Tuesday, October 16, 2012

POTG guests on All the Kings Men podcast

As we muddle through the dog days of the lockout, I had the opportunity to guest on All The Kings Men podcast that was taped on Monday night. Thanks to Jesse Cohen and The Royal Half (aka Mr. Half) for having me on.

It was one of the more fun shows that I have participated in lately. We touched on a wide range of topics and even talked a little Dixie Flyers and "Predator Gold" jerseys.

Check it out here as well as the other shows in their series of "30 fans in 30 days" where they are making a run through the NHL with plenty of interesting folks.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass

Thursday, October 11, 2012

FS TN to present the best of the best for hockey starved fans

With the Preds opening game against the Red Wings cancelled on Friday and the home opener gone for Saturday night, the Predators and Fox Sports Tennessee have stepped in to provide historic video footage of  top games from the Predators' first 14 seasons to try to fill the void..

It all kicks off on Saturday night at 9:30 p.m. when the Predators game five, series clinching win over the Detroit Red wings is re-aired. Make the jump for all the details about upcoming "Predators' Golden Classics"...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Could Nashville's future NHL All-Star Game bid be affected by the lockout?

At this point, Nashville Predator fans appear to be somewhat optimistic that the current NHL lockout will be relatively short-lived and that their beloved Preds will be on the ice sooner than later.

Many pundits and "experts" point to the New Year's Day Winter Classic as a key date that the NHL owners, the NHLPA, as well as their broadcast partner, NBC feel that will need to take place to maintian the leagues viability as a major sport in the United States.

So what if it doesn't get resolved by year's end, or if it does, what if this year's All-Star game in Columbus is cancelled with additional regular season games added to the schedule in it's place?

Nashville, with its brand-spanking new Music City Center, set to be completed next year, adjacent to Bridgesone Arena, has been considered to be the front-runner for the next NHL All-Star game.

Prior to the lockout, there was uncertainty as to whether or not NHL players would play in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, which has precluded All-Star games from being held in Olympic years.

If the 2013 All-Star game were to be cancelled, would Columbus automatically be given the next one to be awarded?

Adam Proteau, of the Hockey News, recently looked at what occurred after the 2005 game was cancelled in Atlanta. There was no game in 2006 due to the Olympics. On January 23, 2006, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman disappointed the Thrasher faithful by giving the 2007 All-Star game to Dallas.

Atlanta had to wait until 2008 to finally celebrate the NHL's All-Star's visit to the Phillips Arena.

So basically, you would assume, that the Nashville Predators, as well as city officials are hoping for a quick resolution to the NHL lockout so that the picture will not be clouded with compitition from Columbus for the next All-Star game, which with NHL Olympic participation, would be in 2015.

This is just one of many unknowns as the NHL lockout trudges along with no end in sight.

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Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Predators fill the gap with activities and games the next two Saturdays

Prior to the cancellation of the first two weeks of the NHL season, the Nashville Predators were scheduled to have a pair of the season's best draws on the first two Saturdays of the year.

On Saturday, October 13, the St. Louis Blues were set to invade Bridgestone Arena to defend their Central Division title on the Predators' home opening night.

A week later, on October 20th, the Predators had a visit from the Pittsburgh Penguins with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the agenda.

Unfortunately, those games will not happen, along with home games with the Avalanche and Canucks during the week of October 14.

That has not prevented the Predators from doing their best to stay front and center in the hearts and minds of their loyal fans and season ticket holders.

This Saturday, October 13, The Predators are planning an series of events that will include a plaza party, open skate, youth hockey games, movie night and the Social Media Scavenger Hunt.

The scavenger hunt will begin at 10 a.m and run until 2:30 p.m. Predators' season tickets, as well as tickets to all other concerts at Brigdestone Arena, await the grand prize winners.Go here for complete details of the hunt.

The following Saturday, October 20, Nashvillians will get a rare chance to experience minor league hockey action when 102.5 The Game will present a preseason SPHL game between the Knoxville Ice Bears and Huntsville Havoc at Bridgestone Arena.

Game time will be at 7 p.m. and will be free to Predator season ticket holders and $10.25 to the public. All proceeds will go to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt as part of the Nashville Predators’ We Care for Kids program in conjunction with the National Hockey League’s Hockey Fights Cancer initiative.

Earlier in the day there will be Adult Skills Development Clinic at 1:30 p.m. CT, followed by a Vanderbilt University Alumni game at 4 p.m. Go here for details on all of the day's activities.

With NHL games being cancelled, the Nashville Predators are to be commended to doing their best to keep the Predator spirit alive in Smashville.

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Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Monday, October 8, 2012

Predators staff continues longstanding tradition of "Community Relations Week"

While the NHL-NHLPA labor dispute trudges onward with no end in sight. The Nashville Predators organization will continue its annual "Community Relations Week."

Normally, all of the Predators' players divide up and make appearances at many of the organizations that benefit from the efforts of the Predators Foundation. This year, Nashville Predators staff members, broadcasters, coaches and personalities will be filling in for the players all over town.

Make the jump to see all the locations and who will be where...

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Do I miss the NHL? Not any more!

I saw this instead of a meaningless pre-season game

A week from tonight should have been the Predators home opener against the St. Louis Blues in a critical game as this year's version of the Preds had the best shot of winning the division title in franchise history.

I'm still a believer in the Preds potential this season (if there is one) as I placed bets on the Preds to win the Western Conference as well as the Stanley Cup when I was at Harvey's Casino in Lake Tahoe earlier this week. Granted, I was playing with house money that I collected on a wager from last season when I bet on  Pekka Rinne to have the most NHL wins for the year.

What I'm not a believer in is spending a moment worrying about missing hockey due to the incredibly ridiculous "lockout" with the first two weeks of the season having already been written off.

Screw everyone involved in the process.

One of the most respected writers in the business, and president of the PHWA, Kevin Allen, laid it out simply for all parties as to where it will inevitably end up at a 50/50 split of "hockey related revenue."

At this point, both sides are posturing for the best outcome for their sides. Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr are to be commended for their efforts for the parties that they represent.

However, they should be condemned for what they are doing to the fans and the workers who depend on games being played in order to put food on the table for their families.

I personally am losing income, based on web page hit count, because I refuse to put up a post every day about nonsense about negotiations and things that don't matter for a season that never was (so far).

Will I be all excited and ready to write daily updates about the Predators when, and if there is a new CBA and hockey returns? At this point, I really don't know.

I have had plenty to keep me occupied in the last couple of weeks during what should have been the preseason when I could have been talking to Austin Watson or many of the other Pred's prospects about their first real shot at the NHL during training camp.

I have traveled to Crater Lake and the Oregon coast, spent the night at Point Arena Lighthouse, and went to Napa Valley and Lake Tahoe. In my travels, I didn't meet one person who gave a flying flip about the NHL or the lockout, and I didn't either.

Last night, I came completely unglued over the horrible call on the "infield fly" ruling in the Atlanta Braves wild-card game with the Cardinals. Was I missing NHL hockey? Not at all. I was emotionally tied to my former favorite sports franchise, the Braves.

Tonight, I'm trying to absorb four college football games that I normally would have ignored if hockey was staring next week. Am I thinking about hockey? Not at all other than realizing that I don't miss it while I tie in to other things.

The NHL and the NHLPA should be concerned when a writer who has committed forty to fifty hours a week to their cause in exchange for minimal income finds other ways to pass time.

Therefore, I don't want to hear about negotiations on non-financial points or anything else that desperate hockey writers want to post as news until there is something real to discuss..

When an agreement is signed on the dotted line, wake me up and see if I care.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Friday, October 5, 2012

Predators renew agreement with Cincinnati

While the NHL Predators continue to be locked out of Bridgestone Arena, some Predator prospects will again be playing in Cincinnati for the Cyclones of the ECHL again this season.

The Predators announced that their agreement with the team would continue this season which will allow Preds prospects as well as those hoping to earn as spot in Milwaukee a place to play. Here is the full release from the Predators...

- Predators’ secondary developmental affiliate the past five seasons has won two Kelly Cup titles since 2008-

Nashville, Tenn. (October 5, 2012) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has renewed its affiliation with the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones. The Cyclones have served as Nashville’s secondary developmental affiliate since the 2007-08 season, winning a pair of Kelly Cup titles (2008 and 2010) in that span.

The Cyclones will function as a developmental affiliate for both Nashville, and its primary developmental affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League. Cincinnati plays its home games at the 14,453-seat U.S. Bank Arena, located downtown next to Great American Ballpark.

“Partnering with a franchise that has a tradition of winning, in a city with a strong hockey history, will allow our players to develop as professionals in a successful environment,” Predators Assistant General Manager Paul Fenton said. “We are confident that those Cyclones who are called upon will contribute consistently to the success of the Milwaukee Admirals.  The Predators are excited to continue our relationship with the Cyclones.”

Founded in 1990 as an ECHL franchise, the Cyclones competed in the International Hockey League (IHL) from 1992-2001.  The Cyclones went 23-17-4 (.568 winning percentage) in games versus Milwaukee during that nine-year stretch.  After the IHL ceased operations in 2001, the Cyclones returned to the ECHL for three more seasons.

After two seasons of inactivity – including one without professional hockey in Cincinnati – the Cyclones rejoined the ECHL in time for 2006-07, and quickly captured two Kelly Cup championships (2008 and 2010), two North Division titles (2008 and 2009), a Brabham Cup (league’s best record) and made three consecutive trips to the American Conference Finals (2008, 2009 and 2010).

During Cincinnati’s run to the 2010 Kelly Cup, Predators 2007 second-round pick Jeremy Smith garnered co-playoff MVP honors, minding the Cyclones net in 17 of their 24 games. In 2011-12, Nashville prospects Chet Pickard (2008 first-round pick), Taylor Aronson (2010 third-round pick) and Ben Ryan (2007 fourth-round pick) all saw time with the club.

The Cyclones have been under the guidance of Head Coach Jarrod Skalde since the 2010-11 season. The Niagara Falls, Ont., native has 20 years of service in professional hockey, 17 as a player in the NHL, IHL, AHL and overseas, and as a head coach since 2008.

The ECHL is the leading professional developmental league for the American Hockey League and the National Hockey League.  The league began in 1988-89 with five teams in three states and has grown to be a coast-to-coast circuit that will see 23 teams playing in 16 states in 2011-12, its 25th season.  There have been nearly 500 former ECHL players who have gone on to play in the NHL after playing in the ECHL.

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Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass