The long NHL offseason where the cry of "summer sucks, drop the puck," was a routine plea, finally comes to an end in a few hours when Carolina and Minnesota drop the puck at 11 a.m. Central in Finland (Versus).
Tonight, Philadelphia will travel to Pittsburgh (Versus) to christen the new Consol Energy Center at 6 p.m. In Canada, at the same time, a Montreal team without Mike Cammalleri, Carey Priice, and Andrei Markov will travel to Toronto (Center Ice) for the Canadian lid lifter.
In late games at 9 p.m. the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks will travel to Colorado (Versus), while the Battle of Alberta will begin with Calgary visiting Edmonton (Center Ice).
There will be six more games on Friday and twelve on Saturday, including the Anaheim Ducks traveling to Nashville for the Predators home opener.
All summer long, opening day seems so far away and now that it has arrived, many folks are wondering where the summer went.
So for one day, all teams start with the same 0-0-0 record and no matter what the prognosticators say, everyone will be tied for first for a few more hours.
We made our Western Conference Picks yesterday and in a couple of hours we will have the East picks and our Stanley Cup winner too.
For those wanting to see all 30 teams roster for yesterday's 2 p.m. deadline, Ryan at the RLD has them here.
In Pred Nation...
With the opening day roster released yesterday, Josh Cooper writes about Cal O'Reilly crossing the threshold.
Amanda at Predlines outlines the reasons for the high expectations for the Predators as opening night nears.
Jim Diamond looks at Ben Ryan and Craig Smith who will play in the College Ice Breaker Tourney this weekend in St. Louis.
David Boclair discusses the Preds final roster and the "difficult decisions" Barry Trotz made.
Paul McCann had his first Slap Shot Radios of the season last night with special guest Doc Emrick and Barry Trotz.
Chris Burton takes a look at whether Cal O'Reilly will make the best of what may be his last chance to stick with the Predators. He also has a power ranking round up. Really Yahoo? Preds 24th?
Mark Willoughby has his Central Division Preview at Hockey Independent. He also takes a look at Shane O'Brien and what he will bring to the Predators.
The Odd Man Rush is asking everyone to step away from the ledge. He assures folks that the SOB trade is not the end of the world.
Hockey Night in Nashville misses Alexander Radulov it appears.
Nick Brunker has camp, day six in Cincinnati.
Aaron Sims discusses the abundance of riches on defense in Milwaukee.
Overlooked in the Preds season opener talk, is the fact that he Milwaukee Admirals open their season on Saturday when they host the Abbotsford heat at the Bradley Center.
Around the NHL...
Chris Johnson of the Canadian Press has a few thoughts from Gary Bettman as the season begins tonight.
Through an arrangement with Hershey, Sheldon Souray has landed in the AHL, as Edmonton continues to try to peddle him to another club.
NHL Center Ice will be free from today through October 24th. I still have not seen details of the Internet package that is also supposed to be on the Roku box like the MLB package was.
James Mirtle has the story of the new Dion Phaneuf in Toronto. I love the quote from Brian Burke, “The job description that we gave him does not include that he has to be interesting for [the media].”
Four of six Puck Daddy experts pick the Preds in the playoffs in their Western Conference predictions. Mirtle gives his prediction and also has the Preds in the top eight.
John Buccigross has a very musical preview of all 30 NHL teams. TSN also gives their playoff choices. The worst set of predictions go to Ross McKeon at Yahoo.
Ryan Porth also has his predictions with a very likely SCF. In his countdown, two teams remain.
Puck Daddy has been on more radio shows than the Beatles. Now he has his own gig. From @wyshynski: Big News: Puck Daddy Radio will run live M-F, 1-2 p.m. ET/10-11 a.m. PT on The Score Sirius 98. Streaming on PD as well. Debuts Oct. 12.
In Vancouver's effort to get under the cap, they have made several odd moves. The White Towel breaks down all the player juggling. The Devils got under the cap by listing a roster of only 20 players. Are these moves not considered circumvention?
As if Carey Price needs any more bad pub, he may not play in the opener tonight.
Jonathan Cheechoo will be back in a Sharks uniform this season, the Worcester Sharks that is.
Carolina's game in Russia on Monday turned dirty and may make teams reconsider before another NHL-KHL match is scheduled.
Ryan Porth has his Award Show Predictions. I have a prediction that Ryan will party harder at next year's event than this year.
Pat Burns returned from the dead to attend groundbreaking ceremonies for the Pat Burns Arena in Quebec. It's good to see him up and around.
Are the Sabres going deep in the East? SHC thinks so. What about a Preds-Sabres cup match? NBC would claim foul.
In sad news, Ian Laperrriere may be forced to retire due to ongoing post-concussion symptoms.
Don't forget, today will mark the first show this year of the weekly Gary Bettman Hour on XM Home Ice at 5 p.m. Central.
Odds and Ends...
This is like a one man reality show from @Calexander17: This will be your morning laugh trust me!
The new viral picture on the internet is of "cigar guy."
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass