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From the Branches: Franson signs

...With the Sabres. And World Cup news in today's FTB.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Last night I was sitting with the other ballet moms waiting for my kid to finish up her lesson. I was listening to Steve Dangle's podcast (the one with Mirtle as a guest) and playing Scrabble, as you do, when Mirtle started talking about the AHL and ECHL.

Steve said, "I think I saw Tanya over at Pension Plan Puppets say that the Solar Bears have a new coach."

I blinked up at the room full of little Orlando girls in pink leotards, then back down at my phone. I rewound to the 1:08 minute mark, and yep. I wanted to stand up and say proudly to the other ballet moms, "Hey -- this one guy! In Toronto! He's a pretty well-known hockey podcaster! He actually said my name -- no, I said hockey. Ice hockey, the kind on ice and not... OK, never mind."

Anyway, I've had my moment in the sun. On to the news!

Leafs News

Maple Leafs' Top 25 Under 25 - #2 William Nylander | PPP
(ง'̀-'́)ง

Maple Leafs To Host Fan Fest this Weekend | 640 Toronto
Tonight marks the start of fan fest for VIPs, and apparently the front office will preview the season.

How will the Leafs replace Kessel’s goals? | TSN

Maple Leafs sign Curtis Glencross to PTO | PPPAnd MLHS

Leafs players won’t settle for being part of a rebuild | Toronto Star

The Steve Dangle Podcast - Sept. 8, 2015 - Kyle Cicerella | TLN
Kyle has some fabulous insights into the Marlies-Bears inner workings, well worth listening.

Other News

Sabres and Cody Franson near two-year contract: Report | Puck Daddy

NHL 16 trial available to EA Access subscribers on Xbox One | Sporting News

NHL 16: Star Player Ratings, Release Date and Gameplay Enhancements | Bleacher Report

Patrick Kane issue a black cloud over the NHL | Sportsnet

Team USA roster projection for World Cup of Hockey | NHL.com
And yet Patrick Kane makes it to the projected line up.

Team Canada looks frighteningly good | NHL.com

Schedule: 2016 World Cup of Hockey during NHL preseason | Lighthouse Hockey

Stamkos and three guys with much more hair discuss the World Cup | Sportsnet

World Cup return doesn’t mean NHL taking pass on 2018 Olympics: Bettman | National Post

China may affect NHL returning to Olympics | The Record

Flyers' Giroux talks new coach, World Cup, Briere | NHL.com
Posting this link just for Katya