Thursday, July 8, 2010

Predators Skate of the Union Tonight and Thursday Thoughts

Tonight, the Predators will have their midsummer Skate of the Union event tonight starting at 4:00 p.m. at the Bridgestone Arena.

Last year's event, which was held a couple of weeks later, was a Godsend for hockey fans needing a fix before camp opened in September. Here is a link to the video that we made of last year's panel discussion. Barring something unforeseen, we will have have the video of this year's discussion for those unable to attend.

Here is the schedule of activities of tonight's event.

4 pm Doors Open
4 - 6 pm Used Equipment Sale
4:30 - 5:30 pm Autograph Session with Joel Ward
6 pm Skate of the Union Panel Discussion
7 pm Autograph Session with Recent 1st Round Draft Picks
Fan Photos with Blake Geoffrion and Hobey Baker Award
8 pm Event Ends

The panel discussion is set to include David Poile, Ed Lang, Barry Trotz, Tom Cigarran and free agency signee Matthew Lombardi. The panel will be hosted by Pete Weber. Fans may submit questions for the panel when they enter the arena.

With so much activity in the past couple of weeks it should be a very positive event for Preds fans as the Preds appear ready to put one of the best teams in franchise history on the ice on opening night in October.

In Pred Nation...

Jim Diamond has a piece with Ryan Ellis discussing ex-Pred and ex-Windsor coach Bob Bougner's move to the Columbus Blue Jackets as an assistant. Jim has a second post on the four Pred prospects that hail from Minnesota.

Jas Faulkner has a good recap of yesterday's camp at The Hockey Writers.

David Boclair writes about Blake Geoffrion attending his record fifth Pred's Development Camp.

Bryan Mullen has another story from camp with Jonathan Blum who has added 25% to his body weight in the three years since his draft.

David Singleton has a look at the Preds roster and potential changes before camp at Hockey Independent.

Interesting fact from @NHLPredsInsider: There are 14 Americans at 2010 Dev. Camp compared to 12 Canadians and 7 from Europe... Won't see Americans outnumber Canadians too often!

Cycwords has an update on recent events with the Pred's ECHL affiliate in Cincinnati.

Around the NHL...

The Kovalchuck saga drags on and has ruined the life of at least one blogger. Here's another look at the slow progress by an uncredited NJ Devils fan (aka Chris Wassel). A final late night story from Helene Elliote indicates that the Kings are again out of the Kovi sweepstakes. So who is left?

Ryan at RLD Hockey has a complete list of all 30 teams needs and cap space. He also analyzes Nabokov's bolt to the KHL.

Isles fans were disturbed by the non-renewal of Assistant GM Ryan Jankowski's contract. Jankowski's primary duties included being in charge of amateur scouting. His position will not be filled.

The Copper and Blue has a very thoughtful article about Hockey Homophobia that covers a lot of ground.

Puck Daddy has a look at what four agents think about the recent free agent frenzy.

The Montreal Gazette has a wide-ranging article about Kevin Smith who will be speaking at the Hyatt Regency next Thursday.

Buffalo fans seem excited about the signing of Rob Niedermayer.

Gimmeapuck ties her own personal tragedy to Jose Theodore's Masterton Trophy win in a nice heartfelt personal story at View from My Seats.

For those in the New York City area the second annual Street Hockey #NHLtweetup will be this Sunday. Follow the link for details.

The location of the "Fisher-Wood" wedding this weekend is under wraps. Guests will not know where they are going until the get to the airport. Sounds like the "posh resort" is Dollywood. If they were told them beforehand, the guests wouldn't show.

Hockey News Update has the ten best and worst free agent signings since the lockout. They include Jason Arnott's 2006 signing with the Preds as the tenth best.

Odds and Ends...

There is now a $10 million X-Prize bounty on the line for a successful solution to the oil spill in the gulf.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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