Later today we expect an official announcement from the Nashville Predators on the Francis Bouillon signing, but that hasn't held up a flood of opinion making the rounds, the vast majority of which seems to be positive. Until then, you can catch the team's practice at 10:00 a.m. at Centennial Sportsplex as the Preds prepare for tomorrow's exhibition game at Atlanta.
After the jump, we've got more on Bouillon and how he shakes up the defensive depth chart, as well as updates from around the league. Sore groins have become epidemic, one analyst struggles to reconcile his acceptance of fighting in the game, and New York is celebrating the fact that their new superstar looked healthy in pre-season action.
Preds Look to Add Some Flavor to the Blueline - Pull My (Fang)Finger
AJ provides his take on the signing of "BOOYAH…er, I mean…BOUILLON!", and portrays it as a wake-up call to some of the team's prospects.
Bouillon addition trims openings for prospects - Inside Predators
John Glennon looks at the arrival of Francis Bouillon and takes a stab at which defensive prospect is most likely to stick with the team.
НХЛ. 15-30. Нэшвилл - Sports.ru
I was honored by a request from Vadim Kuznetsov of Sports.ru (a Russian sports website) for a Q&A regarding the Preds. Check out the Google Translator for a good chuckle - did you know that Shea Weber had 23 "abandoned washers" last season?
Have Preds' camp rigors sidelined Sully? - Nashville City Paper
David Boclair writes about the care that's taken when a veteran like Steve Sullivan experiences soreness during training camp.
Around the NHL
Bad Headlines 521st edition - Jerseys and Hockey Love
Tapeleg finds a groaner of a headline on another hockey site. Sometimes when people try to appear witty, they cross the line of good taste.
King just what the doctor ordered - The Globe and Mail
About the only thing that has gone right for the Phoenix Coyotes lately is their hiring of Dave King as assistant coach. He's a long-time NHL'er who should be a stabilizing force during this turbulent time.
Gaborik has healthy debut - The Battle of New York
Rangers fans rejoice in the fact that Marian Gaborik played an entire pre-season game.
Wild Players Getting Used to New System -- NHL FanHouse
Can the Minnesota Wild change their game from stifling defense to wide-open attack? That's what new coach Todd Richards intends.
Trading for Heatley a mistake by San Jose - The Hockey News: Jay Feaster's Blog
The former Tampa Bay GM writes that Ottawa GM Bryan Murray "is my front-runner for executive of the year" after sending malcontent Dany Heatley to San Jose for Jonathan Cheechoo and Milan Michalek. Feaster doesn't hold back one bit as he lambastes Heatley's attitude as a distraction for Sharks coach Todd McLellan.
Forward thinking represents the key to success - The Globe and Mail
James Mirtle shares some fantasy hockey advice, and lives up to his emphasis on forwards. In the Blogger Invitational draft (which I'll go into in some detail later this week), he even took extra forwards at the expense of leaving some D spots open.
Victor Hedman: Is so much ice time so early a good thing? - Raw Charge
Tampa Bay has an interesting challenge on their hands, in managing the ice time for rookie defenseman Victor Hedman.
Zetterberg, Cleary, Bertuzzi target weekend return to action - The Detroit News
Groin injuries are slowing down veterans around the league, not just in Nashville.
Seven Western clubs on the outside looking in - FOX Sports on MSN
Spector takes a look at some teams that he thinks could miss the playoffs this season...
Predictions sure to go wrong: 2009-10 Western Conference preview - PensBurgh
Yet another forecast that has Nashville finishing out of the playoffs...
Puck Daddy chats with Evgeni Malkin about the Cup, defying NHL to play in 2014 Olympics and whether Pens tougher than Steelers
A really fine interview by Dmitri Chesnokov with the Penguins' superstar. It's refreshing to hear Russian players like Malkin and Ovechkin speak so forcefully about how they plan to participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The NHL and NHLPA will almost assuredly end up with no choice but to support them.
Five Hole Fanatics: Some Thoughts Heading into 09-10
A collection of observations that are well worth your time; in particular, I share Kent's feeling that Boston is likely to take a big step back from last season's Eastern Conference dominance.
Bloody Jordin Tootoo Tommy Sistito fight raises awkward issues - Darren Eliot
In his SI.com column, former NHL goaltender Darren Eliot wrestles with how to explain our tolerance for fighting in hockey. He happened to be chaperoning a group of kids at Saturday night's game in Nashville when Tom Sestito took that nasty fall at the end of his fight with Jordin Tootoo. Here's the video of what happened: