The doggiest of the dog days of summer are upon hockey fans as we are less than two weeks before the opening of rookie camps around the league. Veteran players will start filtering into town this week with the pace picking up after Labor day. Informal skates will move from Canada to the local practice rinks as the weeks progress.
There is still a sizable group of free agents on the market that have yet to sign so expect to see a few announcements in the coming days of players with NHL experience getting invited to various camps on a tryout basis.
Locally, there is excitement in the air with the birth of a new sports voice in Nashville that will have more Predator talk than Music City has ever experienced. 102.5 The Game launched at 6 a.m. today. My personal disdain for local terrestrial radio may be tempered with the line-up they have planned.
With The Game promising more Pred-centric programming I may be lured away from NHL Home Ice on XM to hear more hockey on the local airwaves.
So as we begin the penultimate week of the offseason, make the jump for today's news and links...
In Pred Nation...
Congrats to Section 303 who won the Best Sports Blog in Nashville and Pekka Rinne who was named the best athlete in the Nashville Scene's annuel contest.
Dirk Hoag checks in with "Crazy" Charlie Saunier who is the Sports Director at 102.5 The Game which kicked off this morning at 6:00 a.m. It will be good to have a Pred friendly sports station in town. Dirk also has a sortable version of the NHL schedule.
J.R. Lind has an interesting feature on sponsorship dollars for the Predators and other local teams.
Smashville 24/7 continues his series on Bloggers Row with a Q and A with Chris Burton.
It's hard to believe that ex-Pred Andy Delmore is still playing but he has a one year deal in the KHL.
Fang Finger's big thoughts include his idea that Ryan Ellis will never play as a Predator.
Around the NHL...
Puck Daddy has the story on street hockey in Times Square during Hurricane Irene. He also looks at NHL coaching tenures now and ten years ago.
Will the Flyers be better with Ilya Bryzgalov?
Derek Zona re-figures "marginal cap efficiency" with 2010-11 data to see which teams do the most with the least.
Boston Bruins player rep Daniel Paille does not feel that the NHL is headed for a lockout next season.
For our daily Sidney Crosby post, we have Launy "The" Schwartz giving his take on "the Kid's" future.
Kevin Burgundy has a different take on making hockey safer for the players.
Neil Greenberg looks at age related statistics of 50 goal scorers in an interesting breakdown and points out that the odds are against Alexander Ovechkin doing it again.
Kevin Allen has an early round-up of US players with high aspirations at next year's NHL Entry Draft.
David Rogers points out that David Backes is the overwhelming choice of fans for the Blues captaincy.
Few would argue that Steven Stamkos is the best 21 and under player in the NHL.
Cries come from Winnipeg for no Nickelback at the NHL FaceOff event leading up to the Jets' kickoff.
Odds and Ends...
The housing market in Phoenix has been a disaster for five years but is showing signs of life. This feature story has an interesting comparison of boom times and the current situation.
The local schools here in Columbia (TN) actually did something that makes sense as this site allows parents to pay for kids lunches online. When ours were in public school, lunch money was a constant issue.
Are you ready for Ghostbusters 3?
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass