There's lots of Predators and NHL news to keep you busy this morning, including the Silver/Blue scrimmage at 10:00 this morning down at Centennial Sportsplex, the first chance to look at the Preds in competitive action.
Also, if you want to attend tomorrow's pre-season game against Atlanta FOR FREE, print out this form, and take it to the Sommet Center box office by 5:00 p.m. today for a ticket. If they run out, they'll give you a ticket instead to one of the games on September 19 or 26.
After the jump, we've got a broad assortment of training camp updates, along with the Toronto perspective on the Phil Kessel situation, the elimination of a free agent that the rumor-mongers often linked to the Preds, a big contract for a key player in Columbus, and interesting new details surrounding the NHLPA's abrupt firing of executive director Paul Kelly.
Predators hope Jessiman’s patience will pay off - Nashville City Paper
Acquired by the Preds last year for "future considerations", Hugh Jessiman continues to work towards making the NHL. The big (6'6", 235 pound) winger is the lone 1st-round draft pick from 2003 not to make the big league yet.
Preds forward play the waiting game - Nashville City Paper
David Boclair points out that four newcomers to Nashville (Marcel Goc, Ben Guite, Ben Eaves, and Peter Olvecky) are essentially fighting over two available roster spots.
Five questions with Dan Ellis - Nashville Predators Examiner
Jim Diamond gives us more from the New Guy on Twitter.
Barry Trotz has adjustable battle plan heading into Predators preseason games - Nashville Predators Examiner
Diamond also gets the scoop straight from the coach as to what's on the line over the next few days. Scrimmages and pre-season games are where players competing for roster spots can truly stand out.
Wilson likely to make Sommet debut on Thursday; training-camp notes; Kessell talk - Inside Predators
As if you needed another reason to attend the pre-season game on Thursday against Atlanta, John Glennon reports that Colin Wilson and Ryan Ellis might both play for the first time at the Sommet Center.
Training Camp Extra: Exclusive Q&A with Jerred Smithson - What The Puck
Rachel gets some one-on-one time with the Preds forward to talk about faceoffs, penalty killing, and his chances at making an impact in the shootout...
NOTES FROM PREDS CAMP: Day 4… | Section 303
Jeremy shares his thoughts on Tuesday's practice, including his assessment that Marcel Goc is "an early lock (of the new 2-way contract guys) to make the big club out of camp."
Around the NHL
Kessel: Waiting it Out : Maple Leafs Hot Stove
Here's the Toronto perspective on a possible Phil Kessel trade, including the shocking assertion that the Predators are a "well coached, but frankly backwater club."
Why Evander Kane Should Play in the NHL in 2009 - 2010 - Bird Watchers Anonymous
Atlanta faces an interesting question with their top draft pick, Evander Kane. Many of these same issues would also apply to Colin Wilson in Nashville.
Not Atlanta, Atlant: Nikolai Zherdev expected to sign in KHL - Puck Daddy
After the New York Rangers walked away from his arbitration award, Nikolai Zherdev became an unrestricted free agent, and even though at one point he offered to accept a contract that the Rangers had proposed months ago, he'll instead head over to the KHL.
Anaheim Ducks coach Carlyle on who will be No. 1 in net: 'If you win, you're in' - ESPN
Pierre LeBrun writes that a real goaltending battle is shaping up in Anaheim, where an off year by J.S. Giguere (which included his father passing away) combined with a breakout performance by Jonas Hiller has led to a logjam in the Ducks' crease.
Was Kelly ousting an NHLPA coup? - The Hockey News: Campbell's Cuts
Ken Campbell brings to light new details about the NHLPA's firing of executive director Paul Kelly. It looks like Stan Fischler owes Chris Chelios an apology.
Rangers Analysis: Larry Brooks tells Dubinsky to "wait his turn" - Blueshirt Banter
As restricted free agent Brandon Dubinsky continues to hold out for a better contract in New York, many Rangers fans are concluding that he's playing a bad hand.
Puck Daddy chats with Blues Coach Andy Murray about freaky injuries, being off the chopping block and winning in the West
An interview with St. Louis head coach Andy Murray, who went from the outhouse to the penthouse thanks to the Blues' 2nd-half run last season.
Vermette signs for 5 years - Puck-rakers
Expect Antoine Vermette to be a regular fixture with division rival Columbus for a long time to come after he signed a 5-year extension worth $3.75 million per season.
Not Televising All 82 Games Across 2 Networks Are Teams’ Most Egregious Sin " Puck The Media
Steve Lepore brings up a pet peeve of mine. Many NHL teams don't televise all their games. For the Preds, Fox Sports Tennessee will carry a large majority of the schedule, but why not take the rest and find a local broadcast partner? Get some games on free TV and build that fan base...
MacLean's last stab (Arace on hockey ... and other stuff) - Columbus Dispatch
After slamming Jim Balsillie's pursuit of the Phoenix Coyotes on the radio for several months, former Columbus GM Doug MacLean changes his tune when Balsillie hires him as an 'adviser". If Balsillie plans on using MacLean to build up a franchise that he purchases, then he's not near as bright as his supporters claim.
Camp closeup: Central Division - USATODAY.com
Kevin Allen provides brief summaries of each Central team's situation as training camps roll on.