Latest on Olli Jokinen, Chris Higgins, Rene Bourque and Justin Schultz, plus the Senators plan an outdoor game in 2017.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Despite the NHL lockout, Jets forward Olli Jokinen intends to make the most of the holidays in Winnipeg, planning “a lot of outdoor stuff”.

Chris Higgins could soon head to Europe.

Chris Higgins could soon head to Europe.

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks forward Chris Higgins talks about his Christmas plans, how he fell through the ice skating on a pond in his hometown of Smithtown, NY, and of his plans to play in Europe if there isn’t a new CBA in the new future.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens winger Rene Bourque has received medical clearance to return to the ice following off-season abdominal surgery.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers prospect Justin Schultz, previously compared to Hall of Fame defenseman Paul Coffey, has now earned a comparison to anther Hall of Famer, Scott Niedermayer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt Schultz is going to be a very good NHL defenseman, possibly even a great one, but the danger of these comparisons while he’s been toiling in the AHL, pretty much out of the public eye of Oilers fans, creates heightened expectations which could prove overwhelming for the young blueliner when he finally makes his NHL debut. 

OTTAWA BUSINESS JOURNAL: The Senators are planning an outdoor game against the Montreal Canadiens in 2017 to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Confederation, and the 100th anniversary of the founding of the NHL.

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