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From the Branches: Rookie games around the league in this morning’s links

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A Maple Leafs game happened last night! A hockey game! On ice!

2017 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
Eemeli Räsänen left last night’s game after taking a shot off his foot.
Photo by Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images

Last night, multiple teams kick-started the new season with rookie games, including our very own Maple Leafs. The little Leafs—I use little in a purely figurative sense, as some of those defensemen were literally twice my size—did not do so well, losing 5-2, but a) it’s a rookie tournament, and b) it’s a rookie tournament.

Their power play looked smokin’, though.

ICYMI

Maple Leafs rookie tournament: plan your first weekend of hockey - Pension Plan Puppets
Who, when, where and why — the why is easy: because hockey is back!

Back to Excited Episode 4: Projecting the Big 3’s Points - Pension Plan Puppets
Back from our technologically imposed hiatus, the boys look at the Big 3

Stuff We Didn’t Write

Friedman Eyes Possible Trade Options For Red Wings
"I wonder about a guy like Sheahan. I know Toronto really looked at him hard last year because they believed there was a lot more there."

Cody Franson won’t fix the Blackhawks’ defense, but he makes a fiasco less likely - Second City Hockey
Franson could provide reliable depth if he earns a deal with Chicago.

Canucks sign Bo Horvat to six-year extension worth $33-million - The Globe and Mail
The 22-year-old centre led the lowly Canucks with 52 points (20 goals, 32 assists) last season to become the first player not named Daniel or Henrik Sedin to top that category since 2006

Anthony Stolarz undergoes meniscus surgery, is out indefinitely - Broad Street Hockey
It’s a tough break for the Phantoms’ top goalie and the Flyers’ top call-up option, who underwent surgery on the same knee back in the spring.

Edmonton Downs Calgary in Penticton Opener - Matchsticks and Gasoline
Valimaki and Jankowski scored for Calgary

Pu, Blackwell find the net, but Sabres fall in OT to Devils - Die By The Blade
While most of the crowd came to the HarborCenter to see the Sabres’ top prospects, it was a camp invite that shined the most.

‘No idiot will break NHL contract for Olympics’ - two-time Stanley Cup champ Fetisov to RT — RT Sport
One of the most respected National Hockey League (NHL) players of Russian origin, Viacheslav Fetisov says NHL players will not risk losing their club contracts to play at 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

How the NHL salary cap created a secondary market of injured players and costly contracts - The Globe and Mail
Dave Bolland, Chris Pronger, Nathan Horton, David Clarkson and Sheldon Souray are among the league's Lost Boys, players who've disappeared into a weird form of NHL limbo