After all the excitement yesterday when the Winter Classic participants were officially revealed and the 2009-10 schedule was released, there is really not much on the hockey horizon until camps start opening in September.
Taking a first look at the schedule reveals a few oddities, some positive and some negative. The home schedule seems to be laid out in large bunches with several runs where we have an abundance of home dates in short periods of time and other sections where we are rarely home over a several week period.
From the middle of November until mid December, the Preds have 13 home games in a 32 day period. That will definitely tax the average STH to attend that many games with few breaks. March is fairly loaded too, but that will be a good thing as we head down the stretch. Together, that's about 60% of the home dates in two month-long blocks. I hope we win a lot of them.
All in all, I really have few complaints with the schedule other than the Titan's MNF-altered game with the Wings on November 23. 5:00 starts don't get it with me regardless of the reason. Also, I don't ever remember back to back home games during the regular season which happens Thanksgiving weekend. That's as good a time to do it as any if it was absolutely necessary.
The best thing about the schedule release is that with two months left until camp, we will have specific dates, times and places to look forward to as opposed to some obscure hope that live hockey would return again someday.
In Pred Nation...
Predators.com has a complete breakdown and an interview with Barry Trotz about what he thinks about the schedule. They also have a video with David Good's recap of the development camp.
Everyone else checked in with an opinion on the Pred's schedule after its release including those of Paul McCann, Section 303, Forechecker, The City Paper, and John Glennon (and a second time from JG).
One of the most anticipated things that Dirk Hoag provides the NHL community at On The Forecheck is the "miles traveled by team" feature that he produces each year. He provides a breakdown by team of miles as well as back to back games. He also gives you the link to the Google Docs raw material so you can play with the schedule yourself.
Dirk also had a poll on what the Preds should do with Antti Pihlstrom. Go here to vote and see results.
Mark at The View From 111 has an article on Cap management and how different teams, including the Preds, try to deal with it. Russ Cohen complained about my ReTweet as Mark's artical was titled "Capology" and Russ has the "ology" market cornered over at Sportsology. All in jest of course.
Scotty Nichol is officially done with the Preds as he signed with San Jose. There is also a podcast that includes Scotty talking about the move here. Best of luck to him. We will miss him.
From @Short_Shifts: Whispers of Kelsey Wilson playing in Europe next season...seeking confirmation.
Around the NHL...
No one has any room to talk about scheduling problems after you look at Vancouver's schedule. The Nucks will have no home games from January 20 until March 10th. All the details are here.
Here's three reports on the Winter Classic announcement from Inside Hockey. Tim Rosenthal discusses the worst kept secret, Alex Linsky says the Bruins are pleased with the game, and Jake Duhaime has some video interviews from after the announcement.
Chris Wassel filling in for Ryan at the Red Light District has a breakdown of the NHL schedule and ideas on the Winter Classic.
Hockey Jabbers rates all 30 clubs in their offseason activity. As you would expec t from an outside, they did not think much of the Pred's choice not to go after high dollar feee agents.
The sad news from Eric Gage is that the last One Percentile Podcast (for a while) is up at the XM Audio page. I will miss it.
Off topic... The Tennessean has another look back in pictures to July 1964. One picture says that skating at Municipal Auditorium was a popular summer activity.
Finally, Tim Rosenthal showed me the following classic on the Dany Heatley saga. It's as realistic as anything else that has happened in the Heatley fiasco (Warning: R Rated subtitles included).
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass
RT @brandon_felder: According to the capgeek.com, the Preds have signed Peter Olvecky, 23, to a 1 year deal. Played for the Aeros and Wild last year. I don't know much about the guy but Hockey's Future lists Olvecky with the potential to be a third line winger. Brandon follows with a brief post about the signing.
Paul McCann has more on the schedule this morning with his five pick games of the season for the Preds.