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From the Branches: The NHL landed in China and other links

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And apparently the Lupul saga isn’t over yet. Yay!

2017 NHL China Games - Day 3 Photo by Yifan Ding/Getty Images

Happy Friday PPPers. The NHL played its first game in China to much fanfare, over the top hyperbole and an attendance roughly equivalent to a weeknight Sens home game in bad weather.

It’s true that Shanghai’s not Harbin, where they’ve been playing hockey for over a century, but lets not get silly here, NHL. The Chinese women’s national team came in 4th at the 1998 Olympics. “Introduced the game of hockey” is ridiculous.

For those of you who weren’t up early to watch hockey, some reports of the game:

Welcome to China! Kings 5, Canucks 2 - Jewels From The Crown
In between all the penalties, there was actually a hockey game that was played

Shanghai given first taste of NHL hockey as Kings beat Canucks in pre-season action | Toronto Star
Even if hockey is relatively unknown in China and the rules remain somewhat of a mystery, the crowd in Shanghai certainly appreciated the speed of the sport.

Lots of other neat stuff over at Sheng Peng’s Twitter timeline.

Some version of the Leafs play some version of Buffalo in pre-season action tonight at 7:30 pm on TSN. Katya will have your preview later.

Leafs news

Mirtle: A closer look at NHL’s investigation into Lupul’s health status – The Athletic
The NHL head office has apparently heard enough about Robidas Island in Toronto.

The Connor Brown question: Leafs might put a 20-goal scorer on their fourth line
That possibility isn’t keeping Brown awake at night as the dog days of training camp firmly settle in.

Pre-season recaps

Wild win pre-season game number 2 over Jets - Hockey Wilderness
The Minnesota Wild are now 2-0 in the 2017 preseason.

Red Wings lose third straight, drop 6-1 to Blackhawks - Winging It In Motown
I’m writing this bullet at the very start of this game: I expect the Wings to get caved in this matchup.

Flyers vs. Bruins recap: Pay the electric bill, Ron - Broad Street Hockey
You get a slashing call! And you get a slashing call!

Montreal vs. New Jersey Top Six Minutes: No Sympathy from the Devils - Eyes On The Prize
There were some bright spots, but the Habs fell to 0-3 in the pre-season play after a loss on home ice.

Other news

NHL sees increase in number of established players resorting to PTOs - Toronto Star
Alex Chiasson is one of 11 players trying out this pre-season who have already played at least 100 games in the NHL.

Calgary Flames release proposal for $500-million arena - The Globe and Mail
Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. plan says the Flames would contribute $275-million

Stars Facing Another Year Of High Expectations - Defending Big D
Eyes score of last night’s game against the Avs. Um... (yes, fine, pre-season games don’t mean anything)

Colorado Select Present “Play Like A Girl” - Mile High Hockey
Stand with the best girls hockey program in the West.