With all the rookies slated to be here this week for their camp, hopefully this will be the week that the hockey faithful in Smashville can transition from the most turbulent off-season in franchise history to the actual preseason mindset, and start to look forward to the coming season.
Most of the veteran players were in town for Wade Belak's funeral on Sunday but they do not officially return until the end of next week. Informal sessions will be ongoing at Centennial Sportsplex starting today for those who are already in town.
The first official on ice session for the rookies will be on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.with the goalies out first and then a full practice from 10:30 -1200. The same schedule will apply on Sunday. Both sessions will be open to the public.
Make the jump for today's news and links...
Wade Belak Related News...
The Wade Belak Memorial Charity Drive is well past the halfway point to their goal. Go there and contribute.
Scott Norton of Norton Sports Management is donating a dollar to mental health awareness for every new new Twitter follower between now and September 12. Go here to follow and help the cause.
Here is another fundraiser selling T-shirts with profits going to Wade's girl's scholarship fund.
The Globe and Mail had a nice piece on the fundraising related to Belak's passing.
Childhood friend, Chris Jacobson relates his thoughts on Wade Belak's passing.
Josh Cooper has his report from Sunday's funeral where most of the current team and numerous former players attended. He adds more perspective at Inside Predators.
An expert looking at postmortem brains of athletes is looking for a connection of trauma and depression.
Joe O'Connor explains that hockey did not kill Wade Belak.
Dan Bradley shares his thoughts on Wade Belak's death.
Here is a nice video tribute to remember happier times. Here is a second one from Leaf's TV.
In Pred Nation...
Congrats to Cellblock 303 for taking the 303:30 to terrestrial radio on102.5 The Game.
Josh Cooper has a new story this morning on the installation of the new boards and glass at the Bridgestone Arena.
Dirk Hoag is up early with his morning round-up with an interesting audio from Pete Weber with Kelly Chase about the NHL and the PA taking care of the players.
Mark Willoughby has a great post in When the Music Stops.
Smashville 24/7 continues their preseason player previews with Pekka Rinne and Colin Wilson.
Dirk Hoag has added ca couple of new rookie camp previews with Charles Oliver-Roussel and Josh Shalla.
Robby Stanley is anxious for hockey to move back onto the ice.
Around the NHL...
The Winnipeg Jets are scheduled to reveal their jerseys today at 11 a.m. local time.
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren was injured in a bike accident over the weekend.
The Andrew Ferrence flash mob during his day with the Cup was impressive.
Vancouver's city counsel is blaming the riots after the Cup final on the NHL. That's like blaming the knife for cutting someone in the kitchen.
RLD Hockey has added previews for the Calgary Flames and Carolina Hurricanes to their 30 in 30 series.
Matt Reitz'a Weekly Cross-Checks has a real interesting story about how a couple of guys met Wade Belak many years ago.
Patrick Hoffman is ready to drop the puck already!
Steve Lapore reports a first for national TV in the US with Versus airing four preseason games.
When Jeff Skinner went straight to the NHL last year ahead of several other promising Carolina prospects that hope to make the move this year.
Scotty Wazz looks at some of this year's tryout contracts. There will be more to come including Manny Legace to Vancouver. I can't think of a worse place to try to get a top two slot. Chris Clark is headed to Boston for a shot at a bottom six slot.
What about a series between the Memorial Cup winners and the USHL champions.
Here is a plea to keep the UAH hockey program alive.
The marketing in the KHL is significantly different as official team videos have topless cheerleaders.
Will the Oilers be better than the Flames in the race for the best record in Alberta this year?
The Hockey Guys have their Central Division fantasy preview and expect a breakout year for Colin Wilson.
One of the most popular New York Rangers of the last generation was Nick Fotiu who is profiled at The Hockey News.
A group of lady hockey players broke the record for the longest hockey game ever in a fundraiser for cystic fibrosis.
Odds and Ends...
Next spring, middle school students will be able to control cameras on a pair of satellites orbiting the moon to take pictures of features that hey find interesting.
In France, a man has been ordered to pay his ex wife $14,000 for a lack of sex.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass