Tuesday, July 5, 2011

POTG Holiday Weekend Wrap-Up, Headlines, News, and Links

Free Agent Frenzy and the long holiday weekend have passed, but for Predators fans the rest of the week should be far more interesting as the fate of the remaining six free agents is still in limbo with a grievance hearing set for Friday. I would be surprised if Nick Spaling is not signed before arbitration, and maybe even Sergei Kostitsyn.

The Shea Weber negotiations continue as it appears that the Weber camp and the Drew Doughty camp  are at a standoff with each side waiting for the other to set the bar and neither has done so. Prior to the stupid money that was thrown about last week, I thought that Weber would sign for something in the $6.5 million range in a long term deal. Now all bets are off.

Fans were upset on Sunday when the Preds traded away Cody Franson in order to take Matt Lombardi's $7 million off the table, but David Poile was cleaning up his books in order to move forward in other areas. I expect to see more moves between now and preseason camp. Oddly enough, the Preds have the lowest payroll in the NHL per Cap Geek.

Fans should not underestimate Niclas Bergfors or Brett Lebda as they are the kind of players that could thrive with a little love from Barry Trotz and playing Predator hockey.

The Predators' Prospect Camp showed how well the team has done over the last few years in drafting top players even in the later rounds. This appears to be the year when a couple of defenseman will have the opportunity to side step Milwaukee on the road to Nashville.

Make the jump for today's news and links...

Programming note...

Today on RLD Hockey Talk at noon (CDT) our guest will be E.J. Hradek who will give his perspective of everything that has gone on in the last couple of weeks at the draft and in the first few days of free agency. Join us for what is guaranteed to be an entertaining and informative discussion.

Free Agent Signings...

It is virtually impossible to keep up with all the free agent signings over the last few days. We have provided a link to the TSN Tracker at the top of the page for the most up to date information. The Hockey News has a good team by team breakdown. The Fourth Period's top thirty list is evolving with J P  Dumont having moved up to third place.

In Pred Nation...

David Boclair spoke with David Poile about his measured approach to the Frenzy. He had a second post sizing up Poile's plans going forward.

Pete Weber appeared on TSN Radio yesterday to discuss the trade between Toronto and Nashville and what it means in the big scheme of hings. Go here for the audio clip.

Jim Diamond has a good perspective of what the Franson trade means for the young defensemen in the system. It sounds like Teemu Laakso has a spot to lose on next year's team.

Shea Weber texted an interview with the Toronto Sun giving his take on the Franson trade. Damien Cox thinks Cody Franson is the best thing since sliced bread. Puck Daddy has a balanced national perspective of the deal.

Smashville 24/7 caught up with Ryan Ellis for a conversation at development camp. Ellis also appeared on WKRN Sports Sunday. Section 303 also spoke to him.

Ryan Porth has an interview with Zack Budish who has a good chance at being a top six power forward in a few years if he can remain healthy.

Josh Cooper has a nice piece about prospect Craig Smith getting a chance to play against the best in the world.

Jeremy Gover guested at Pension Plan Puppets to give Torontonians a look at Cody Franson. PPP also shows how much Leafs fans hated Brett Lebda.

Mark Willoughby adds perspective to the weekend moves.

Robby Stanley claims that it is not time for Preds fans to hit the panic button.

Patten Fuqua has the lowdown on the departure of Mark Dekanich who went to Columbus with a shot at backing up Steve Mason. His sister, aka @lenspower, has the details on new draftee and prospect Simon Karlsson.

Predatorial sums up the last thirty days in Pred Nation.

Jas Faulkner has an interesting view of free agency.

Paul McCann asks Preds fans not to panic over the lack of activity by David Poile.

Admirals Roundtable discusses the trade of Andreas Thuresson to the Rangers. I had thought that I had read that he was going to the KHL.

This is an interesting piece about ex-Pred Mark Mowers who's days on the ice have ended.

Here is a hometown piece on the Preds last pick in the entry draft Brent Andrews.

The Vernon Morning Star has the draft news on Garrett Noonan.

Oilers Nation has an interesting look at the Predators' cap situation from afar.

Around the NHL...

One of the bigger trades of the weekend was the swap of Dany Heatley and Martin Havlat in the second big trade in two weeks between the Sharks and the Wild.

The best value signing had to be Tomas Vokoun for $1.5 million to play for Washington.

Brian Burke is not happy that he is being criticized for going to Afghanistan to visit the troops on July 1.

Puck Daddy has a piece about cap circumvention being alive and well

James O'Brien analyzes how the Florida Panthers went from nowhere to a formidable team in a few days.

Ryan Porth has a historical look at recent horrible contracts at RLD Hockey. He also has a post frenzy set of power ratings that indicates who went up and who did not. Ryan also has a chart of remaining cap space and needs for all 30 teams.

Bruce Dowbiggin has a critical look at the TV coverage of the first day of free agent frenzy.

The Red Wings have tough decisions to make with Chris Osgood and Kris Draper, neither of whom want to play elsewhere.

Kevin Greenstein paints a gloomy picture of the upcoming NHL CBA negotiations at Inside Hockey.

The Saturday Face off looks at the winners in Day one of free agent frenzy, Caps or Panthers.

A female Eklund in lingerie? It was all a fantasy.

Odds and Ends...

If you have plans to watch the final Space Shuttle launch on Friday, plan on the biggest traffic jam in Brevard County history.

Our friend Charlie Jones found himself in the crowd at the U2 show. This is really neat. If you were there, check it out and find yourself.

The government is wanting to consider some off things to the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park. An artificial flood seems extreme.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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