Columbus Blue Jackets' Elvis Merzlikins tries to move on after death of Matiss Kivlenieks

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ESPN 14 October, 2021 - 07:01am

Chinese companies suffer an intense cash crunch in offshore bond markets

The Hockey Writers 15 October, 2021 - 07:00pm

Regulators have shaken the foundations of China’s property market by toughening up on the amount of leverage developers can take on. This has pushed Evergrande, a home builder with more than 1,000 projects across China and $300bn in liabilities, towards collapse. It has missed five payments on offshore-dollar bonds in the past month. Several rivals have followed suit. Fantasia defaulted on offshore bonds on October 4th. Sinic Holdings said on October 11th that it would probably default soon. Modern Land and Xinyuan Real Estate are hoping to delay payments on offshore bonds.

This wave of distress has led to a crunch in the offshore junk-bond market. Spreads (ie, yields compared with the risk-free rate) have reached nearly 17 percentage points, the widest gap on record. The market has for the most part shut to developers hoping to refinance their debts in October, says Sandra Chow of CreditSights, a research firm. One investment manager at a global institution says even non-property companies are being priced out, noting that “this is the definition of contagion.”

The problems run much deeper than the string of missed payments. One fear is that Chinese authorities are pressing companies to ignore the interests of creditors and to sell offshore assets and siphon cash back home, in a desperate attempt to ensure that unfinished properties that have already been sold to Chinese people are completed. The leading theory among investors goes that Evergrande is buying time to prevent its offshore assets being frozen by offshore creditors. A “privately negotiated” resolution on a yuan bond was announced on September 22nd in order to prevent an instant cross-default on dollar bonds. Although the group has since missed dollar-bond payments, a 30-day grace period gives the group until October 23rd before it is deemed to be in default and creditors can move to seize its offshore assets. In the meantime, it is selling all it can, including a large stake in its property-services unit and its offices in Hong Kong.

Other groups may be considering a similar strategy. In recent weeks developers such as Fantasia and Sinic have been reluctant to pay offshore coupons. Some instances have surprised investors, suggesting that companies may be able but not willing to make these payments, says Arthur Lau of PineBridge, a Hong Kong-based investment manager.

If such behaviour is tolerated, or even encouraged, by the authorities, the impact could be devastating for the $1trn market for dollar bonds issued by Chinese companies. More defaults could come if yields stay high. Having crushed many private conglomerates that sought to buy overseas assets, and impeded Chinese share sales in New York, Mr Xi may now be putting his stamp on the offshore-bond market.

This article appeared in the Finance & economics section of the print edition under the headline "Xi’s premium"

Elvis Merzlikins has some fun at Columbus Blue Jackets' media day

Bally Sports Ohio & Great Lakes 14 October, 2021 - 12:00pm

Elvis Merzlikins has some fun at Columbus Blue Jackets' media day

The Columbus Dispatch 14 October, 2021 - 12:00pm

CBJ Gameday Guide: Oct. 14 vs. Arizona

BlueJackets.com 14 October, 2021 - 10:13am

A full 10 of the 20 players who are expected to skate tonight are different from last year's season opener, and five players are set to make their Blue Jackets debuts tonight in the season opener vs. Arizona at Nationwide Arena

That doesn't include head coach Brad Larsen, the longtime CBJ assistant who will make his NHL head coaching debut tonight. 

"I slept good last night," Larsen said. "I think I'm like all the players, you just want to get going here." 

For those heading down to Nationwide Arena, there will be plenty of pomp and circumstance, with a party on the Front Street plaza, presented by Nationwide, beginning at 3 p.m. The life of Matiss Kivlenieks will be honored in a pregame ceremony that will feature his mother, stepfather, sister and aunt. 

Limited tickets remain available, and click here for FAQs and guidelines about the return to Nationwide Arena.  

Set the pace: Arizona has one of the oldest rosters in the league, while Columbus has one of the youngest. The Blue Jackets need to use that youthful energy that has been present during the preseason and push the pace.  

Got the power: Columbus' power play was lethal during the preseason. After four straight seasons of finishing 25th or worst in the NHL on the man advantage, turning that into a true advantage will be a big key to the season. 

Limit mistakes: As in any season opener, the cleanest team is probably going to be the team to win. Avoiding the big flubs will be key in the first time things get real this season. 

At 18 years, 151 days old, Cole Sillinger is set to become just the sixth 18-year-old to play in CBJ history and the fourth-youngest player in franchise history. … Columbus has the youngest opening roster in the NHL at an average of 25.71 years old. … The Blue Jackets have players from 10 different countries on the roster, most in the NHL. … Oliver Bjorkstrand led the Jackets in all offensive categories last year with an 18-26-44 line, a career high in points. … Jack Roslovic is coming off a career-high 34-point season. … Boone Jenner will be the team captain for the first time tonight, and he's the seventh captain in team history. ... Forwards Sillinger, Sean Kuraly and Gregory Hofmann as well as defensemen Adam Boqvist and Jake Bean are expected to make their CBJ debuts, while Sillinger and Hofmann will make their NHL debuts … 299 players have worn the union blue jersey in a game, so those debuts will push the all-time roster over 300. … Coming off an 18-26-12 record that tied for last place in the Central Division, Columbus was 4-2-2 in the preseason. … The Blue Jackets are 8-10-2 all-time in season openers and 7-9-4 in home openers. … The Blue Jackets are 8-2-0 in their last 10 against the Coyotes but Arizona won the last meeting, a 4-2 final on Dec. 3, 2019, in Columbus. ... Columbus will play five of its first six games at home. … There are two former Blue Jackets on the Arizona roster in forward Ryan Dzingel, an Ohio State product, and defenseman Anton Stralman.  

Eric Robinson - Sean Kuraly - Gregory Hofmann

Zach Werenski - Jake Bean

Vladislav Gavrikov - Adam Boqvist

Elvis Merzlikins (confirmed starter) 

Scratches: Emil Bemstrom, Yegor Chinakhov, Scott Harrington

Roster Report: Larsen said that Merzlikins will be making his first-ever opening night start between the pipes, while Chinakhov is not expected to sit long but the rookie will likely be a healthy scratch tonight. 

Oct. 14, 1999: The team unveils its home and road jerseys with broadcaster Mike Emrick presiding over the event. Over 4,000 enthusiastic fans attended the unveiling at the Easton Town Center.  

Oct. 14, 2002: Ray Whitney played 27:19, a franchise record for a forward in a regulation game, in the Jackets' 4-2 loss vs. Phoenix.  

Oct. 14, 2017: Alexander Wennberg scored in overtime to give Columbus a 5-4 overtime win at Minnesota. 

Radio: Blue Jackets radio network (97.1 The Fan flagship)  

The Columbus Blue Jackets turn 21 years old this year, and if you haven't seen the preseason predictions on how the team will do this season … well, you might need an adult beverage. 

OK, so let's talk a few stats. 

According to the NHL, there are 11 teenagers on opening day rosters, but only two of them are 18 years old -- Anaheim forward Mason McTavish and Blue Jackets forward Cole Sillinger. 

This summer, both Zach Werenski and Boone Jenner pledged their futures to the Blue Jackets, with Werenski signing a six-year extension and Jenner adding four more years to what already has been a lengthy CBJ career. 

Last winter, Oliver Bjorkstrand did the same, inking a five-year deal to stay in Columbus, and two summers ago, Gustav Nyquist came in from the free agent market, signing a four-year deal when everyone else seemed to be going the other direction. 

Money can't buy happiness -- or leadership positions for that matter. But commitment can, and it seems fitting that four players who have planted a flag and said they want to be in Columbus were named team captains Tuesday, part of one new core the Jackets hope will lead to big things to come.

In the end, the Blue Jackets were left with the easiest and most obvious of answers. 

When it came to replacing Nick Foligno as captain, head coach Brad Larsen said at the start of training camp that he would wait to name a permanent team leader until the time was right.

But as Columbus went through a rugged three weeks of training, it became clear the man for the job was the one they expected all along. 

Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager & Alternate Governor Jarmo Kekalainen announced today that defenseman Mikko Lehtonen has been suspended for failing to report to the American Hockey League's Cleveland Monsters and placed on unconditional waivers.

Lehtonen, 27, signed a one-year contract with the club on July 30. Last season, he made his NHL debut and collected six assists, eight penalty minutes and 33 shots on goal, while averaging 15:53 of ice time in 26 games with the Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs. He collected 0-3-3 and four penalty minutes in 17 contests with Columbus following a trade from Toronto on Mar. 12, 2021.

The Columbus Blue Jackets announced today that forward Boone Jenner has been named the seventh captain in franchise history. Defenseman Zach Werenski and forwards Oliver Bjorkstrand and Gustav Nyquist will serve as alternate captains.

It's easy to see in your mind's eye. Years ago, perhaps in a Chiller rink or maybe even in the OhioHealth Ice Haus, Jack Roslovic and Sean Kuraly might have sat around and talked about what it might be like to one day play together for the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

After all, it's the stuff that dreams are made of ... except this one is a little too farfetched to be reality, Roslovic said. 

"No, never," the center said when asked if the two central Ohio natives ever talked about being teammates with the Blue Jackets, let alone making it to the NHL level together. "It is pretty crazy. I wouldn't have even thought about it to be a pipe dream when we were that age. It was never talked about."

Welcome Blue Jackets fans to a new feature here at BlueJackets.com -- SvoNotes. 

It's a simple concept -- a couple of times each week, I'll be compiling whatever interesting things I can about the Blue Jackets and be posting them in this column. 

If this sounds familiar, it should. During last year's shortened season, I produced a similar piece posted each weekday called CBJ Today. I found out a few things while writing that every weekday for an entire season.

8:35 a.m. - 610 WTVN - Bob McElligott

7:00 p.m. - 97.1 The Fan - Season Preview Show w/ Bob McElligott, Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre, Jeff Rimer & Jody Shelley

8:35 a.m. - WTVN - BOXER w/ Boone Jenner

Airs Between 6-10a - Mix 107.9 - Andre Styles w/ Mike Todd

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The Cannon staff predicts the 2021-22 NHL season

The Cannon 13 October, 2021 - 07:00am

Share your own picks in the comments!

No homer picks here, as none of us have the Blue Jackets making the playoffs. I’ll be most happy to be wrong about this one. Only one of us has the Jackets finishing in last place, however.

We also voted 5-2 in favor of the Jackets finishing over 76.5 points.

There are two clear favorites to win Columbus’s division: the New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes. They seem most guaranteed to make the postseason, while the rest could easily fall out due to some glaring flaws.

It’s tough to bet against the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning, but they lost a number of important depth players this off-season, and the Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers appear to be as strong as they were last season.

Our only unanimous division champ is the Colorado Avalanche. The Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota Wild, and St. Louis Blues are popular picks to battle it out for spots 2-4.

A nearly unanimous vote for the Vegas Golden Knights, with one vote for the Edmonton Oilers. A wide range of confidence in the expansion Seattle Kraken, from third to sixth place. I think they won’t be that good, but the division as a whole is super weak, so they could back into a spot in the top three.

The Los Angeles Kings are a popular pick to break through into the playoffs, though I feel less confident in that pick in the wake of future star Quinton Byfield’s ankle injury.

The Islanders have reached the third round in the last two seasons, and most of us think they’ll make it three in a row, with two sending them into the Stanley Cup Final. The Avs are a unanimous pick to reach the Western Conference Final, with five having them finally reaching the Cup Final.

The Avs then lead with three votes as the champ, with two votes for the Golden Knights and one each for the Islanders and the Lightning.

The plurality like our old friend Artemi Panarin, Defending winner Connor McDavid has two votes.

Fresh off a massive contract extension, Colorado’s Cale Makar is the pick to finally win the trophy that affirms what he already is: the league’s best defenseman.

Two homer votes for Elvis Merzlikins as well as 2019 winner Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Here is the full chart of votes. Share your own picks in the comments!

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