There are few thing I dislike more than hanging around a hospital, which is what I did for about a day and a half with my wife who was thought to have had a heart attack, then a blockage, and finally "we may never know".
She and I made it home last night and were totally worn out from the whole ordeal and we knew no more than when she went to the hospital on Tuesday other than the fact that heart problems were ruled out.
We really appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers over the last couple of days. We received well over a hundred, Tweets, Facebook comments and emails from folks expressing their concern. It is amazing what a great bunch of folks that I've gotten to know through social networking over the last couple of years and how they respond when something serious happens.
So once again, thanks to everyone being so kind and sending the positive thoughts.
Before we move further, I would also like to thank Ryan from the Red Light District for being our guest on the Eastern Conference Preview Edition of POTG Radio on Monday night. If you have not heard the podcast, it is 95 minutes of real hockey discussion about the game on the ice as opposed to all the other stuff that has filled our discussions this summer.
Ryan has also embarked on his 30 teams in 30 days at the RLD. As with everything else he has done, it is top quality stuff.
In The Desert...
While killing time at the hospital, I spent the better part of Wednesday, following the tweets of about seven or eight court room tweeters and once again you could almost get that "being there" feeling. My favorite tweet was that Bettman and Ballsillie were seen shaking hands in the hallway on the way to the restroom.
Anyway, at the end of the day, I can't see where much was decided. Probably the biggest change was Ballsillie's new capitulation that maybe he would play only half a season in Hamilton. So much for the September 14 deadline.
Judge Baum expanded the September tenth hearing to also include the eleventh. The NHL also upped the proceeds of their bid by agreeing to give the proceeds from a possible relocation sale back to the creditors.
In a very timely development, Forechecker rejiggered his super schedule to show the change that Hamilton would make in the miles traveled per team. There was a lot of talk at one point in the hearing about additional travel and none of the "facts" being thrown about were anywhere close to Dirk's accurate production.
SB Nation's Travis Hair sums up the day at Five for Howling. Greg Esposito concludes that there are not any "good guys" in the whole sordid mess. Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star was in the court room tweeting and summarized his day here. The Globe and Mail has their version of the days events as does the Canadian Press at TSN, The Hamilton Spectator, and the National Post. The Arizona Republic gives token effort to the "local" story.
For the final word, Bill Daly appeared on XM 204 Hockey This Morning today with the league's view of the latest situation.
In Preds Land...
A lot has happened in Nashville since I last checked in. The best news was the signing of Cal O'Reilly to a bargain basement two-way contract that will get him in camp on time to start the season. He was the last piece of the Pred's puzzle that was unsigned. The Predators played hardball in spite of O'Reilly possibly playing in Europe if he did not receive a one-way contract.
On Wednesday the Predators also revealed their camp press release, camp schedule, camp roster, and rookie camp and roster information.
One of the casualties of wife Cathy's hospital stay was a chance to go to Brent Peterson's Parkinson's Benefit Dinner courtesy of Mark Willoughby. Paul McCann has a story on the evening that tells me some of what we missed. Thanks again, Mark. I'm really sorry that we missed it.
After the Paul Kelly firing, Mark at the View from 111 speculates on what we all fear, a new militancy in the NHLPA ranks.
Matt Rietz at The View from My Seats has his Central Division Round-table today and Mark Willoughby represents the Predators and does a great job with it.
Dirk at OnTheForecheck has your Thursday Breakfast links ready and waiting. On Monday of this week Dirk appeared on the Thom Abraham show and did a good job talking about Chris Chelios possibly coming to Nashville. Craig Custance also confirmed that Chris had talked to the Preds when he got this story on the NHLPA from Chelios.
Jim Diamond came up with an interesting story that would have the Preds playing in Saskatoon on January 21 if Ice Edge were to win the bid for the Coyotes. Jim also has a post with something interesting about Jon Blum's number.
Paul McCann also sets out for his 30 teams preview, starting with Atlanta.
The Milwaukee Admirals had a good story on Nick Spaling, who is a player that everyone in the Pred's organization really seems to like.
Rachel at What the Puck responds to a Canadian study about women as sports fans.
John Glennon is on a short vacation but left behind a few stories including this one on the Pred's first line. Next he followed with concerns about the second line. Finally, today, he gets to the third line. Does anyone want to guess what Friday's post will be?
If you speak Czech (or can use Google translate) you can see what the Czechs think of the Preds in this season preview.
Around the NHL...
The biggest, non-Phoenix news on Wednesday was the signing of Roberto Luongo to a twelve-year $64 million extension of his contract. I think this type of deal is totally absurd and should be an affront to any reasonable person trying to put together a competitive team in the NHL. It's all about spreading the cap hit into years when Luongo will be well past his prime, up to age 43. The $10 million amount that goes to Roberto in 2010-11 is far more than any team should spend in goal.
The situation with Tampa ownership has also deteriorated with the revelation that Len Barrie was using money from a resort improperly in order to obtain his portion of the team.
Mirtle gives some hints as to the cause of Paul Kelly's firing. Here's the Globe and Mail story that Mirtle links to. Down Goes Brown adds his usual levity to the situation.
Taylor Pyatt signed with Phoenix on Wednesday right in the midst of the hearing.
In her weekly top ten list, Psycho lady Hockey lists all the good things that her hockey addiction has cost her.
Michelle Kenneth has written about a few players that aren't what they appear. She also has a post on a Shanny T-shirt and a few other items.
Earlier this week, after writing about a bunch of other folks reasons why they love hockey, Puck Daddy speaks out with his five reasons.
Before the Phoenix hearing in Phoenix, Eugene Melnyk spoke out on the bizarre nature of Jim Balsillie in the National Post. It also reveals that the same group approached him about moving the Senators to Hamilton six years ago.
Off Topic... Finally, our new favorite web site, People of Walmart, which is down more than its up due to over a million hits a day, made the national news for its popularity (and a second time here at CNN). The picture that I posted on the Facebook page is over 100 comments, mostly unfit for publication here.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass