Today is the day that hockey fans worldwide look forward to with the last two teams set to do battle in the Stanley Cup Finals. It is always bittersweet since it means that we are between four and seven games away from no meaningful hockey until October.
We have plenty of news from the big announcement from Winnipeg and will have our Stanley Cup Final Preview posted within the hour. If you are looking for podcasts, we were involved in two yesterday. Make the jump for all today's news and links...
In addition to yesterday's RLD Hockey Talk with Joe Yerdon as the featured guest, I was on Sports Talk Soup radio last night discussing the Cup Finals match-up with Vito "The Godfather" Chirco. Here is the player for last night's show.
In Pred Nation...
Josh Cooper grabbed a couple of quotes from Barry Trotz on the new team in his home province of Manitoba. He also contrasts the situations in Nashville and Nashville.
Robby Stanley assigns the grade to Jerred Smithson at On The Forecheck.
Milwaukee signed three players to AHL contracts including Preds prospect Jeff Foss.
Here is an interesting Tweet from @ourand_sbj: With the Thrashers move, source says FS South is looking into distributing other NHL teams to the ATL market, like CAR/NAS.
ESPN takes a look at Preds coach Peter Horachek as a potential coaching candidate for the Dallas Stars.
The Vernon Morning Star has a post about Shea Weber joining their All-Star sports banquet to benefit Special Olympics.
The Toronto Star puts realignment into perspective and makes the case that other Western Conference teams will not want Detroit to move. Matt Reitz also gives it a go at Pro Hockey Talk.
Game One: Boston at Vancouver...
Joe Yerdon makes the point that the key for Boston to have a chance is to play like the Predators.
Ryan Porth has his preview and predictions at RLD Hockey
Nick Cotsonika says that it is time for Vancouver to bring the cup home.
Patrick Hoffman has the top five players who need to step up in the final.
Justin Bourne looks at the effect of 2500 mile of travel has during a series.
Atlanta to Winnipeg...
Illegal Curve has more coverage of yesterday's events than can be absorbed.
The Drive To 13 web site is up with all the details of ticket plans in Winnipeg. Sales start at 1 p.m. local time today.
Here is the official statement from the Thrashers on the sale.
Our friend Matt Gunning (formally anonymous) at Bird Watchers Anonymous writes his eulogy of the Thrashers. Don't read it without tissues handy. The new SB Nation blog for the yet unnamed team will be Behind the Net.
Jeff Schulz in Atlanta states the obvious... Atlanta was never given a chance.
Winnipeg will have plenty of cap space open if they choose to add free agents.
RLD Hockey analyzes what kind of team will hit the ice in September.
Mark Willoughby waxes about the demise of the Atlanta franchise.
Don Waddell confirms that he is not going to Winnipeg. It will be interesting to see who else doesn't go.
Brian Thiel looks at the human side of the Thrashers move on a couple of different fronts.
Jas Faulkner celebrates the return of NHL hockey to Manitoba.
Around the NHL...
Chris Botta has the report on the Nassau County Legislature approving the August 1 referendum for the public to vote on funding for a new home for the Islanders.
Kevin Dineen will be named the new head coach of the Florida Panthers at a 2 p.m.CDT press conference this afternoon. Florida is loaded with young talent and Dineen is a great choice. GM Dale Tallon discusses the upcoing draft for the Panthers who hold the third pick for the second year in a row.
It appears that Hal Gill is close to a one-year deal to stay in Montreal.
Russian Machine Never Breaks looks at the future for Alex Ovechkin.
Gary Bettman appears less than excited about more Canadian franchises.
Odds and Ends...
Here's an older story about a couple of guys that gambled on Winnipeg getting a team with a stratiic location of a Las Vegas style bar near the MTS Centre.
Twitter rolled out a new "follow" button yesterday.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass