Morning links: probing Balsillie, dealing Heatley, and planning for the draft

While the hockey world recovers from the epic Stanley Cup Final that concluded last night, it's time to look ahead to what's coming up this summer. We've still got the Phoenix situation to work out, a superstar looking for a trade out of Ottawa, and of course the NHL Entry Draft is less than two weeks away...

Nashville Predators News: Arnott, Dumont Among Preds Participating in City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge
The Preds' site has all the scoop on the celebrity softball game that helped kick off the CMA Music Fest this week, including a photo gallery and video of Jason Arnott, J.P. Dumont, Greg de Vries and Vern Fiddler taking part.

NHL digs into Balsillie's affairs - The Globe and Mail

Balsillie apologist Stephen Brunt complains about the NHL performing a background check on the Blackberry billionaire as part of his application for ownership of the Phoenix Coyotes. First the league is criticized for not catching Boots Del Biaggio ahead of time, and now they're ripped for probing Balsillie? It's hard to follow all this flip-flopping...

How to replace Heatley - The Ottawa Citizen

Now that it's clear Dany Heatley is on his way out of Ottawa, Ken Warren looks at what the Senators are losing, and what they might hope to gain in return.

Lowetide: The Heat is On

The Edmonton Oilers appear interested in acquiring Heatley, so Lowetide looks at just how Edmonton might do so.

Scouting the Other Guys - Western College Hockey Blog

SB Nation's college hockey blog is compiling a list of posts about various NHL player prospects leading up to the draft on June 26/27. Expect the pre-draft activity to escalate around here next week, so study up!

Big Apple BBQ Block Party this weekend - NY Nightlife Examiner

Lastly, if you're in New York this weekend, check out the Big Apple BBQ - it's a gathering of the best BBQ from around the country, and this year includes Martin's BBQ Joint from tiny Nolensville, Tennessee (where I live). It's phenomenally good stuff, so do yourself a favor and stop on by.

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