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Morning Bag Skate: Welcome to October, or The Month When Hockey Returns

Our daily look at Blackhawks news and the happenings around the world of hockey.

Jonathan Daniel

We've finally reached October, and that means the beginning of the season is just around the corner. There are just eight days until the first puck drop, yet so much still needs to be sorted out. As always, we'll do our best to keep you covered. Here's the news for Wednesday morning.

**Trevor van Riemsdyk is still around, and he's clearly making a positive impression on the team (CSN Chicago)

**Brad Richards is apparently replacing Nick Leddy as the point man on the Hawks' second power play unit (CSN Chicago)

**EMBRACE THE MASHINTER (Second City Hockey)

**Drew Doughty thinks Corsi is "a bunch of crap," so obviously I think it's time to pack up and call it on this whole blogging thing. Good effort, everyone. (The Score)

**The Oilers had their entry-level contract with Vladimir Tkachev voided by the NHL because he's been announced eligible for the 2015 draft. Bummer. (Pro Hockey Talk)

**If you missed it, SB Nation's 2014-15 NHL preview is still live, still relevant and still awesome (SB Nation)

**The NHL's Board of Governors unanimously approved the sale of the Islanders to Scott Malkin and Jonathan Ledecky, beginning a two-year transition before the group assumes majority ownership (Pro Hockey Talk)

**EPIX is trying to learn from HBO's production of "24/7" for its new series, and I'm increasingly optimistic about how the finished product will look (Puck Daddy)

**Jonathan Drouin is aiming to be ready for the Lightning's season opener (St. Petersburg Times)

**GoPro cameras on referee helmets? Interesting (Puck Daddy)

**The CBC's Top 10 "HNIC" montages (Eyes on the Prize)

**The Capitals still don't know who will be the No. 2 center behind Nicklas Backstrom, and now old name Brooks Laich is in the mix. Pretty important position to not have figured out roughly a week before opening day, no? (Washington Post)

**Meanwhile, the Hurricanes don't know how they're going to deal with the absence of star center Jordan Staal. "Who we’re going to have in the middle, that’s the one thing we don’t know, just because we still have these (preseason) games left to play," coach Bill Peters said. (Raleigh News & Observer)

**From Monday, our friends at Hockey Wilderness -- SBN's Wild blog -- preview the Blackhawks for the upcoming season (Hockey Wilderness)

**The Stars have a fancy new power play group, including Jason Spezza, Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Ales Hemsky. That'll, uh, be a fun group to face. (Puck Daddy)