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From the Branches: Pre-Olympic hockey

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For a taste of what February’s going to be like, try getting up for this weekend’s big games in South Korea.

Goaltender Sojung Shin #25 of Korea saves a goal during the Women's Ice Hockey match between Japan and South Korea on day three of the 2017 Sapporo Asian Winter Games at Tsukisamu Gymnasium on February 20, 2017 in Sapporo, Japan.
Goaltender Sojung Shin of South Korea will have all she can handle against the Swedish Women’s National Team this weekend
Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images

As we move officially into “late summer” everyone (except the NHLers) is getting ready for the Olympics. At publishing time the puck is about to drop on what should be an interesting first of two friendlies between notorious hot mess Sweden and the up and coming host team South Korea. (The women’s teams, naturally. Look who’s writing this FTB after all). The second game takes place at 2 am Eastern on Saturday. If South Korea can manage to hold their ground, or even win one, we’ll know the Olympics are going to be very interesting indeed.

ICYMI

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It seems like Connor Brown’s number 12 has officially been pinched by the new guy.

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The last case for a player who just missed the top 25 is coming at 8:00 - meanwhile have a look back at Species’ argument for JJ Piccinich.

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Your standard — but never boring — mailbag from Fulemin.

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PPP welcomes a new face to the masthead! Janik has some words of wisdom about the Marleau contract

Around the League

Probably the biggest news of the day yesterday was that Andrei Markov would not be returning to the Habs. EOTP has notes from his press conference and some analysis on what this means for the team going forward.

Islanders Arena Dreams: Belmont RFP Expected Monday - Lighthouse Hockey
Escaping Barclays Center will be a long process.

Top 25 Under 25, #4: You don’t appreciate Vladislav Namestnikov enough — yes, you specifically - Raw Charge
Friend of the blog @loserpoints with a much-admired post over at Raw Charge

Top 10 photos of Claude Giroux from the 2016-2017 season - Broad Street Hockey
Okay I freely admit this one is is mostly for Annie.

Other stuff

Colorado Select - One of the Best Girls’ Hockey Programs - Mile High Hockey
I’m not encouraging anyone to comment over there but certainly Taylor’s piece is worth a read.

Hockey Canada announces Summer Showcase rosters - The Ice Garden
Furies alumna Kori Cheverie and current star Emily Fulton make their Hockey Canada coaching debuts. And for those looking to see who might turn up in the CWHL for the 2018-19 season, check out the 1996 birthdays on the development team roster.

Exactly what would be involved in designing hockey equipment?