Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Traveling Onward Through California

Big Sur

It is a beautiful morning in San Jose as we continue our post Awards/Draft Vacation. We plan to swing by the HP Pavilion aka Shark Tank in a few minutes before heading to San Francisco. I like seeing other arenas even when there's nothing going on.

After the Draft on Saturday, we spent Saturday night hanging out with Ryan Porth of RLD Hockey in Venice Beach. On Sunday, after Ryan left, we returned to Venice and worked our way up the coast through Wine Country to Pismo Beach.

On Monday, we rode the Pacific Coast Highway up through Big Sur which was absolutely incredible. After an issue with the campground where we had reservations last night, we continued onward to find meager accommodations at the Motel 6 in San Jose, which was actually the same price as the campground.

Today, we are heading to San Francisco for the day before camping tonight at Half Moon Bay, where the famous Mavericks surf breaks. On Wednesday, we are set to see the Dodgers play the Giants in San Francisco before heading out to Yosemite.

Unfortunately, I will miss the free agent frenzy on Thursday but Ryan Porth at RLD Hockey will have it covered. I wasn't surprised that the Preds did not make a qualifying offer to Denis Grebeshkov but I did think they would qualify Dustin Boyd. I'll check in again when we have Internet again.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Predators GM David Poile Speaks After Day Two of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft

We spoke with David Poile minutes after the Predator's final selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at The Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Poile seemed pleased with the work that his scouting team did in doing the best that they could with limited picks in the early rounds.

In the following video, Poile give his thoughts on each of the players selected on the second day and relates that the North American players will be at the Pred's Development Camp starting on July 6 at Centennial. They will also attempt to have the European prospects attend if they are able.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

The Nashville Predators Pick Up Two Players in the Seventh Round at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft

The Nashville Predators finished their work with two seventh round picks in the final round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at the Staples Center.

With the 194th pick they selected David Elsner from EV Landshut in the German-2 League. He is a 6'0" left winger who was born in Landshut, Germany.

Elsner scored six goals and had three assists for Landshut during the 2009-10 season.

Central Scouting had Elsner ranked as the 52nd best European skater in their final poll.

At 198 the Preds picked up Joonas Rask from the Ilves team in Finland. He is a 5"11" center who hails from Savonlinna, Finland. Joonas will probably be best known as the younger brother of Boston Bruins goalie, Tuuka Rask.

Rask played 43 games for Ilves last season and scored ten goals while adding nine assists. He also captained the Finnish team at the 2010 World Junior Tournament.

The 5"10" 172 pounder played in 52 games for Djurgarden last season and scored five goals and picked up six assists.

Hockey's Future gives this assessment, "Rask is a technically-skilled hockey player with excellent skating ability typical of the half dozen or so forwards developed in the Ilves junior program over the past few years. Like the other Ilves forwards, he is not a particularly physical player and his size and strength are concerns. While his skill level and understanding of the game are apparent, Rask must prove he is willing to compete in small spaces and continue to develop physically to become a legitimate NHL prospect."

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

The Nashville Predators Select Anthony Bitetto with their Sixth Round Pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft

The Nashville Predators selected Anthony Bitetto from the Indiana Ice of the USHL with their sixth round pick (168 overall) at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at the Staples Center.

The 6'2" 208 pounder played in 58 games for the Ice last season and scored eleven goals and picked up 29 assists and was +11.

In 2008-09 Bitetto played 24 games for Indiana scoring one goals and picking up three assists.

Bitetto was born in Island Park, New York and was unranked in the draft by Central Scouting.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

The Nashville Predators Select Patrick Cehlin with their Fifth Round Pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft

The Nashville Predators selected Patrick Cehlin from the Djurgarden in Sweden with their fifth round pick (126 overall) at the NHL Entry Draft at the Staples Center.

The 5"10" 172 pounder played in 52 games for Djurgarden last season and scored five goals and picked up six assists.

In 2008-09 Cehlin played 26 games for Djurgarden scoring ten goals and picking up 25 assists.

Cehlin was born in Huddinge, Sweden and was ranked as the 25th best European skater in the draft by Central Scouting.

Elete Prospects says this about Cehlin, "An excellent skater. Cehlin accelerates really well and has good top speed. He is an offensive minded player with good technical skills, release and creativity. Passes the puck well and is a good scorer too. Could use some fine-tuning in his defensive game."

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

The Nashville Predators Select Taylor Aronson in the Third Round of the NHL Entry Draft

The Nashville Predators selected Taylor Aronson from the Portland Pirates of the Western Hockey League with their third round pick (78th overall) at the NHL Entry Draft at the Staples Center.

The 6'0" 196 pounder played in 71 games for Portland last season and scored five goals and picked up 25 assists. He also logged 65 penalty minutes and dropped the gloves a couple of times last year.

In 2008-09 Aronson played for the LA Junior Kings scoring nine goals and picking up 16 assists.

After speaking with Aronson, he fully appears to be a Predators type player who will play a team game and give 110% every night. Several junior hockey experts that I have spoken with feel that we got a steal in a player that has plenty of upside as he develops.

Aronson is from Placentia, California and is friends with Preds prospect Jon Blum who also hails from California. This has been a big year for west coasters as Californians Beau Bennett (20th overall) was taken in the first round breaking Blum's record (23rd in 2007) as the earliest a Californian had been picked. Emerson Etem (29th) was also picked making it the first time two from the Golden State had been taken in the first round.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Nashville Predators Select Austin Watson in the First Round of the NHL Entry Draft

The Nashville Predators selected Austin Watson, a 6'3", 185 pound left winger from the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League with the 18th pick in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Friday night.

Watson appears to be an all-American boy that Nashville fans will love to see in a Predators uniform. As if he had planned to be drafted by Nashville, he was dressed in a shiny, dark pin-striped suit with boots that could have allowed him to walk to center stage at the Grand Old Opry House and fit right in.

He has never been to Nashville but does like country music and is looking forward to checking out the city in a couple of weeks at the prospect development camp.

David Poile appeared extremely pleased with the selection. They had targeted Watson as the player that they wanted and were pleasantly surprised that he was still available at the eighteenth pick. Poile said that Watson has been compared to Ryan Kessler and said that if it proves to be true then this will be a highly successful draft.

Watson is the oldest of nine kids and claims Ann Arbor, Michigan as his hometown. His family moved to Florida when he was twelve, but he remained in Michigan with his grandparents in order to play hockey.

Before being traded to Peterborough midway through the last season, he had played with last year's first pick, Ryan Ellis at Windsor under the direction of ex-Predator Bob Bougner. Watson is looking forward to being reunited with Ellis in a Pred's uniform.

Watson was injured for part of the past season and was limited to 52 games. He still managed to score 20 goals and add 34 assists while playing a strong two-way game.

He played the entire 2008-09 season with Windsor where he was part of the Spitfires Memorial Cup winning team. He also was a part of the Gold Medal winning under 18 version of team USA during this past season.

Watson was rated as the 14th best North American skater by Central Scouting and most mock drafts had him going higher than the Pred's 18th pick.

Before the draft, Chris Edwards of NHL Central Scouting gives a run down of Watson's game. “Austin is a very good penalty killer. He plays a high-energy two-way game. He's aggressive on the forecheck and he will finish his checks. He has good hands and can shoot the puck hard. He is an excellent competitor and is a good shot blocker. I like his energy and willingness to play a role and be good at that role.”

Watson was one of eleven players from the United States to be drafted in the first round which is the most ever with ten being the previous highest number. This is a tribute to the solid program that USA Hockey has been developing over the last few years.

Rounds two through seven will begin Saturday at Noon on the NHL Network. If no trades are made, the Predators will not draft again until the third round (78th overall). Nashville's other picks will be in the fifth round (126th), sixth round (168th), and then two in the seventh round (194th and 198th).

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Welcome to L.A. and the 2010 NHL Entry Draft

We finally made it to Los Angeles this afternoon after an adventure that took far longer that it should have.

The first sign of trouble reared its head before we left Las Vegas when I called our accommodations in Los Angeles to find out that they thought I was supposed to be there a week ago so I did not hold reservations for tonight. They promptly found a room for us and we headed across the desert.

When we arrived at the hotel, the hotel clerk seemed puzzled when I said that we needed three keys. When we opened the door to the room we found that we couldn't get our luggage into the room much less find room for three to sleep. The very nice hotel clerkett was able to find a slightly larger room so we finally got past all the confusion and headed out for the Staples Center,

That's when the real trouble started. When we got about a block from the arena we started hearing loud screams. As we got closer, we found the street to the credentials trailer to be totally blocked by Hollywood's finest premiere red carpet and limos. We only had minutes to pick up the creds before the office closed.

The root of the trouble was the premiere of "The Twilight Saga:Eclipse" which was being held right beside the media trailer. Initially, we made it past about three layers of security trying to make a bee-line for our destination.

The best of the best of security folk must have been in Toronto for the G20 because we got far further than we should have before being directed away from the premises. You may see us on E! Network if you look closely.

Anyway, with an alternate route in hand, we did make it in time and are now enjoying a fine media workroom and are ready to head to a reception so we can chill out after a hectic few days and get braced for all the action from the draft.

Friday will be the big day for thirty of the best young future NHL stars while they wait for their names to be called as the first round of the NHL Entry Draft will be held at the Staples Center beginning at 6 p.m. Central.

The second through seventh rounds will be held on Saturday beginning at noon. Versus Network will televise the opening round while the later rounds will be on NHL Network.

Locally, the Nashville Predators will hold a draft party at the Embassy Suites in Franklin starting at 6 p.m. Pete Weber, Tom Callahan, Gnash and others from the Predators are slated to attend.

For those in the Los Angeles area, there will be an NHL Tweetup at the ESPN Zone on Saturday at 10 a.m local time.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Raw Footage from the Red Carpet at the 2010 NHL Awards Show

Here is some raw video from the Red Carpet at the NHL Awards Show at The Palms yesterday. It's not high quality video but will give you a flavor of the glitz and glamor before the show.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pred's Coach Barry Trotz Finishes Second in Jack Adams Voting

Nashville Predator's coach Barry Trotz finished second to the Coyote's Dave Tippet in this year's Jack Adams Trophy (NHL coach of the year) voting.

Tippett received 57 of 59 first place votes (291 points). He led the Coyotes to the playoffs after being hired immediately before Phoenix's season opener. The Yotes experienced a summer of discontent last year when ownership was tied up in the court system and remains unclear almost a year later.

Tippett joked when receiving the award that he would like to thank the owners but wasn't sure who they were.

Trotz finished second in the voting with 60 points after leading the Predators to a seventh place finish in the Western Conference and 100 points for the season. Trotz's Preds have made the playoffs five of the last six seasons while being among the lowest salaried teams in the NHL.

Colorado's Joe Sacco finished third in the voting with 51 points. Detroit's Mike Babcock received the other two first place votes while finishing fourth with 38 points.

Other winners included Henrik Sedin winning the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP; Duncan Keith with the Norris as best defenseman; Ryan Miller won the Vezina for best goaltender: and Tyler Meyers captured the Calder as rookie of the year.

One of the more emotional awards was Jose Theodore winning the Masterton Trophy that is awarded annually to the NHL player who "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey."

Theodore lost his new born baby last summer due to complications of premature birth. He received the Masterton the day after what would have been his child's first birthday. Winning the award was an emotional experience that was bittersweet under the circumstances.

"It's not an award growing up that you look at it and you aim for because a lot of times it means you had a sickness or a tragedy. So it's not something you look toward," Theodore explained. "But I always admired the people that won it, because I know they have to make comebacks and fight through a lot of adversity."

I also enjoyed seeing the Coyote's Shane Doan win the King Clancy Trophy that is given for leadership and humanitarian contribution. Of all the players around the league Doan appears to enjoy pre-game warm-ups more than any other player.

When asked about his pre-game fun, Doan responded that he enjoyed every minute on the ice and always can't wait unto the next game of practice to get to do it all over again. What a tribute to the game it is to be able to enjoy playing that much.

In summary, this year's awards show appeared to be more upbeat and fun for the audience in the theater and at home than in last year's first stop in Las Vegas.

We will be editing and posting a bunch of video over the next few weeks as we continue to travel on to the draft in Los Angeles and onward on our extended working vacation.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Barry Trotz Speaks with the Media at the NHL Awards

Nashville Predators Barry Trotz met with the media yesterday at the NHL Awards Show where he is a nominee for for the Jack Adams Award.

What follows are the highlights of a wide ranging interview that went for an extended period. It was interesting to hear reactions from reporters from other cities that had never dealt with Trotz. There were amazed at how open and forthcoming he is compared to many of the other NHL coaches.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas NHL Awards Style

After three days of Internet blackout in the back woods of Utah, we returned to the Palms in Las Vegas last night. First thing we saw when we entered the hotel was Lord Stanley’s Cup and all the other trophies on display in the lobby.

All the Trophies

After leaving home on Saturday we were pleased to hear of the game changing trades that the Predators made with Philadelphia and New Jersey. The moves guaranteed that next year’s version of the Predators will have a new look with younger players moving into key roles on the team.

On arriving in Las Vegas, due to limited availability of a reasonable sized vehicle, we were forced to move into a larger, more Hunter S. Thompson-esque vehicle, and ended up with a baby blue Mercury Grand Marquis with rear-wheel drive.

This monster vehicle severely limited our ability to traverse the more desolate areas of the Utah outback and ended our 24-mile trek over dirt washboard seeking slot canyons abruptly when we came upon a huge sand pit.

Bryce Canyon

Our other near death Utah experience involved tent camping in sub-freezing weather with summer weight sleeping bags in the altitude at Bryce Canyon. When we finally escaped from the tent, we found a tree covered with ice where a sprinkler had showered it during the night that confirmed the reason for our all night shivering episode.

Last night after cleaning off the camping dirt, we hit up the In-N-Out Burger and then headed for a stroll on the Strip. We were surprised to run into our Hockey 54 friends Launy Schwartz and Dahlia Kurtz in the Casino at Caesars. Fisher and Jackson had never met them in person so they were thrilled to death.

Jackson, Fisher,Buddy, Joe Frazier, Dahlia, and Launy

Today, we expect to talk to Barry Trotz and several of the other Award nominees at a couple of media events this afternoon and should be able to post interviews later tonight.

This morning, it looks like we will be taking in Toy Story 3 which we are all looking forward to seeing.

More Later…

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Friday, June 18, 2010

Francis Bouillon Re-Signing Officially Announce By the Nashville Predators

After several news reports and speculation since Wednesday night, the Nashville Predators officially announce that Francis Bouillon has been re-signed in a 2-year deal that will pay him $2.7 million over two seasons.

This pretty much guarantees that Dan Hamhuis and Denis Grebeshkov will be employed elsewhere next season. The best hope for the Preds is that they will be able to trade the rights to both players for a draft pick at this year's NHL Entry Draft.

As it stands now it clearly looks like the top five D-men for the Preds will be Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Francis Bouillon, Kevin Klein, and Cody Franson.

The six/seven slots will be up for grabs in camp with Alexander Sulzer, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis and Jon Blum as the leading candidates. Sulzer would appear to have the inside track since he has a one way contract and the Preds may be hesitant to burn a year of the entry level contract on Blum, Josi, or Ellis unless they clearly are ready to play a full season with the Preds.

There is also an outside chance that if the Preds could find another Bouillon type deal when camp begins that they could bring in another experienced guy to pug the seventh man role for a year so as not to rush the younger players (I hear Chelios is available for the minimum).

Here is the official release from the Predators...


Nashville, Tenn. (June 18, 2010) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed defenseman Francis Bouillon to a two-year contract worth $2.7 million. The Montreal, Quebec native will make $1.2 million in 2010-11 and $1.5 million in 2011-12.

Bouillon, 34 (10/17/75), played a career-high 81 games for the Predators in 2009-10, ranking second on the team – and among the Top 20 NHL defensemen – in hits (162), while tying for third on the Predators in penalty minutes (50). He also posted 11 points (3g-8a), while averaging 19:18 per game a season ago, and played in all six of Nashville’s 2010 Playoff games.

The most tenured member of Nashville’s defensive corps, the 5-8, 198-pounder has played in 566 regular-season games with Nashville and Montreal since 1999, amassing 113 points (24g-89a) and 421 penalty minutes.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Predators Officially Release Preseason Schedule

As we indicated in our our post this morning Amanda DiPaolo pieced together the Pred's preseason schedule from announcements made by other teams. It was a good piece of investigative work.

The Predators officially announced the schedule this morning with the game times added. It will be good to see the Caps as a new preseason foe along with holdovers Atlanta and Carolina.

The full NHL regular season schedule will be released on Tuesday.

Here is the full release from the Preds...


-Nashville plays a pair of games against three Southeast Division teams-

Nashville, Tenn. (June 18, 2010) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the Predators will open their 2010 preseason schedule by hosting the Carolina Hurricanes on Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. CT.

Nashville’s six-game preseason schedule includes two other home games: Saturday, Sept. 25 against the defending President’s Trophy winning Washington Capitals (7 p.m.) and Monday, Sept. 27 against its closest geographical rivals, the Atlanta Thrashers (7 p.m.).

The 2010-11 Nashville Predators rookie training camp is scheduled to open Monday, Sept. 13, with veterans reporting on Friday, Sept. 17 with testing and physicals. The Predators’ first day on the ice will be Saturday, Sept. 18 at the Centennial Sportsplex. The 2010-11 NHL regular-season schedule will be announced on Tuesday, June 22.

Individual game tickets for Nashville’s preseason games at the Bridgestone Arena will go on sale in September. For information regarding 2010-11 Nashville Predators tickets, visit nashvillepredators.com.


Day Date Opponent Site Time (CDT)

Thursday Sept. 23 Carolina Hurricanes Bridgestone Arena 7 p.m.

Friday Sept. 24 Carolina Hurricanes RBC Center 6 p.m.

Saturday Sept. 25 Washington Capitals Bridgestone Arena 7 p.m.

Monday Sept. 27 Atlanta Thrashers Bridgestone Arena 7 p.m.

Wednesday Sept. 29 Atlanta Thrashers Philips Arena 6 p.m.

Sunday Oct. 3 Washington Capitals Verizon Center 11:30 a.m.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Thursday, June 17, 2010

NHL Releases Awards Show Lineup and Thursday Thoughts

The NHL finally released a more complete list of performers and presenters for the annual NHL Awards Show that will be held at the Pearl Concert Theater at The Palms in Las Vegas next Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. CDT.

Actor and comedian Jay Mohr will serve as host for the awards show. Previously announced entertainment includes actor Mark Wahlberg, Snoop Dogg, Florida rockers Shinedown, and the world famous Cirque du Soleil.

Other presenters and guests include from Hollywood, actors Jamie Kennedy, John Slattery, Kevin Zegers, and Leven Rambin; director D.B. Sweeney; music producer Travis Barker, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

From the TV world comes CBC host Ron MacLean, CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos, and Reese Waters, host of “The Daily Line”. Former NHLers Luc Robitaille, Jeremy Roenick, Guy Lafleur and Eddie Olczyk also will present awards.

At 4:00 local Vegas time, there will be a red carpet event in front of the Palm's main entrance where all nominees, entertainers and presenters will parade past throngs of onlookers before entering the theater for the show itself.

For those looking for a last minute quick trip, tickets are still available for the show and star-studded after party at the Palms Pool and Bungalows. The show will be broadcast live on Versus Network in the US and on the CBC in Canada.

Puck Daddy has an interesting take on Jay "hockey sucks" Mohr being named host.

In Pred Nation...

Jim Diamond has the news that a French language web site is reporting that he Predators have resigned Francis Bouillon to a new two year deal. Hopefully we will see the official agreement with numbers later today. Here is the link to the other site.

Paul Fenton gives his thoughts on the NHL Combine at Predators.com.

Chris Rydburg has a good take on the Pred's roster heading into the draft and free agency period.

Around the NHL...

Matt Reitz announces the Vezina Trophy winner "Blogger style" this morning.

Cam Neely was officially named the President of the Boston Bruins yesterday.

The leadership of the upcoming 2010 Molson Canadian World Hockey Summit was announced on Wednesday. Daniel Alfredsson, Brian Burke, Hayley Wickenheiser, and Steve Yzerman should provide a variety of styles at the event that will be held in Toronto from Aug. 23-26.

From @TheYotesDiva Dave Strader ( @TheVoiceDS ) says Ice Edge has secured funding to purchase the Coyotes, it will be announced friday. Here's more from the Arizona Republic.

Here is the current official order of the draft presented in a couple of formats by NHL.com.

The World Champion Chicago Blackhawks were one of the first teams to announce their preseason schedule which includes a game in Winnipeg against the Lightning and a game at the new Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh also announced their schedule with the first game in the new arena on September 22 against the Red Wings. The Pen's home games will start at 7:08 in their new home instead of 7:30 at the old Mellon.

The AHL announced their realignment for the full thirty teams for next season.

Steve Lapore discusses Dwayne Klessel's (aka Eklund) latest wild trade "rumor".

From @adamjahns: I'm told Patrick Sharp and coach Joel Quenneville also will be at the NHL awards. They will need someone to carrt the cup.

Intent to Blow covers the sad story of hockey fans attempting to get their sports fix from World Cup soccer.

Here's 25 things about Hockey Girl Dahlia Kurtz (includes nekkid picture).

Odds and Ends...

The We Are Nashville Flood Relief Benefit is tonight at the Red Rooster Bar and Music Hall at 1530 Demonbreun from 6-9 p.m. A $10 donation is requested. There is free beer for the first 100 guests and there will be plenty of auction items.

If you are reading this, you may be suffering from brain rot as this writer seems to think of folks that use the Internet extensively. Funny that the article is on the Internet.

For fans of The Office, "Gabe" the goofy Sabre guy will return as a full time cast person next season.

Twellow is the Yellow Pages of Twitter. Interesting.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Blake Geoffrion Officially Signs with the Predators and Wednesday Wrap-Up

Yesterday was a red letter day in Nashville Predators and NHL history. Blake Geoffrion signed a two year deal that could be worth $5 million if all bonuses are achieved. The annual base salary is $62,500 in the AHL and $765,000 at the NHL level.

When Geoffrion makes the NHL, it is believed that he will be the first fourth generation NHL player following in the footsteps of great-grandfather Howie Morenz, grandfather, Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, and father, Dan Geoffrion. Morenz and "Boom Boom" are both in the Hockey Hall of Fame and have their jerseys retired by the Montreal Canadiens.

Geoffrion is the first Tennessean to be drafted by an NHL team and potentially will be the first player to play for their hometown team in a warm weather, non-traditional hockey market. It is a story that helps overcome the stigma associated with Southern Hockey.

Geoffrion will suit up in Pred colors for the first time as a pro at next month's Predator's Development Camp that starts on July 6 at Centennial Sportsplex.

Here is the official release from the Predators...


-2010 Hobey Baker Award winner is the first Tennessee native to sign an NHL contract-

Nashville, Tenn. (June 15, 2010) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed 2010 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner and Brentwood, Tenn., native Blake Geoffrion to an entry-level contract. Geoffrion is the first Tennessee native drafted by an NHL team (56th overall by the Predators in the 2006 Entry Draft) and first to sign an NHL contract.

Geoffrion, 22 (2/3/88), won the Hobey Baker, award given to college hockey’s most outstanding player, after tying for second in the nation in goals (28) and finishing first in Division I hockey in power-play tallies (15). A tri-captain of the University of Wisconsin Badgers in 2009-10, Geoffrion posted 50 points (28g-22a) in 40 games, helping the school reach the NCAA National Championship Game. In addition to recently being named USA Hockey’s College Player of the Year, the 6-1, 196-pound right wing was a First-Team West All-American, and a First-Team WCHA selection in his senior season. Geoffrion was also the Most Valuable Player of the West Regional after leading UW to victories over Vermont and St. Cloud State with five points (2g-3a) in the two games.

During his four-season collegiate career, Geoffrion amassed 114 points (55g-59a) and 243 penalty minutes in 146 games. The Nashville Youth Hockey League product is a fourth generation player – his grandfather, Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion is a Hockey Hall-of-Famer and was an 11-time All-Star, and great grandfather, Howie Morenz, was part of the Hall of Fame’s first induction class, and was a three-time Hart Trophy winner. The two won a combined nine Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadiens. His father, Danny, was drafted eighth overall by the Canadiens in the 1978 Draft, and played for both Montreal and Winnipeg during his NHL career, as well as Quebec in the World Hockey Association. His two younger brothers, Brice and Sebastien, both worked their way through the Nashville youth hockey system, and now play for the University of Alabama-Huntsville.

Jim Diamond attended the signing ceremony and presents his story and pictures.

Here is Bryan Mullen's Tennessean story, blog post, and video from the signing event.

From the blog world comes stories from Forechecker, Section 303, and What the Puck.

Mark Wheeler at the City Paper also filed a report.

NHL.com got into the mix with a "Hockey Royalty to Nashville Post" that is very similar to Forechecker's from the day before.

Finally, fans got a big thanks from the man himself @BlakeGeoffrion: Thank you to everyone who came today.

Programming Note...

I was a co-host along with Anthony Curatolo on Ryan Porth's RLD Radio yesterday. It was a good show that featured Jeff Marek of the CBC and Adam Jahns, Blackhawks beat writer for the Chicago Sun Times.

It was a good show with a variety of topics including the Entry Draft, Free Agency and the Stanly Cup Finals. It was a good show that is worth a listen.

Listen to internet radio with Ryan Porth on Blog Talk Radio

In Pred Nation...

Hockey's Future has their look at the Preds at this year's Entry Draft.

The 13th Annual First Tennessee Nashville Predators Foundation Dr. Mac Memorial Golf Tournament is set for September 14th at the Legends Golf course. All Predators players will be in attendance. Go here for details or to sign up.

Around the NHL...

Matt Reitz continues his blogger awards today with the announcement of the Selke Trophy.

After the four Hawks players visited the tonight show on Monday night, TMZ video caught Patrick Kane out pimping the cup and heading in to a club with his team mates.

The Boston Bruins will hold a press conference later today to announce that Cam Neely will be named the team's president.

From @BlueJacketsBuzz: Blue Jackets cleaning house as they sack all assistant coaches & strength & cond. coach. The Zamboni driver is nervous.

It was no surprise that Montreal bought out the contract of Georges Laraque.

Puck Daddy is in the odds making mood it appears as he comes up with numbers for next weeks Hockey Hall of Fame prospects.

Hockey's Future ranks the top prospects from the WHL that are draft eligible.

The proposed Silver State Arena, which is set to be built near the strip in Las Vegas, is still looking to land an NHL team as discussed in this article from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Ken Campbell does the math and shows that all the teams in the Stanley Cup finals the past four years spent to at least 95% of the cap.

Ryan at the RLD has the third version of his mock draft. He also has a list of potential buy out candidates.

Mirtle takes a look at last season's NHL attendance figures and labels the Predators as a success. He ususally gives Nashville a fair shake as he is one of the frew from the GTA that understands they dynamics of hockey in Nashville.

Even while Charles Wang is waiting for a Lighthouse deal, he has found a way to boost ticket sales at the Coliseum. Chris Botta has the story.

Michael Langlois has an article and an audio interview with Hall of Famer Andy Bathgate at Vintage Leaf Memories. The audio has a nice split speaker arrangement to make it a more listenable interview.

After being announced as the new captiain of the Leafs on Monday, Dion Phaneuf announced 40% more truculence next year as the Leafs unseat the Oilers as the NHL's worst team.

Odds and Ends...

It turns out that the "traditional" Vuvuzela is a fraud. It has only been common for five years since a boat load of them were brought in from China. Since no official has enough guts to ban it, it will continue to give novice soccer fans like me something to complain about.

Microsoft is battling free online competitors for their office products by offering online free versions of MS Office 2010.

Close to home, with all the recent problems with flooding, congress is playing politics with the National Flood Insurance Program. Until they pass an extension, no one can get flood coverage.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

POTG Radio Podcast with Russ Cohen and Tuesday Tidbits

Last night's POTG Radio was an excellent show. Russ Cohen of the XM Prospects Show gave plenty of insight into the ins and outs of this year's NHL Entry Draft that will start a week from Friday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Russ has been to every draft since 2001 and is an expert in how things are done and what to watch for, whether you are attending in person or following at home. His discussion will add to your enjoyment of this year's draft.

Due to contractual obligations, Russ did not reveal his 30 first round picks as that is saved for the Hockey Prospects show that will be on XM204/Sirius208 at 9:00 EDT both Saturday and Sunday this week. However, there were plenty of hints as to how things might fall.

We also discussed Russ's new book, Strike Three, which he co-wrote with Nikco Riesgo, which is about the never completed 1994 Major League Baseball season and Spring Training the following year when substitute players were used in Spring Training. He and I shared the personal trauma that we each experienced with the World Series that was never played.

Russ is also the author of 100 Ranger Greats and covers all sports at Sportsology.

It is a very fun and informative show and we invite you to listen or download at BlogTalkRadio or on iTunes.

Calder Cup Finale...

History was made on Monday night when the Hershey Bears beat the Texas Stars 4-0 to win the Calder Cup and top off the most successful season ever by an AHL team.

The Bears were the first team to repeat as Calder champs since 1991. They also set the regular season AHL record with 60 wins during the regular season as they finished 60-17-0-3.

Chris Bourque, son for former NHL Hall of Famer Ray Bourque, won the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as the MVP of the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs. He had 27 points in 21 games including seven goals and 20 assists.

Blake Geoffrion Signing...

Brentwood native, Blake Geoffrion will sign his first professional contract to play with the Predators in front of friends and family at the elementary school where he grew up.

This will be a special time not only in Blake's life, but for the Nashville Predators to bring a hometown player into the system where he will eventually play at the Bridgestone Arena.

Blake is a product of the Nashville youth hockey system who went on to star at the University of Wisconsin where he won the Hobey Barker Award as the best college player in the nation.

He will be one of the first home grown players from a "non-traditional" market to actually sign with his home town team.

In Pred Nation...

Forechecker looks at Geoffrion's pedigree and finds no match in any sport.

NHL.com makes the case for each of the Jack Adams Award finalists to win. Barry deserves to win one year but I would be surprised if he gets past Tippett.

Paul McCann has the plan for the last three episodes of Slapshot Radio.

Rachel at What The Puck has part three in her season wrap-up.

Barry Trotz is at 7-1 odds in Vegas to win the Jack Adams Award. Dave Tippett is a prohibitive 1-9 favorite.

Predators.com has a piece similar to Section 303 about young Pred prospects being sent to the Canada Junior development camp.

Around the NHL...

In a very poorly kept secret the Toronto Maple Leafs named Dion Phaneuf as their 17th captain. They also unveiled the new sweater.

The Chicago Blackhawks appeared on the tonight show last night with the Stanley Cup. Puck Daddy has the video.

Matt Rietz handed out the Mattias Nordtrom Trophy today which is awarded to the best defensive defenseman and a vote of bloggers from around the country, This is the second of five awards to be given out this week. odds are that you won't like the winner.

B D Galoff has an interview with David Burstyn of McKeen's Hockey about this year's draft.

Ryan at the RLD projects next year's cup favorites. This year's finalists are not included. He also makes the case for each of the Calder Trophy candidates - Tyler Myers, Matt Duchene, and Jimmy Howard.

Steve Lapore has the press release from the NHL extolling the best year ever.

The Ice Edge CEO is optimistic about their financing. That's one person. Who else is optimistic?

Pat Hoffman interviews Michelle Kenneth at Kukla's.

The National Sports Journalism Center has an excellent piece on the SB Nation roll out of local sites.

Men's Journal sent an intern to the NHL Combine to see if he could survive.

Odds and Ends...

Using the World Cup as real life diversity training is suggested at an HR site.

A new report says a Facebook "Fan" is worth $136.38 to a company. I think I should get a check or a coupon for about $25 for each time I become a "fan."

Riot police took on security guards at the World Cup. Allegedly it was over money but my bet was that the stupid horns finally put them over the edge.

For those who cant get enough of the Vuvuzela sound at the World Cup, here's a wav file that you can drive yourself crazy with.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Monday, June 14, 2010

POTG Radio tonight with Russ Cohen and Weekend Round-Up

Tonight on POTG Radio we will take a look at this year's NHL Entry Draft that will begin a week from Friday on June 25 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

We will have author and prospects expert Russ Cohen of XM Radio and 100 Ranger Greats fame. Russ co-hosts the weekly Prospects show on XM 204 and knows more about the draft and each team's minor league stockpiles than anyone.

Russ also covers all sports at Sportsology. It's hard to believe that he has time to do all the things that he does. We will have open lines tonight if you have questions for Russ about the draft.

Be sure and join us live at the link below or on iTunes. The podcast version should be up shortly after the conclusion of the live show.

Listen to PredsOnTheGlass on internet talk radio

Calder Cup...

Tonight's Calder Cup game six between the Texas Stars and the Hershey Bears could be the last pro hockey game of the season if the Bears can be the first team in the series to win on home ice.

Texas won the first two games in Hershey and then Hershey won the next three in Texas. Friday's game five was a 2-1 overtime thriller that gave the Bears a 3-2 series edge, and the chance to clinch tonight.

The game will be on NHL Network and will begin at 6:00 CDT.

In Pred Nation...

The Oilers Insider is reporting several possible trade rumors with the Preds. David Boclair adds more fuel to the fire at the City paper.

Ryan at the RLD gave the Preds a turn in his 30 in 30 team reports. He also asked Mark Willoughby and me five questions.

The 303:30 Entry Draft Edition is now up and is jam-packed with good stuff this is one you don't want to miss. Jeremy also had a post Section303 has a look at Pred prospects being invited to the World Juniors Development Camp.

Jim Diamond looks a a rule change in the NCAA that will make the aprint for the puck safer on icing calls and suggests the same for the NHL.

Josh at Preds101 is starting a new series for the summer where several folks get to name the odds.

Getting Pucks Deep has a nice feature on Dan Ellis that pulls information from a variety of sources.

Nick Howell guest blogs at Section 303 and presents 3 inches from greatness.

The Predators will host a draft party at the Franklin Embassy Suites on Friday, June 25.

Diane Scearce is a Preds fan who is also the Head of books over at the Examiner. Like everyone else, she is missing hockey and recommends five books for hockey fans for the offseason.

Around the NHL...

Matt Reitz starts his series of pre-award VFMS Awards in several categories that will be handed out in Las Vegas. He had an extra one for defensive defenseman that should be interesting. One winner will be announced each day this week starting today with the Norris Trophy. Matt also has his weekly draft round-up.

Ryan at the RLD takes a look at the hard cuts the Blackhawks will have to make to be under the cap by October.

NHL.com has a good piece on the Flyers post season wrap-up. They are more optimistic about returning the heart of their team than the Hawks.

Larry Brooks looks at the upcoming vote on the inflator clause at the NHLPA meetings that start on June 21 in Chicago.

Puck Daddy Has a good look at the top 10 things of this year's playoffs. He also has 10 things that sucked.

Dater puts a wrap on the season at Versus. He doesn't mention Nashville attendance.

It looks like the Star's new owners will be one of two Canadian businessmen.

Not everyone was a huge Rob Blake fan. Matt Reitz discusses twenty things that he will miss when Blake officially retires.

Ryan at the RLD looks at the top 5 playoff games and moments.

Here's an updated list of Stanley Cup droughts.

Here's a bunch of pictures from the Hawk's Stanley Cup Parade.

Time to focus on the draft. Here is NESN's latest mock draft.

When the Leafs name Dion Phaneuf their new captain this week, it will be a surprise to no one.

Lou Lamoriello chose a coach that fans will enjoy, Kevin Smith. Intent to Blow has the details.

Odds and Ends...

Dahlia Kurtz goes off on one of my least favorite people, Oprah. Oprah and Obama are two of the most full of crap people out there and our society is so dumbed down that people actually believe what they say.

The Conan O'Brien/Jack White show at Third Man Records last week continues to draw rave reviews. If you didn't make the show, it will soon be out on record.

Here is a great picture of Saturn's rings and three moons from the Cassini spacecraft.

Here is an extensive look at NASA's options in adding another Shuttle flight to the space station next June.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes For PredsOnTheGlass

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Finals Are Over, Now What? and Friday Round-Up

Every year, right after the hockey world reaches it's crescendo, the sudden realization sets in that there will be no hockey for the next three months. Cries of "Summer sucks, drop the puck!" have already begun.

There are a bunch of off the ice activities coming up in the next three weeks to keep hockey fans occupied before the real dead of off season begins in mid-July.

One of the biggest complaints that I have with the NHL is the fact that so much is crammed into about a 10 day period, starting this year on June 22. If you look at the following list of dates, you can see where the events could be spread out more to give fans more time to digest each activity.

When I have asked league officials about this issue, the response is that the hockey folks want to get as much done as quickly as possible so that they can have an "off-season" too. This may be good for them, but leaves too long of a break for the fan who might want to see it last a little longer.

Offseason Dates to Remember

Tue. June 22 - NHL 2010-11 Schedule released
Tue. June 22 - Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees announced - Toronto
Wed, June 23 - NHL Awards Show - Las Vegas
Thur. June 24 - Top Prospects Preview - Los Angeles
Fri. June 25 - 2010 Entry Draft - First Round - Los Angeles
Sat. June 26 - 2010 Entry Draft - 2-7 Rounds - Los Angeles
Wed. June 30 - Salary Cap Upper and Lower Limits Revealed
Thur, July 1 - Free Agency Begins
July 6-13 - Preds Rookie Development Camp - Centennial Sportsplex
August 23-27 - World Hockey Summit - Toronto
Sept. 13-16 - Preds Rookie Camp
Sept. 17 - Preds Training Camp Opens

Calder Cup Game Five...

Tonight will mark the Texas Stars last chance to pick up a win at home in the Calder Cup finals before the series returns to Hershey for game six and seven (if needed).

So far, the home team is yet to win a game in the series that is tied 2-2. I seriously doubt that streak will hold up as the series concludes. The game can be heard on XM radio since game seven of the Stanley Cup was not needed.

In Pred Nation...

Later today, Ryan at the RLD will have the Predator's version of the thirty teams in thirty days series that he is running. I was privledged to be able to answer five questions about the Preds.

Jim Diamond has another look at Blake Geoffrion signing a deal with the Predators.

Mark has his weekly View column at The View from 111.

Paul McCann looks at the outlook for Pred's Defenseman and Goaltenders for over the summer.

Here's more on Dan Hamhuis and Georges Laraque's visit to Haiti from the NHLPA. Bryan Mullen also has a story about the trip at the Tennessean.

The Province has a piece about Hamhuis and the potential of him playing in Vancouver.

The Sun-Times recounts the Blackhawks march to the cup with a summery of their series with the Predators.

Odd statistic from @dellis39: Just analyzing my game log from this yr and realized that out of my 31 games played only 4 were home starts. That's a first! Road warrior!!!

We've been seeing a bunch of Twitpics from Jordin Tootoo from his visit to his hometown of Rankin Inlet. Here is a story from the local paper about his visit.

The Milwaukee Admirals announced that opening night at home will be October 9.

If you haven't seen it, the video of Sully and his wife walking the red carpet at the Country Music Television Awards on Wednesday is reminiscent of them walking at the Palms at last year's NHL Awards show.

Steve and Kristen at the 2009 NHL Awards

Around the NHL...

The Tampa Bay Lightning finally made it official that Guy Boucher will be the new head coach.

Puck Daddy asked Puck Huffers to do the Flyer's eulogy.

The Hawks-Flyers game six looks to be the highest rated NHL game in 37 years.

Michael Langlois has an interesting comparison between Patrick Kane's game winner and the goal scored by Henri Richard (Rocket's brother) to clinch the cup in 1966 for the Habs.

One of our favorite things during the playoffs is The Hockey Zen's Playoff Pool where you have the chance to pick every game. The final results are in from @thehockeyzen: Congratulations to Lori Davis for winning the #thzhockeypool @RLDhockey for finishing 2nd & Steve HoH for finishing 3rd. Charity also won as Chris and Adrian gave $5 for each person that beat them in the pool.

Expert picker, Ryan from the RLD, has a nice list of the Top 5 Breakout players in the post season.

Maybe the KHL isn't all that. From @dchesnokov: Chatted with Nikita Filatov today. He is really looking forward to coming back to the NHL. He will arrive in NA in August.

Odds and Ends...

NASA wants to send your face into space on one of the remaining shuttle missions. Here is the form to submit your face.

Are there methane based life forms on Saturn's moon Titan? A lot of speculation on this one.

Here is a handy guide to BlackBerry errors and how to deal with them.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Blake Geoffrion Announces Intent to Sign Two-Year Deal on Twitter

In a message on Twitter, Pred's Prospect and 2010 Hobey Baker winner, Blake Geoffrion announced that he was set to sign a two-year deal with the Nashville Predators.

A Press conference will be held on Tuesday, June 15 at 2 p.m. at Granberry Elementary School in Brentwood where Geoffrion attended.

Here is the text of the original Tweet:

@BlakeGeoffrion: Its true I am signing a two year deal with the Predators. Press conference will be at my elementary school in Brentwood, which is Granberry Elementry everyone is welcome to come. Hope to see a lot of Preds fans there its at 2 o'clock on Tuesday the 15th.

More details should be available soon.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Hawks Win the Cup, Toews Passes It to Hossa, and Thursday Thoughts

Photo from @NHLBlackhawks

In a most unusual ending to the NHL season, Patrick Kane slipped the puck under Michael Leighton's pads 4:06 into overtime to clinch a 4-3 victory for the Chicago Blackhawks over the Flyers in Philadelphia on Wednesday night.

For the first time in Stanley Cup Finals history, there was confusion on the game winning goal where it had to be reviewed before the official celebration could begin. Kane knew it was in immediately but the official was slow to react, the red light never went off, and none of the broadcasters had an immediate call.

For 56 minutes, the Blackhawks had had dominated the game, out shooting the Flyers 41-24 and carrying a 3-2 lead late into the third period. Scott Hartnell tied the game at three with 3:59 remaining in regulation and the Flyers held on to send the game to overtime.

After much debate over the last few days as to who would get the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP, Chicago Captain Johnathan Toews was announced as the winner by Commissioner Gary Bettman.

Another storyline that was getting thread bare came to an end when Toews raised the Stanley Cup and then passed it to Marion Hossa who had been on the ice for the losing team the past two seasons. Even if you are not a Hossa fan, you had to fell the emotion of Hossa finally getting to lift the cup.

As always, the final game is bitter sweet for fans as it is the highlight of the season to see the winner crowned but it also marks the start of the off season when fans who have seen live hockey for eight months have to go cold turkey and wait for camps to open in September to see the teams return to the ice.

A true highlight of the evening was Jeremy Roenick's reaction after the game to the Blackhawks winning the cup as seen in the following clip. Roenick said before the game that he has never touched the cup and that he never would have the opportunity now that he was in broadcasting.

As he watched the celebration, there is no doubt that he was living vicariously through the young Blackhawk players. Roenick has indicated that if he gets the call from the Hockey Hall of Fame that he would go in as a Hawk. His reaction shows the power of the Stanley Cup and how much is is coveted by all that every played the game.

Calder Cup Update...

In Wednesday's other game, the Hershey Bears defeated the Texas Stars 4-2 to tie the AHL series 2-2. John Carlson's power play goal with 2:08 left in the game was the game winner. An empty netter was the final goal.

Texas will host game five which is their last game in the series on Friday night before the action moves back to Hershey for game six and seven if necessarily. Remaining games will be on XM Radio and potentially could be picked up by the NHL Network.

In Pred Nation...

Dirk Hoag gets his pencil out and does some fancy figuring to point out how miserable that the Preds were in the face off circle. I did not realize that they were the worst in the league on the power play. That would account for losing so much time chasing pucks to the far end of the ice.

Dan Hamhuis gives his thoughts after being on the ground in Haiti on his NHLPA trip.

Here's news from yesterday from @Sullivan26: On my way the CMT Awards Show. My beautiful wife and I are walking the Red Carpet.

Word is that Patten "We Are Nashville" Fuqua of Section 303 will be throwing out the first pitch at the Nashville Outlaws game on Friday. He also will be involved in the "We Are Nashville" Flood Relief Benefit on June 17th at the Red Rooster.

Around the NHL...

Now that the season is over, Down Goes Brown has some ideas of things to do.

A story has leaked that Rob Blake is planning to retire in a few days.

In a rare bit of common sense, the IIHF president may consider not holding the World Championships in Olympic years.

Rumors abound that Guy Boucher will officially be announced as the new Tampa coach later today.

Mike Chen has a wrap up of the 14 playoff teams that aren't in the finals.

Mirtle has the list of increases by market in TV/Internet usage during the playoffs.

Follow this link to read about and help Mandi Schwartz, a 22 year old hockey player at Yale, who has leukemia and needs a stem cell transplant. A friend's son needed a transplant about ten years ago and I was tested and listed at the National Marrow Donor Program. If you have never been tested, it is a great thing to do and may save someones life.

In more sad news, Flyers fan Katie Able passed a way as a result of a June 3rd auto accident. Friends petitioned the Flyers for a moment of silence at the game yesterday.

Our friends at The Program now have a forum. Check it out.

Speak of the Devs provides a list of unofficial team hashtags.

Odds and Ends...

Tony Hawk set up a traveling half pipe in the backwoods of South Africa bringing skateboarding to folks who otherwise would never get the opportunity.

The last scheduled space shuttle flight will probably be moved until 2011 and an addition flight could be added next summer.

This isn't right. Southern Living has an article on "How to Do Bonnaroo." The hip-ness Bonnaroo had has been severely damaged.

Avoid the area around Third Man Records tonight as it will be a madhouse. Jack White and Conan O'Brien are slated to appear.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Elite Edge Hockey Showcase at A-Game Sportsplex

We received a note from Kevin Wilson of the Predators Media Relations Department today advising of a neat event that will be taking place this week on Thursday to Sunday at A-Game Sportsplex in Cool Springs.

Brandon Walker, the Predators Manager of Hockey Operations, will be holding the Elite Edge Hockey Showcase, the best development opportunity in the Southeastern United States for future junior hockey players that he’s been running for several years now.

Players from around the world born between 1991 and 1996 will be attending the camp to showcase their skills in front of scouts from top junior and college programs.

On-ice opportunities will start at 2 p.m. Thursday, but some of the action may come from the games played 2-6:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, as well as games between the Showcase’s top teams on Sunday from 9:45 a.m.-1 p.m.

Some of the more interesting storylines of the event include:

  • Tate Janasek, a Franklin native who attends Ravenwood High School, represented USA in the first World Deaf Ice Hockey Championships in Winnipeg, Manitoba last spring, and is expected to do so again this summer. Janasek aspires to represent USA in the 2011 Deaflymic Games in Slovakia. Tate and Jackson were classmates at Kenrose Elementary.
  • Former Predator Jim McKenzie will be in attendance, and his son, Connor will be participating in the Showcase. This past season, Jim served as an assistant coach for the Thunder AAA U-16 squad.
  • German National Coach Uwe Krupp will once again be attending the camp. Krupp was behind the bench for Germany at the 2010 Olympics – where he coached Predators Alexander Sulzer and Marcel Goc – and recently led the Germans to a fourth-place finish at the 2010 World Championships, the nation’s best finish in tournament history.
  • Predators Associate Coach Brent Peterson will be in attendance to give a speak to the attendees’ parents at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
  • Three players will be coming all the way from Norway to attend the Showcase. They plan on playing AAA hockey in Atlanta next season.
If the Predators offseason is leaving you wanting to see some live hockey action, this will give you an opportunity to see live hockey in the middle of the summer. With coaches and scouts watching, you can be assured the players won't be holding back.

All sessions are open to the public. If you have questions or want additional information, call A-Game Sportsplex at 615-771-2444.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Game Six Looms as a Potential Elimination Game Tonight and Wednesday Wrap-Up

Today is one of mixed emotions for hockey fans. On one side of the coin, it is exciting that a new Stanley Cup Champion could be crowned with the traditional cup raise and "no words" type situations in just a matter of hours.

On the other hand, it would mean sadness in that there would be no more hockey for over three months until next year's pre-season kicks off.

A third scenario would be that Philadelphia beats Chicago tonight starting at 7:00 on NBC and that we would have a true winner take all game seven on Friday night.

After Monday's game where the Blackhawks had one of their better efforts on home ice, it will be interesting to see if the Flyers will match that effort tonight to extend the series.

Chris Pronger had one of his worst career playoff games, being on the ice for six of Chicago's seven goals. On top of that, he was shoved into the boards by Dustin Byfuglien on a hit that has been shown hundreds of times over the two off days.

My expectation is that Pronger and the Flyers will use Monday's poor performance as an inspiration and come back and play well tonight. After all they have been through this season, they will not roll over and give up the ghost on one poor effort.

A Flyer win would set up a Cup final game seven that hockey fans everywhere covet. It that happens, I have to believe that it could be a great game where either team could win on a fluke play or one team could want it more, and take it. In a series that has had more goals scored than any in 20 years, it would be a great game to see.

So for tonight, let's go Flyers. I want one more game on Friday.

Programming Note...

I appeared as co-host on Ryan Porth's RLD Radio on Tuesday along with Anthony Curatolo. It was an excellent show and well worth a listen.

Agent Jay Grossman, who represents several of the biggest free agents of the summer, including Ilya Kovalchuk and Anton Volchenkov was the first guest. Jay provided great insight into the role of an agent, how the KHL agent system works, and how he prepares his young clients for the upcoming NHL Entry Draft.

The second guest was Nick Bjugstad who was Mr Hockey for the state of Minnesota this past season as a high schooler. He is slated to attend the University of Minnesota in the fall. He is projected to be a mid first round pick and could possibly be available when the Preds make their first pick in the 18th slot.

The show wrapped up with a discussion of tonight's game and arguments for several folks in contention for the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Listen to internet radio with Ryan Porth on Blog Talk Radio

Coyotes Ice Edge - Glendale City Council Vote...

Before last night's city council meeting, Jerry Reinsdorf withdrew from process for the purchase of the Coyotes.

That left Ice Edge Holdings as the only viable entity left in the process. The City of Glendale approved the a Memorandum of Understanding giving them exclusive rights to negotiate the arena lease for 60 days.

It looks like that if Ice Edge really has the funding that they will need that they will own the team. If not, then next season would probably be the last one in Phoenix for the Yotes.

In Pred Nation....

Mark Willoughby writes that "Thank-You is Not Enough". A huge thank-you needs to go back to Mark for giving everyone the opportunity to prove that "hockey fans aren't like other fans". Mark also has some pictures from the event.

Bryan Mullen talked to David Poile about the Pred's free agents. He also posted a few leftovers yesterday at Inside Predators. The news is that nothing has really changed.

Dirk Hoag takes a look at ethics in sports blogging. It is an interesting piece that was spurred by last week's Blogs with Balls conference. Our friend, George @stackiii Scoville offers the idea of "verified" blogs in the comments section.

Paul McCann's Slap Shot Radio will have another great episode tonight before the game at 6:00 with Bill Clement, Jesse Rogers & Terry Crisp. Catch it on WNSR 560 AM. Paul also updates the Pred's free agent and draft situation at Hockey Buzz.

Jim Diamond has more movie casting with the Pred's defensemen.

The City of Hope Celebrity Softball Tournament was held at Greer Stadium on Monday night. J.P. Dumont and Wade Belak participated. The Sen's Mike Fisher was also there. Anyone wonder why?

Around the NHL...

The Blue Jackets officially named Scott Arniel as their new head coach.

Adrian Dater updates the Av's ownership and the decision to keep it all in the family. I love Adrian's discussion with Gary Bettman on the topic. It's worth a click.

Tapeleg comments on Pronger and Byfuglien. Good Stuff!

Steve Lapore takes a look at the New Jersey Devil's coaching situation.

As we get ready for game six tonight, Matt Reitz has 10 questions answered in game five.

Elliotte Friedman has another list of 30 thoughts. These are always interesting.

Michelle Kenneth has more on the pending Ilya Kovalchuck free agency.

The heat should be on based on this from @ViewFromMySeats: So in the last 24 months, the #TBL have landed the sniper everyone wanted (Stamkos), the d-man everyone wanted (Hedman) & now the GM & coach

A new hockey league? from @dchesnokov: A new European hockey league called 'Nordic Trophy' may be born with clubs from SWE, FIN, CZE, GER, AUT and SWI.

The Sabres have cut off negotiations with their top pick from last year, Zack Kassian, after his arrest last month at a Windsor bar.

It's good to see Sarah Connors take over as the head of "Something's Bruin". Sarah was an guest early on in the history of POTG Radio and we wish her well.

Intent to Blow has the news of the NHL Summer Classic that hopes to draw on the popularity of the Winter Classic. The Lightning and the Panthers will be this initial participants but it could be expanded to cool weather sites in thefuture. Also, Byfuglien gave up. Just call him Smith.

In a piece that is no joking matter, Richard Roeper bashes hockey asking if it is a "white thing"? I've never been to a game in Chicago, but the Predators attract a good mix of folks and prove that "Hockey is for Everyone."

Odds and Ends...

Congrats to J.R. Lind and #TeamBowTie for a great run on Jeopardy. Sorry it had to end.

The New York Times looks a how humans respond to the constant stimulus of information.

Here's a guide to BB Messenger. I don't use mine much but this explained a few things that I didn't know.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass