Back to work, ye scurvy dogs - we've all had a nice long weekend, so it's time to get back on top of things in terms of hockey news.
So after the jump, we'll see which players have filed to take their teams to arbitration, a look at the top free agents remaining on the market, the inside scoop as to why Jordan Schroeder dropped so far in the NHL Draft, and a projection for which team is set to make the biggest leap forward in the Western Conference...
The headline says it all - fortunately this year, Nashville doesn't have anyone pulling the team before an arbitrator. Last summer, Ville Koistinen won a $700,000 one-year contract, and two years before that, the Preds snagged J.P. Dumont after he won a case against Buffalo, which allowed him to walk away as an unrestricted free agent rather than pay what the arbitrator had awarded him.
With an assist to Behind The Net and some of Gabe Desjardins's nifty advanced metrics, Mirtle gives us an evaluation of who's left, and how they can help a team.
Gare Joyce on Schroeder at #22 - Nucks Misconduct
Follow the links to find some allegedly inside scoop as to why Jordan Schroeder (who so many Predators fans wanted to see picked at #11) dropped all the way to Vancouver at #22. How's this for a whopper? "Asked what his weaknesses were, he said he didn't have any. Said he couldn't really think of anything he needed to work on. Straight-faced. Asked who was going to be on his line at UMinn next season, he said that he had already told the coach who he'd play with." Yikes!
The View from 111: The Total Fan Experience
Mark takes a look at how the Predators fared in ESPN's recent Ultimate Standings, which rank sports teams in terms of the overall "bang for the buck" that they give their fans.
The View from 111: Who Are the NHL Fans?
In a post from a few days ago, Mark also looks at the demographic trends among NHL fans, as opposed to those from other major sports.
Five Hole Fanatics: Kings Ascension?
Kent wonders if the L.A. Kings are set to make the biggest move in the Western Conference based on the development of their young players and the acquisition of Ryan Smyth. There's no doubt they have a terrific bunch of forwards, but their D is highly suspect, and the goaltending needs help.