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Morning Bag Skate: Hockey season, we missed you so much

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

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Gotta admit, it feels pretty, pretty good to have some actual hockey to discuss again. Before let's get all ruffled about what happened against Dallas last night, let's check in with the news on Friday morning:

**The NHL might not have a TV deal to match the NBA's, but the NBC did record ratings for the opening night on Wednesday (NBC)

**The Stars benched a healthy Erik Cole for the opener against the Blackhawks because he was late for Monday practice (Stars Inside Edge)

**Chris Pronger is indeed joining the NHL's player safety department, as questionable as that sounds (Pro Hockey Talk)

**Flames top prospect Sam Bennett will miss 4-to-6 months after undergoing surgery on his shoulder (Flames)

**The Maple Leafs claimed Richard Panik off waivers after the former second-round pick was made available by Tampa Bay (TSN)

**After the prolonged negotiation, the Blue Jackets are now apparently unhappy with Ryan Johansen's fitness level. Not a good start to the year in Columbus. (Pro Hockey Talk)

**Greg Wyshynski looks at the ECHL's addition of several CHL franchises (Puck Daddy)

**The Penguins officially sent first-round pick Kasperi Kapenen to the Finnish league, where he'll presumably get more steady playing time than he would've gotten in Pittsburgh. (Penguins)

**This probably isn't the best way to endear fans to your new mascot (Puck Daddy)

**Doesn't sound like Gary Bettman is too excited about the idea of an outdoor game in Florida (Pro Hockey Talk)

**Could this be a big year for Alex Ovechkin? (Puck Daddy)