Good Friday Morning!
We have almost made it to the end of another week and have hockey on the agenda tomorrow night as the Predators will play the Hurricanes at 7 p.m. at the Sommet Center in their last home pre-season game.
The Predators return to camp at Centennial this morning at 11:00 and should have considerably fewer bodies on the ice. Barry Trotz indicated that there would be a round of cuts after the Team Building Day and that they would be down to close to the final roster before this weekend's games.
Additionally, The Admirals play their two exhibition games tonight and tomorrow so there will be some fast regrouping in Milwaukee as they get ready for their season.
I expect to see a release early this morning with ten to twelve additional cuts. I would imagine that the players that are leaving are already in transit or preparing to be as I write. Due to the injury situation with several regulars, a couple of extra players may hang on through this weekend's games for one final chance to make an impression.
Keep an eye on this space or Twitter as the morning progresses for the information on the next round of cuts.
In Pred Nation...
Forechecker has a rumor of possible trade talks between the Preds and Edmonton with his Breakfast Links. Dirk also has his 2009-10 Predators Preview, hot off the presses (or something like that). Further, Dirk takes a look at the Predators that are an option in fantasy leagues this season.
John Glennon has a good story about newcomer Ben Guite who recently completed his MBA degree. He takes a look at Pekka's unimpressive preseason numbers at Inside Predators.
Buried in a story that I saw Wednesday night was a note that Ryan Ellis was headed back to Windsor for last night's game against Erie where they raised the banner for their Memorial Cup season last year. I was mistaken in that I thought he was on the travel squad to Atlanta. The official announcement of his departure came mid-day yesterday.
Jim Diamond has the update on Ryan Ellis in his first game back in Juniors. He had two assists and was +3.
The City Paper has a story about young Predators that may make it past the cuts expected later today.
Rachel at What the Puck makes funny comments on a picture of a bus full of Preds going to Ft Campbell. Cheap Seat Queen gushes over another picture from yesterday's activities.
Steve Sullivan spoke on Twitter of the fine day the players had yesterday. @Sully26: "Would like to thank all the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment in Fort Campbell for all you did for us today. We had a great day!"
Admirals Shorts Shifts has the lowdown on Day 2 of the Milwaukee camp. Until the Preds make another round of cuts today, it will be difficult for them to get much accomplished other than looking at some of the younger guys. The Ads will play their first of two exhibition games tonight against the Chicago Wolves at Wilson Park Ice Arena at 7:00. Eric Kent (and possibly John Glennon) will appear on Admirals Center Ice Radio this week.
Around the NHL...
Drama of a different kind in Phoenix yesterday as Wayne Gretzky officially resigned as head coach. With the paychecks slated to end next week was it really a surprise? Here is the official text of the announcement from Wayne's own Blog.
Puck Daddy had the best spin of the day on Gretzky @wyshynski: "If you're a Gretzky fan, today is a great day. No one remembers Ted Williams as a shitty coach. Leave the bench, reclaim the legacy". Travis Hair has a good perspective piece at Five for Howling.
Craig Custance found a story on "The Great One" from the archives when Wayne was 16 years old.
The Coyotes already had a replacement in hand before the announcement on Gretzky was made. Dave Tippett was introduced as the new coach at a 3 p.m. presser yesterday. He is a good choice to try to take the young players and create some wins on the ice. Travis also shows his excitment about the hiring.
Off the ice, the NHL accused Jim Ballsillie latest offer of being "inaccurate and misleading". His company, RIM took a 15% hit on Wall Street due to poor earnings according to Sports By Brooks (7:13 PM Entry).
Fans of NHL Home Ice may have missed the announcement on Thursday morning on XM204 of the new roster of players in their daily line up. Morning man Scott Laughlin is switching places with Mike Ross who has been on in the afternoons. Peter Berce is also moving to mornings and will also join Mick Kern in the War Room as Dan Blakeley has left the crew. With Scott now on In The Slot in the afternoon, the show is going remote and moving permanently to Wayne Gretzky's Restaurant. Here is the complete audio of the announcements.
From The Hockey News comes their Western Conference picks and they have the Preds buried in 13th place in their predictions. Thank goodness for Colorado and Phoenix or they would have the Preds in last place. I don't know if it's snobbery or what, but THN never gives the Preds a break at all on anything. Here's their picks from the East.
(Parental Advisory) From Fanhouse comes a story about the most tasteless depiction of a death that I have ever heard of. While Steve McNair's situation was nothing to be proud of, it did not deserve this! I'm glad someone with a little judgment stepped in.
How long will this keep you occupied?
Finally, here is something sent by our friend @Karpo these are pretty funny: Awesomely BAD engagement photos
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass