Thursday's notes: NHL's shopping season opens today

It's expected that Jonas Andersson (left) will sign with the Nashville Predators today, but after that the Preds aren't expected to be a major factor in the NHL free agency market.

Free agency kicks off at 11:00 a.m. Central this morning, and while we don't expect the Predators to make any major acquisitions, it's always a fun time to watch for hockey fans. Be sure to keep up with the action on Twitter (where you can find me at @Forechecker), where I'd recommend the following for breaking news and analysis:

Stay tuned for updates here as deals pour in - if something impacts the Preds or the Central Division I'll post a story here in the center column, with league-wide signings showing up on the sidebar as FanShots.

For now, however, follow after the jump for your morning news!

Predators News

Niklas Persson klar för NHL - Sportbladet
Another Swedish newspaper points towards a Jonas Andersson signing with Nashville today (hat to @SLakePreds on Twitter), confirming reports from a few weeks ago.

Twitter / Dmitry Chesnokov: Soon-to-be former #Preds d ...
Will Denis Grebeshkov head to the KHL this summer?

Paul McCann - The Kostitsyn Trade - The Day After
Paul struggles with the upside and downside of Sergei Kostitsyn.

We’re a finalist in Toast of Music City’s Best Blog category! | Section 303
Congrats to the gang at Section 303, for representing Nashville hockey fans in Toast of Music City "Best Blog" category.

Nashville Predators hope to sign Patric Hornqvist, Cody Franson - The Tennessean
Could someone come in and give Patric Hornqvist an offer sheet in an attempt to outbid the Preds? It's entirely possible, albeit unlikely.

Around the NHL

Eight things to expect out of 2010 NHL Free-Agent Frenzy - Puck Daddy
Greg highlights a number of storylines to follow over the coming days.

Leafs Acquire Versteeg " Maple Leafs Hot Stove
The salary cap maneuvering continues in Chicago, where young scoring winger Kris Versteeg is shipped off to Toronto. With him and Dustin Byfuglien gone, the Blackhawks should certainly take a step back this fall.

Optimism abounds in Columbus as the Blue Jackets pick up Ethan Moreau - Cult of Hockey
Columbus picks the former Oilers captain off the waiver wire, and they're cheering in Edmonton (since they didn't have to buy him out of his contract). I don't see how this makes Columbus a better team, considering they already traded for Washington's Chris Clark last year. Horrible move on their part.

Paul Martin: Will he still be a Devil tomorrow? - In Lou We Trust
New Jersey runs the risk of losing their top defenseman today.

Tallon on radio: "Everyone here had better pick it up" - Litter Box Cats
Bummer, it no longer sounds like Stephen Weiss is on the trade market...

"We’re Not Done Yet" Gillis Eager After Adding Ballard, Oreskovich, Draftees | Hockey Independent
How active will the Vancouver Canucks be today? They could be a major player, particularly in the Dan Hamhuis sweepstakes.

Tampa Bay Lightning won't spend to the cap, says a "comfortable" GM Steve Yzerman - Lightning Strikes
The Predators are hardly the only team operating on an internal budget this season.

Pleau bids goodbye after 13 years as GM of Blues - STLtoday.com
The times, they are a-changing in St. Louis.

Rod Brind'Amour Retires, Will Have Role With Hurricanes - Canes Country
"Rod the Bod" hangs up his skates and prepares for a job in the Carolina front office.

Twas the Night Before Free Agency | Hockey Independent
I knew somebody would take this angle...

When you go to a hockey game, where do you like to sit? - From The Rink
Up high, down low... where's the best spot?

Puckhead's Thoughts: On Extended Hiatus
A long-time Caps blogger hangs up the keyboard... don't you just hate the way real life gets in the way of fun time?

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