Later today we'll hear about the Hockey Hall of Fame class for 2009, and it should be a great bunch. Until then, however, there is lots going on around the NHL. After the jump, we've got ownership and coaching issues from coast to coast, a number of looks at the Nashville Predators, and a quartet of wonderful analytical pieces that touch on the issue of draft strategy in the NHL.
You gotta love Richard Rodier, Jim Balsillie's legal representative in Phoenix. Despite the bid by Jerry Reinsdorf that appears to be moving forward, enjoying support from the City of Glendale and the NHL, he steps out of the courtroom and addresses reporters with a cheerful "We're back in!".
And you thought the wackiness in Tampa Bay was over once Barry Melrose got the boot: "Oren Koules and Len Barrie are scheduled to have a meeting today with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to determine which one of them will have the authority to make decisions for the franchise. In essence, the commissioner is determining custody of a hockey team."
The coaching situation between New Jersey and Calgary gets curiouser and curiouser. First, Brent Sutter stepped down as Devils coach citing personal and family issues, and already some reports say he's about to be named coach of the Flames, where his brother Darryl is the GM.
Stuart McDonald takes a look at the overall Predators prospects, and their draft tendencies. Another good overview as we look ahead to Friday evening.
Ryan Miller takes a look back at the 2008 Nashville Predators draft class.
A look at the upcoming Predators free agents, motivated by the doubtful expressions by David Poile and some of the player agents about having players re-signed by the Preds. A real stickler in Steve Sullivan's case is the injury history and lack of insurability. Since he won't be eligible for incentive-laden contracts until next summer, that makes a 2-year deal a dicey proposition.
Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Post-Dispatch takes a look at the Nashville Predators. His best line? "There’s a difference between a painter and an artist, and the Predators are full of painters and short on artists."
Awesome piece looking at NHL teams and where they've been "fishing" (drafting) players from over the last five years. The Nashville Predators apparently have a strong taste for Finns, and can you believe the Toronto Maple Leafs have drafted as many players from Germany as they have from the OHL?
The Falconer takes a look at where elite players come from in the NHL draft, broken down by position. He presents a pretty strong argument for selecting a skilled forward in the 1st round.
Kent takes a swing at the old "best player available vs. organizational need" question regarding the NHL draft. I'm just stunned by the number of really great blogs I've read about the draft in the last few days.
Building on yesterday's article looking at NHL Equivalency and how it projected last year's NHL draft class, Lowetide raises the curtain on this year's group. The most enticing options to me coming out of this analysis are Jordan Schroeder and Ryan Ellis.