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A Case of the Mondays: On The Horizon

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After the Flames wrapped up the Young Stars Tournament with a 5-4 loss to the Canucks' rookie squad and trimmed the roster prior to main camp beginning on Saturday, hockey is finally on the horizon as pre-season officially gets underway tomorrow with split-squad games against the Canucks. Reports from camp thus far indicate that the trio of Alex Tanguay, Olli Jokinen, and Jarome Iginla got in a few good practices together and rookie camp standout Jon Rheault saw some time on a line with Rene Bourque and Matt Stajan, as Niklas Hagman was absent due to a bought of the flu. Both he and Mikael Backlund, who left the ice on Saturday after being clipped with a high stick during a drill, appear to be good to go for the remainder of camp, including the recently concluded Red vs. White game this afternoon at the Max Bell Arena, a 3-1 win for Team Red. Full rosters for each squad can be found here, and it is suspected that Team White will make the trip to Vancouver; Pat Steinberg has the lines that the Canucks are expected to ice in tomorrow's second game at the 'Dome against Team Red. 

More links after the jump!

The NHL has released the new rule changes pertaining to hits to the head prior to the start of the league's pre-season tomorrow, including a video that was sent out to all thirty clubs [Flames]

Heat coach Jim Playfair likes what he's seen from T.J. Brodie thus far, who hopes to see some pre-season action with the big club this week [The Calgary Herald]

A preview of what to expect from the Flames' top six forwards courtesy of the 4th Line Blog

Former Flames coach Brian Sutter is recovering after falling off his horse while riding with brother Darryl; the 54-year-old spent two weeks in hospital with six broken ribs and a collapsed lung before being released [The Calgary Herald]

A financial analysis of the Oilers' blueline [The Copper & Blue]

According to this chart put together by James Mirtle, the Flames rank third in terms of the age of their top three centres, 15th in the average height of said players, and 18th in their average weight. Now if only we knew exactly who the team's top three centres were heading into camp... [The Globe and Mail]

If you're looking for a great read before hockey season really kicks into gear, Pat McLean has completed his analysis of the 1972 Summit Series, complete with advanced metrics, at Black Dog Hates Skunks.

More on Kurtis Foster's inspiring return to the NHL with the Oilers after missing nearly an entire season with a broken leg as a result of a dangerous icing play and the death of his infant daughter [Yahoo! Sports

Steve Mason has been rewarded with a hefty contract extension after his well-documented struggles with the Blue Jackets last season following his Calder Trophy victory as the league's best rookie the previous season [CBC Sports]

Canucks prospect Cody Hodgson is finally well on his way to recovery after battling back problems for the past fourteen months. He has been cleared for 'practice contact' and will sit out tomorrow's split-squad games, but could still see some ice time in the Canucks' remaining six pre-season contests [The Globe and Mail]  

CBC Sports has added another NHLer to their team, as it was announced today that Brad May would be signing on as an AHL analyst [CBC]

That's it for today, stay tuned for coverage of upcoming pre-season games, more season previews, and bask in the warm glow of your television sets, to which hockey has finally made its long-awaited return. Have a great week everyone!