Daily Cupcakes - Links from around the unlocked out NHL - January 8th, 2013

There might be more injuries now that the NHL will be operating with a shortened season.

The centre has worked with several professional players during the strike, including Carolina Hurricanes centre Jeff Skinner and Colorado Avalanche right winger Steve Downie.

“We’ve been keeping them at a level of fitness where their bodies are maintaining the strength levels that we’ve gained in the summer and keeping up their cardio and anaerobic capacity,” says Chris Korte, a high-performance coach with the centre.

Players have been on the ice up to five times a week and in the gym three to four days each week, Korte says.

CBC has a reminder of the offseason moves and the players still available.

Once you have pored over the NHL and NHL Players’ Association’s tentative deal on a new collective agreement and understand revenue sharing, pension plans, make-whole payments, prorated salary caps and amnesty buyouts, what’s next?

Well, of course, you want to know what players are playing where, right?

TheStar.com has a preview for every team in the Northwest Division.

Potential Buyout Player: Hejduk

Outlook: This is another team with what appears to be a solid ledgerbook in terms of cap space under the new CBA. But the Avs have an immediate contract issue in O’Reilly, who had a breakout season last year with 18 goals and 55 points in 81 games. He’s playing with Magnetogorsk in the KHL with brother Cal under former Leafs coach Paul Maurice, and decided to wait until the new CBA arrived before signing a new deal. And it’s expected that new deal will be a rich one, although there’s sure to be some debate over whether O’Reilly could have earned more during the summer of 2012, when owners were handing out huge contracts ahead of the CBA deadline. The Avs have a young powerhouse on the verge of making some real noise in the West — and every big contract with the exception of Stastny ($6.6 million per year cap hit), is under $4 million. That is a sound contract structure going forward into the new CBA, and one that should help them keep all that young talent in Denver.

Some players know fans are angry.

As for how the fans will react when the NHL gets back at it, Jokinen wasn't shy about exploring that territory, either.

"Those are the ones putting money in our pocket," he said. "They're buying tickets and come to watch us every night. They have all the reasons to be angry. If nobody shows up in our games, I respect that, too. They have all the reasons not to show up."

Jokinen even served up a softball for the media types.

"I think you guys missed it," he said of the game. "Now you guys can start ripping us, the way we play. It's all good."

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