Thursday's notes: Nashville's developing defensemen

The more things change, the more they stay the same, don't they? The Nashville Predators have long had a reputation for drafting and developing quality blueliners, and that trait is shining through once again during the opening weeks of the new season. With Ryan Suter out of the lineup due to injury, the Preds' deep stock of homegrown defensemen is helping to fill the void admirably.

Follow after the jump as Cody Franson gets some pub for his highlight-reel goal against Tampa Bay last Sunday, and Alexander Sulzer gives Barry Trotz a difficult decision to make once Suter is ready to play...

The Mississippi River Scum St. Louis Blues are here tonight to take on the Preds, a game which will not be on TV, even if you have NHL Center Ice. Be sure to take the OtF discount to save money on Nashville Predators tickets for this, or any other home game.

Nashville Predators News

Cody Franson Talks About Playing in Nashville, Predators System -- NHL FanHouse
Adam Gretz interviews the 2nd-year Preds D-man about his role in the organization, and what he enjoys about playing in Nashville.

Preds On The Glass: Predators Put Streak on the Line Again and Thursday Thoughts
Swing on by and wish Buddy a Happy Birthday!

The View from 111: Predators Check Presentation to A-Game Video
The intro says it all: "Since you will not see this on the local television stations in Nashville, here is the video of the Predators check presentation to A-Game". Kudos to Mark for sharing.

Game Preview #9: Blues vs. Predators - Predlines
Amanda points out two important streaks heading into this one - the Preds have beaten the Blues six straight times, and St. Louis is winless on the road so far.

Given the opportunity to play, Alexander Sulzer has impressed - Nashville Predators Examiner
Alexander Sulzer is getting it done, giving Barry Trotz a tough choice once Ryan Suter is ready to return. Even though he didn't crack the Nashville lineup full-time last year, I have to think his experience playing for Team Germany in the Olympics and World Championships gave him a confidence boost.

Caption Contest! | Admirals Roundtable
Ryan's got a good picture up for your consideration...

What Steve Begin Brings to Milwaukee | Admirals Roundtable
Jason helps us keep an eye on what the new kid (OK, new vet) adds to the organization.

Week 3 Update " CYCWORDS
An unusual consequence from the Chet Pickard assignment to Cincinnati is that Jeremy Smith, who heads to Milwaukee to back up Mark Dekanich, will miss the Cyclones' night to raise a banner celebrating last year's ECHL championship, for which Smith was playoff co-MVP.

Good start, good tunes, good times - Predators Insider
In Colin Wilson's latest blog, we find out the real key to Nashville's hot start: Jerred Smithson's iPod.

Blues lean heavily on goalie - The Tennessean
Does tonight's battle feature the two top goalies in the Central Division? Yup...

Nashville Predators enjoy fast start to season - The Tennessean
Pierre McGuire chimes in as to how the Preds are getting off to such a fast start.

Cody (Orr) Franson - Predators Insider
Just what was Cody Franson thinking when he faced Dan Ellis on a breakaway Sunday at Tampa?

Predators well-prepared to deal with slimmest of margins - Nashville City Paper
Have the Preds mastered the art of winning the one-goal game?

Around the NHL

Hockey coach returns to Canada to face new sexual assault charges - The Globe and Mail
Following the charges filed in Winnipeg built upon Theo Fleury's account of sexual abuse, his former hockey coach Graham James has surrendered to police in Toronto.

The Verdict: Bowman hasn't lost his hockey appetite - The Verdict
A very cool story on how the greatest coach in hockey history still soaks in as much information as he can, even as a 77-year-old senior advisor to the Blackhawks (hat tip to Kukla's Korner)

Random Blues Thoughts Following Two Wins - NHL Hot Stove
Some insight into what's going on with the Blues as they roll into Nashville this evening.

Columbus Attendance - Part Market, Part Management - The Copper & Blue
A look at the attendance woes hitting Columbus these days. One useful addition to this analysis would be a look at in-season trends, I would imagine the Blue Jackets draw better after football season concludes, just like Nashville (which would temper some of the concern over recent numbers).

Spector's Hockey - Random Thoughts on the NHL
...and Spector warns of the critics of Phoenix Coyotes attendance, noting that until their ownership situation is resolved (soon, we hope) it's unfair to judge.

Anderson out "indefinitely," but injury doesn’t seem to be serious | All Things Avs
Colorado lets out a collective "whew" in the hopes that Craig Anderson won't miss too much action.

Random Flashback: The Birth of Detroit's Russian 5 -- NHL FanHouse
Adam Gretz marks the 15th anniversary of the greatest 5-man unit I've ever seen. And yes, that includes the 80's Oilers of Gretzky, Kurri, Coffey et al.

Khabibulin decidedly mediocre in 2010-11, so say the numbers - Cult of Hockey
This is not good news for my fantasy hockey team.

Allan Walsh Makes Things Wildly Awkward for Client Martin Havlat - PuckUpdate
When an agent publicly campaigns for a greater on-ice role for his client, does it help or potentially hurt?

SEE - At Last, Something To Watch
The Edmonton Oilers are the first Canadian NHL team to consider bringing on cheerleaders, which is stirring up quite a bit of debate north o' the border.

Kessel v. Seguin an unfair comparison – for now - The Globe and Mail
With the Maple Leafs getting ready to play Boston tonight, some people are ruminating over the mega-deal which saw Toronto send two 1st-round picks (and more) to the Bruins for Phil Kessel.

Introducing Zone Hit Ratio: A New Dial on the Truculometer - Pension Plan Puppets
An interesting exercise here, but I fail to see how it tells us anything of interest, particularly considering how wildly the recording of hits varies from arena to arena.

Leafs talks heating up; UFA negotiations - ESPN
Pierre LeBrun writes that Jeff Finger's AHL demotion has opened the door to trade possibilities in Toronto, and Brian Burke is burning up the phone lines.

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