There are a bunch of off the ice activities coming up in the next three weeks to keep hockey fans occupied before the real dead of off season begins in mid-July.
One of the biggest complaints that I have with the NHL is the fact that so much is crammed into about a 10 day period, starting this year on June 22. If you look at the following list of dates, you can see where the events could be spread out more to give fans more time to digest each activity.
When I have asked league officials about this issue, the response is that the hockey folks want to get as much done as quickly as possible so that they can have an "off-season" too. This may be good for them, but leaves too long of a break for the fan who might want to see it last a little longer.
Offseason Dates to Remember
Tue. June 22 - NHL 2010-11 Schedule released
Tue. June 22 - Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees announced - Toronto
Wed, June 23 - NHL Awards Show - Las Vegas
Thur. June 24 - Top Prospects Preview - Los Angeles
Fri. June 25 - 2010 Entry Draft - First Round - Los Angeles
Sat. June 26 - 2010 Entry Draft - 2-7 Rounds - Los Angeles
Wed. June 30 - Salary Cap Upper and Lower Limits Revealed
Thur, July 1 - Free Agency Begins
July 6-13 - Preds Rookie Development Camp - Centennial Sportsplex
August 23-27 - World Hockey Summit - Toronto
Sept. 13-16 - Preds Rookie Camp
Sept. 17 - Preds Training Camp Opens
Calder Cup Game Five...
Tonight will mark the Texas Stars last chance to pick up a win at home in the Calder Cup finals before the series returns to Hershey for game six and seven (if needed).
So far, the home team is yet to win a game in the series that is tied 2-2. I seriously doubt that streak will hold up as the series concludes. The game can be heard on XM radio since game seven of the Stanley Cup was not needed.
In Pred Nation...
Later today, Ryan at the RLD will have the Predator's version of the thirty teams in thirty days series that he is running. I was privledged to be able to answer five questions about the Preds.
Jim Diamond has another look at Blake Geoffrion signing a deal with the Predators.
Mark has his weekly View column at The View from 111.
Paul McCann looks at the outlook for Pred's Defenseman and Goaltenders for over the summer.
Here's more on Dan Hamhuis and Georges Laraque's visit to Haiti from the NHLPA. Bryan Mullen also has a story about the trip at the Tennessean.
The Province has a piece about Hamhuis and the potential of him playing in Vancouver.
The Sun-Times recounts the Blackhawks march to the cup with a summery of their series with the Predators.
Odd statistic from @dellis39: Just analyzing my game log from this yr and realized that out of my 31 games played only 4 were home starts. That's a first! Road warrior!!!
We've been seeing a bunch of Twitpics from Jordin Tootoo from his visit to his hometown of Rankin Inlet. Here is a story from the local paper about his visit.
The Milwaukee Admirals announced that opening night at home will be October 9.
If you haven't seen it, the video of Sully and his wife walking the red carpet at the Country Music Television Awards on Wednesday is reminiscent of them walking at the Palms at last year's NHL Awards show.
Around the NHL...
The Tampa Bay Lightning finally made it official that Guy Boucher will be the new head coach.
Puck Daddy asked Puck Huffers to do the Flyer's eulogy.
The Hawks-Flyers game six looks to be the highest rated NHL game in 37 years.
Michael Langlois has an interesting comparison between Patrick Kane's game winner and the goal scored by Henri Richard (Rocket's brother) to clinch the cup in 1966 for the Habs.
One of our favorite things during the playoffs is The Hockey Zen's Playoff Pool where you have the chance to pick every game. The final results are in from @thehockeyzen: Congratulations to Lori Davis for winning the #thzhockeypool @RLDhockey for finishing 2nd & Steve HoH for finishing 3rd. Charity also won as Chris and Adrian gave $5 for each person that beat them in the pool.
Expert picker, Ryan from the RLD, has a nice list of the Top 5 Breakout players in the post season.
Maybe the KHL isn't all that. From @dchesnokov: Chatted with Nikita Filatov today. He is really looking forward to coming back to the NHL. He will arrive in NA in August.
Odds and Ends...
NASA wants to send your face into space on one of the remaining shuttle missions. Here is the form to submit your face.
Are there methane based life forms on Saturn's moon Titan? A lot of speculation on this one.
Here is a handy guide to BlackBerry errors and how to deal with them.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass