Tuesday Tidbits

These are pretty slow days from a hockey news perspective, so just a few quick notes:

1. Today's Tennessean has three items of interest; firstly, that 2008's top draft pick Colin Wilson has decided to return to Boston University for his sophomore season. This isn't a surprise, but sticks a fork in any speculation some fans had that he'd make an impact in Nashville this year.

2. The next item in the Tennessean has a no-surprise update on the Radulov situation, but the noteworthy bit is how GM David Poile is likely to react to Nashville's dearth of scoring talent on the wings:

If Radulov doesn't return for the coming season, Poile said he's more likely to see how the organization's prospects fare as opposed to looking at unrestricted free agents like veteran Glen Murray.

"I like what we have going for us internally with the likes of (Patric) Hornqvist, (Antti) Pihlstrom, Ryan Jones and Rich Peverley playing more regularly,'' Poile said.

"So at this point, I lean more toward internal moves than external moves.''

I know I shouldn't be surprised by this, but it's still disappointing. If a guy you can confidently plug into a Top Six role is available for under $3 million for the next year or two, the Predators, given their current situation, should jump all over that opportunity (not neccesarily Murray, but Mike Knuble is supposedly available from Philadelphia). By all accounts, Hornqvist is a legitimate prospect up front, but Pihlstrom is more of a 3rd-line, high-energy banger, Jones is unlikely to be ready for an 82-game grind coming straight out of college, and Peverley's a center. You hate to bring public relations into these kinds of situations, but it's going to be a tough sell to hockey fans to basically roll out the same squad from last year minus your top-scoring defenseman and most exciting offensive forward, with only some incoming rookies joining the team.

3. Lastly from the Tennessean, Ville Koistinen went to arbitration yesterday, and the salary for his one-year deal will be announced soon. I was going to get into a full-blown analysis and try to come up with some comparables ahead of this, but the arbitration market this year is dreadfully thin compared to previous years. Koistinen is only the 2nd player to actually make it in front of the arbitrator this summer, with only two other restricted free agents remaining. I have high hopes for the young Finn this season, but with only 48 NHL games to his credit, I can't imagine him landing a big-time salary at this time.

4. As to why so many players sign contracts before going to arbitration, see James Mirtle's piece in the Globe & Mail today, wherein he peeks behind the curtain of the Shaone Morrison case. Basically both sides lay out there case in clear terms, so there's bound to be tension as the team stresses why Player X really isn't all he's cracked up to be.

5. And finally, a little hockey humor, courtesy of Yahoo's Puck Daddy a few days ago. While the Predators apparently won't spend $3 million to land some scoring help, the Canucks are willing to throw $20 million at Mats Sundin, who can't seem to make up his mind as to whether he'll play at all. So here we have a Swede playing a Danish prince...



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