This time of year, in general, where there is such a shortage of hockey news that a post like Josh Cooper's at The Tennessean yesterday morning that indicated that Shea Weber's talks were in a "stalemate" can set off an all day flurry of blogs, posts, and discussions on Canadian Talk radio to make it one of the top stories of the day.
If you follow the money trail and realize that the comment came from Weber's agent Jarrett Bousquet, then you have to take a serious look at what was to be gained by such a statement.
The Predators are willing to let the negotiations go until August 2, even after all the parties arrive at the arbitration hearing. They are in no hurry. They are going to have Weber for at least another year.
The Weber camp uses the "stalemate" tag to get a rise out of the media and the fans as that is really the only pressure that they can exert. They are basically at the mercy of accepting David Poile's longer term offer or going to arbitration and getting about $7 million (give or take $500K).
The pressure of the date and the fact that the range of the annual value of the contract is pretty well narrowed down to around $7 million dollars a year means that a deal will get done before the arbitration starts.
On a separate note, there is a bunch of stuff about the "big three" after the jump. The reality is that none will be leaving after nest year and there is an outside chance that as part of the "Weber package" you could see all three locked up around the same time.
Make the jump for a ton of news and links...
In Pred Nation...
It was 'big three" discussion day in the blogosphere yesterday after Elliotte Friedman made mention of the challenge to keep all three. Puck Daddy commented on the matter and James O'Brien reached out to POTG and others for opinions of who would you let go.
Ryan Porth gives his best guess as to what is really going on in the Shea Weber negotiations.
Josh Cooper discusses the Predators' plans to market to displaced Atlanta hockey fans.
Jeremy Gover has three minutes with Victor Bartley.
Patten Fuqua explores the worst drafts in Predators' history and gives you a chance to vote.
Josh Cooper mentions a couple of options for the Predators to pick up another player.
Forechecker piggybacks on Ryan Porth's article about Predator hockey making it to the Stanley Cup.
Predators.com has a new video of Scott Walker in their alumni flashback series.
Admirals Roundtable broaches the topic that the Predators could move their AHL affiliation to a closer city (possibly Atlanta) after the contract expires after the next season.
Predatorial continues to speculate that the Preds will lose one of their "big three" before the 2012-13 season.
Zach Bennett joins the local blog action with the first post at Big Picture Sports. He then has a second post about the Predators' window of opportunity.
Around the NHL...
Today's lone arbitration hearing is Brandon Dubinski and the New York Rangers.
Both of yesterday's scheduled arbitration hearings resulted in agreements before the meetings that resulted in new contracts for Lauri Korpikoski and Teddy Purcell.
Chris Campoli was set for arbitration with the Blackhawks on August 3 but both parties agreed to meet early and walk away and make him a UFA yesterday.
NHL.com takes a shot at ranking the best in the league at the "little things" in the game of hockey.
Erica Schnure at RLD examines the new role players for the Washington Capitals. Also at RLD, Ryan Porth does the math on how Buffalo will get under the cap.
This year's UFA list has been poured over enough so PHT moves on to look at nest summer's potentials.
Agent Stephen Bartlett joined NHL Home Ice to explain the arbitration process in this audio clip.
As expected, Ty Conklin did sign a one year deal with the Wings for $750,000.
Adrian Dater looks back at the 2001 Stanley Cup run of the Colorado Avalanche as the best team he every covered. He also has an Avs update that was shortened by a cracked laptop screen.
Cap Geek has a new feature where you can look at every team's depth chart along with salary numbers.
The list of the top 10 UFA paydays from this off season has several names that will make you shake your head.
Mark Bell who left for Europe to play after his career was in a tail spin over DUI charges has been signed by the Ducks.
Steve Lapore has the latest on the Versus name change that will be announced soon but not take effect until the end of the year.
Folks who put deposits on next year's Atlanta Thrasher's season tickets are getting the runaround on promised refunds.
Blue Oyster Cult is playing a free concert in support of the new arena on Long Island.
Patrick Lalime is moving from the ice to the Ottawa Senators broadcast booth.
I came across a web site yesterday that was very interesting. It is called Native Hockey News and is a general hockey site with a focus on Native Canadian hockey players at all levels of play. Check it out and give @NatHockeyNews a follow.
Who is Phineas and Ferb and why would the NHL get tied up with them? Wasn't the Guardian Project bad enough?
Oddly enough, the place where we are staying in Yosemite next week is where the Stanley Cup was taken over the fourth of July weekend. Here is a video of Mike Bolt giving the history of the cup there.
Odds and Ends...
The University of Tennessee is having trouble selling out their football season which used to be common. David Climer looks at the reasons but does not list my reason for not going which is a total disgust for the whole athletic program. The main thing the program has produced in the last 15 years is criminals which does not inspire me to participate. Alumni used to be proud of the school but their image has been tarnished beyond recovery.
Here is a coupon for $100 off any tablet at Staples. Netflix will now work on the Android Honeycomb tablets too.
Jesus is everywhere... even in Wal-Mart receipts.
Saturday mail deliver by the USPS is on the endangered list and three days a week is on the horizon. When I was a child, we had morning and afternoon mail delivery and that was in the 1960's.
FEMA uses the "Waffle House Index" to rate natural disasters.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass