Today we've got a mix of positive and negative news when it comes to American hockey. We have all the details on this week's USHL draft, the conclusion of Team USA's spectacularly awful appearance at the IIHF World Championships in Germany, and news that TV ratings on Versus have been surprisingly strong during the playoffs so far...
2010 USHL Draft - SB Nation
The USHL, which is the only Tier 1 junior hockey league in the U.S., is conducting its draft this week, and SB Nation has teamed up with the league to bring you top-to-bottom coverage as it unfolds.
Shaping The American Hockey Landscape: A 2010 USHL Draft Primer - SB Nation
In case you're wondering how the USHL draft works, here you go!
Preds On The Glass: POTG Radio Podcast Is Up and Tuesday Tidbits
Head over for Buddy's morning update and listen to last night's podcast...
Yet Another Status Quo Off-Season in Nashville? - Brandon Felder
Brandon wants to see some changes if the Preds are going to take significant steps forward, but doesn't sound optimistic.
Might Preds' Santos be a good fit in Tampa? - Predators Insider
While he hasn't been contacted by the Lightning, Nashville's Director of Hockey Operations, Mike Santos, might make a good candidate for the Tampa GM job, writes John Glennon.
Around the NHL
Final Round Robin Thoughts/Open Thread - Puck Worlds
Bruce has the complete rundown on how today's World Championship games will set up the elimination round.
USA avoids demotion - IIHF.com
Team USA wraps up its horrific World Championships with a shootout win over Italy (yes, Italy). They avoid getting bumped down to the second tier for next year's WC's, but that's about the only positive thing one can say about their run in Germany.
N.H.L. Playoffs on Versus Find a Growing Audience - NYTimes.com
Is the Versus strategy finally starting to pay off for the NHL? Viewership for the first two playoff rounds is the highest since 1994 in the US, and more than double what Versus did back in 2006. Thanks to reader Scott for passing this one along.
All Habs: The Worst Fans in the NHL
Are Montreal or Philly fans the worst in the NHL? Girl, girls... you're both pretty... ugly.
Flyers and Habs Making Game Two Adjustments - PuckUpdate
Can the Flyers keep rolling after stomping Montreal in Game One? Can the Habs change things up and slow Philly down?
Larry Robinson's Heroics and Other Great Moments in the Canadiens / Flyers Rivalry - Habs Eyes On The Prize
A look back at one of the all-time great defensemen in NHL history, and his place in the long history between Montreal and Philadelphia.
Hall helps Windsor earn spot in Memorial Cup final for second straight year - NHL.com
Ryan Ellis has a chance to repeat as a Memorial Cup champion later this week (the championship game is Sunday).
Taylor Hall is as glorious as Achilles (but we all know how that story ended) - Cult of Hockey
While his allusion to Greek myth is a little mixed up, David Staples makes a good point in the Hall vs. Seguin debate. If Taylor Hall has an issue with getting caught by a big hit, does that undermine his draft value?
Despite Backstrom deal, RFA pool still attractive - Sporting News
Shh... Craig Custance overlooks Patric Hornqvist in his list of top RFA's. Everybody keep quiet, and perhaps the rest of the league will forget, too.
Let’s Talk About The Intangibles Of Tails - Hockey or Die
Who knew Jonathan Willis was such a tail man...
On matching lines, abandoning strengths and the playoffs - Puck Daddy
Justin Bourne lays out a case for line-matching being overrated. I'm inclined to agree when it comes to matching forward lines on the fly, but see more of an opportunity for making sure your 3rd defense pair doesn't get caught against the opposing team's top scoring line.
Dale Tallon to replace Randy Sexton as Florida GM - Puck Daddy
If I'm a Panthers fan, I don't know that this is terribly exciting. Tallon enjoyed recent success in Chicago, but spun his wheels for a long time there, starting as their Director of Player Personnel back in 1998.
Down Goes Brown: Boston Bruins excuses
"Tricky Flyers play totally different indoors." There's lots more where that came from...