Tonight is a big night for Predator fans as there is actually somewhat of a reason to head down to the Sommet Center for the Skate of the Union event. David Poile and others will address the crowd at 7:00 and take questions from the audience.
Steve Sullivan will be posing for pictures with the Masterton Trophy. We have confirmation that Sully is indeed in town as he tweeted @Sully26: Feels good to be back in the state of TN. Even if it's only for a couple days last night.
Several other players will be available also. There will be a used equipment sale starting at 5:00. Seats will be marked as open for sale for anyone wanting to buy tickets. Imagine that!
If you see Jackson and I wandering around, make sure and stop us and introduce yourselves. I'll be the old overweight guy with a scruffy beard and Jackson will be the skinny blond-headed kid with me. I wouldn't want anyone to get the two of us confused.
I enjoyed dropping by The Program on BlogTalkRadio last night for some hockey talk in the midst of the dog days of hockey. Chris had Linda Cohn from ESPN on in the first hour for an extended discussion. The Program will have a special One-Year Anniversary edition on Sunday night at 8:00 Eastern that should be one not to miss.
In Pred Nation...
John Glennon is back at Inside Predators and had a couple of good posts. One was on Shea Weber and his ranking as a top NHL player and the other made a point that the recent Predator signings may have added pressure to our unsigned UFA's Ryan Jones and Cal O'Reilly to go ahead and sign. He also reaffirms that Antti Pihlstrom and Kelsey Wilson are headed to Europe.
Rachel at What the Puck adds humor to the confirmation that Radek Bonk will be playing in the KHL next season.
Paul McCann gives his take on the peculiar disclosure that Marion Hossa is having shoulder problems and will miss a portion of the season with the Blackhawks this year.
Brandon Felder was a last minute fill in at Wednesday's Hockey BuzzCast and did a great job. Follow this link and listen to Episode 312 to hear Brandon in action with Julie Robenhymer.
Dirk had a poll at OnTheForecheck on who fans thought the third line center should be for the Preds. The winner was not Jerred Smithson. Go here to see the results. Dirk has his Thursday breakfast links here.
Jim Diamond celebrates the Collective Bargaining Agreement's fourth Birthday at the Examiner. The negative to that is that we are another year closer to the old one expiring.
Around the NHL...
Wednesday was an odd day in the hockey world. In addition to the Hossa story, the Islanders signed Marty Biron as they continue to stockpile goalies. I think it is safe to assume that Rick DiPietro will not be playing anytime soon.
The Hockey News had a story of the top ten potential forced retirements among the current list of free agents. I'm betting at least half will sign with someone but it makes for good discussion.
Mirtle discusses some of the enticements that the KHL is offeing players to join the league.
The finals have arrived at the RedLightDistrict's Ultimate Playoffs and the last two standing are the 2007 Ducks and the 2000 Devils. Check it out to see who takes the grand prize.
The Devils avoided arbitration with Travis Zajac as they completed a multi-year deal on Wednesday. Like the Preds, the Devs will have a wide open camp with a lot of folks trying to make the team.
The Arizona Republic had a nice story on Jeremy Roenick and the most reported part of it was his quote that Chris Chelios wants to go to the Rangers.
Ryan Dixon predicts gloom and doom for this year's version of the Rangers at the Hockey News.
PensBurgh offers a primer on how SBN works.
Finally, the Erin Andrews story is a sad commentary on our society and what folks can do to invade the privacy of others. Now it appears a USA Today reporter has criticized Andrews for it in spite of the fact that she had nothing to do with it. Kevin Greenstien at Inside Hockey puts the USA Today reporter back in her place.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass