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Sausage Links, September 12

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Hockey is more or less upon us and with action starting up again, the summer doldrums are ending. Thus begins the first of perhaps many installments of "Sausage Links", where we here at M&G will share links to material that's caught our interest. Most will be focused on the Flames, naturally, but some of the more interesting NHL news will show up now and then.

- Brent Sutter has apparently been making an impression on the players at camp so far:

Standing off-ice between the players'benches, Sutter would halt action to make corrections. Sometimes, he'd simply holler his suggestions. In other instances, a single player would take the lonely glide over to the bench boss for a brief chat. A couple of times, the whole crew encircled Sutter to absorb a lecture.

- Staying on the new coach, word is he'll be ensuring a lighter workload for Kipper this season.

The new sheriff in town has a different approach than his predecessor when it comes to the workload for his No. 1 netminder. And, as Kiprusoff knows from personal experience, the boss usually gets what he wants.

...

"It's a tough league for a goaltender to play that many games in," Sutter said Saturday, holding court with the media at the Pengrowth Saddledome. "Especially with the amount of travel that there is out in the Western Conference.

"I'm not using that as an excuse at all. But facts are facts. So again, we'll just monitor it and see what happens. But at this point in time, I certainly wouldn't expect him to play as many games as he has."

- As for prospect news, word out of Sweden is that recent draft pick Henrik Bjorklund is drawing comparisons to former Flame Hakan Loob. Even from Loob himself...(via google translate)

Henrik Bjorklund is högerfattad(?) and a typical sniper, just the qualities that made Hakan Loob as much as a player.

It is a spelartyp (sniper?) always been desperately short supply in Swedish hockey.

"Yes, that's scoring is my thing. I have a decent shot and shoot often. It is well especially the wrist shot is good. I trained a lot at home on the street when I was smaller. In the summer, I stood and shot for hours, "says Henry.

...

"Yes, it's a hell of a raw talent, "says Färjestads sports manager Hakan Loob. "The right attitude".

- The Abbotsford Heat recently struck a deal with Rogers Broadcasting/Country 107.1 to broadcast all of their games this season. Those of you who are really desperate for prospect updates will be able to tune in all winter.

- Now that Dany Heatley has finally been dealt, attention will shift towards unsigned RFA Phil Kessel. Surprisingly, the current front runner to land the former first rounder is apparently the Nashville Predators. David Poile claims he is uninterested in an offer sheet and instead would prefer to make a deal with the Bruins. Boston is dangerously close to the NHL salary cap, so any potential swap would probably involve one or two of Nashville's impressive young prospects.

- Finally, links to a couple of my own recent scribblings. First, I discuss the issue of Brian McGrattan. Second, I state a case for avoiding high priced offensive defensemen. 

That's it for now. Feel free to share your own finds in the comments.