pension Plan Puppets
Four defensemen, 10 forwards, and one goalie went unranked by all T25U25 panelists in 2016.

Only 26 comments when I last checked, you folks avoiding an argument for some reason?

Around the NHL

Free Agency Rumor: Jackets to sign Gagner - The Cannon
The Dispatch is reporting that the Jackets are close to adding another center

I have a special fondness for Samwise, I hope *somebody* gives him a job.

The Daily Chum: What’s the best Sharks jersey of all time? - Fear The Fin
Head to the polls!

TIL: the Sharks have had enough jerseys to warrant a poll.

Coyotes sign Jakob Chychrun to a 3 Year ELC - Five For Howling
The Coyotes have signed first round pick Jakob Chychrun to his 3 year Entry Level Contract.

I'm sure the entire Arizona fanbase was getting nervous that Chychrun stayed unsigned so long.

Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles Wins First Ever African Cup - Eurohockey.com
Tunisian club Carthage Eagles are the first ever champions at the African Ice Hockey Cup, which took place in Morocco over the past week.

I don't want to even think about how hot it probably is in Morocco right now. Hanging around a hockey rink is the sensible choice!


NWHL

Meanwhile, it's July 31st, the last day of NWHL Free Agency, which will absolutely in no way be unofficially extended to accommodate whatever drawn-out negotiations the US Women's National Team players are conducting en masse before they re-sign.

This year total salaried roster, not including practice players, is 17 per team. As of this writing, here's where things stand:

Boston Pride: 2 G, 2D, 5F

New York Riveters: 2G, 6D, 8F

Buffalo Beauts: 1G, 3D, 7F

Connecticut Whale: 2G, 5D, 6F

NWHL free agency deadline looms, USWNT players unsigned
The NWHL could be facing its first labor battle as the deadline for free agency nears a close on Sunday, July 31. All 11 returning and three draft picks from the USWNT roster are not under contract. Waiting until the last hour to sign the USWNT members isn’t something new to the NWHL.

(NB what's reported above about the NWHL schedule is not official - the season schedule has not been publicized, beyond the Opening Weekend in Buffalo and is probably part of what USA Hockey is negotiating)

Beauts Have Plenty Of Cap Space In Waning Free Agency - TSS
With just two days left in the NWHL’s free-agency period, and six roster spots remaining, Buffalo Beauts General Manager Ric Seiling has some work to do...

Basically, someone tap Knighter's phone and let all the women's hockey bloggers know if today will yield several dozen articles about signings or if we can all hit snooze until the CWHL draft list is finalized on Tuesday or Wednesday.