Thursday's news: Patric Hornqvist and the Predators still talking

The sports conversation in Nashville this summer has been dominated by young offensive stars waiting on new contracts. First, it was Chris Johnson demanding more money from the Tennessee Titans, after his breakout 2,006-yard rushing season. The Predators, too, have 30-goal scorer Patric Hornqvist who they need to sign to a new deal, but we haven't heard much about Hornqvist's situation from the local media.

Follow after the jump for an update from both sides of the negotiation, and all the morning hockey news that's fit to print to fill up your screen...

Hornqvist, Preds still talking

According to Patric Hornqvist's agent, Craig Oster of Newport Sports Management, negotiations are still proceeding with the Predators, with more talks having taken place this week at the NHL's Research & Development Camp in Toronto. With a month left before training camp opens, there's not the pressure of an urgent deadline here, and both sides seem confident that something will get worked out. Most encouraging is the word that a multi-year deal is being sought. "Everyone feels comfortable with each other, the team wants Patric and Patric wants Nashville," said Oster. The uncertainty around the collective bargaining agreement between the league and players (which expires in 2012) and the possible boost in revenue from a new US television contract (due next summer) don't stand in the way of a longer-term contract, either.

A spokesman for the Predators confirmed that things are moving forward. "both sides are being patient and cognizant of each others' concerns and arguments. I certainly wouldn't say an impasse has been reached."

At this point it sounds like both salary and term are still being discussed, and while many comparable players (such as Mason Raymond (2 years, $5.1 million) and Matt Moulson (1 year, $2.45 million), have signed contracts in recent weeks, the question can still be debated over exactly where Hornqvist fits as compared to them.

So hang tight, Predators fans, it doesn't sound like we'll have an announcement real soon (despite reports from a few weeks ago), but on the other hand, this is no Chris Johnson vs. the Titans situation, either. We're not hearing any public demands from either side, and both parties expressed confidence that this will get done.

Oster, who also represents Shea Weber, said that talks haven't begun yet on a contract extension for the new captain, which confirms David Poile's earlier public statements that those negotiations probably won't get started until training camp.

Predators News

Get Out And Learn! registration set for Tuesday morning -Nashville Predators Examiner
If you have a kid ages 4-7 in the Nashville area who hasn't tried the game of hockey yet, you need to read this. It's a great program supported by the Preds, IT'S FREE, and they'll have a great time. I put all 3 of mine through it a couple summers ago, and they had a ton of fun.

Former Hab and current Predator Francis Bouillon joins Tony on Melnick in the Afternoon - The Team 990
Catch the Cube's interview on Montreal radio (thanks to Jim Diamond for the tip via Twitter).

"P" is for Patches & Primary Logos - Icethetics.info
Are the Preds changing their jerseys or not this season? We still don't know.

Preds On The Glass: Sidney Crosby Speaks at The NHL Awards Show and Thursday Updates
Buddy recycles more NHL Awards video to go along with his bevy of morning links.

2010 Draft Prep: Moving beyond the obvious : FantasyNews.CBSSports.com
George Kurtz has a Nashville Predator who he recommends keeping an eye on at fantasy draft time.

Around the NHL

Changes on faceoffs drawing differing opinions - 2010 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp
The tinkering has been mighty interesting, and I give credit to the NHL for at least trying out some new ideas. That doesn't mean every one has to be implemented, but experimentation is good.

The Tight-Frame Goal Net Idea - TheGoalieGuild.com
Here's an alternative to the shallow nets seen at the Research and Development Camp.

NHL still checking Hossa, Pronger, other contracts - NHL.com
Pay attention to the very last paragraph here, wherein Bill Daly highlights the effect that front-loaded contracts have on the bulk of the NHLPA.

Can't confirm anything on possible sale - The Dallas Morning News
Reports swirled yesterday about an imminent sale of the Dallas Stars for somewhere between $275-$300 million, but Mike Heika can't get anyone to confirm those facts. Then again, they're not shooting them down, either, so there may be something to it.

Putting the Skate Down: Why Conditioning Matters - The Cannon
As Dean Wormer would say, "fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

Red Wings Bloggers' Roundtable, part two | MLive.com
The Detroit bloggers ponder how much their additions will help, whether Chris Osgood has anything left, and if this season will be the finale for Nick Lidstrom.

Depth Signings: Pisani, Bergenheim, Hilbert - Hockey or Die
Jonathan Willis sums up three signings from yesterday. Chicago getting Pisani's a pretty good pickup, actually.

Tickets On Sale, Hawks Fans Pissed… WHAT?! - View From My Seats
The bandwagon has loaded up in Chicago, which both its good side, and its bad.

Top Six Forwards - The Copper & Blue
Do some teams focus their ice time across two, or three main forward lines? An interesting comparison here.

KuklasKorner : Blue Jackets Sign Ben Guite
The former Pred signs with Columbus.

Duck Tales: Defending The Pond - Anaheim Calling
Does anyone else think it's kinda weird that the Ducks have a statue outside the Honda Center?

EHFD: Slovnaft Extraliga - Puck Worlds
Bruce Peter's series of European league primers moves on to Slovakia, a relatively minor player here, but a developer of some fine NHL talent.

Lastly, check out this preview of NHL Slapshot for the Wii, coming from EA Sports next month (thanks to @shlimmy on Twitter for the link):

To keep up with all of our coverage of the Nashville Predators, you can subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter (@Forechecker, @predatweeter & @SLakePreds), or catch the site on Facebook. You can also email me at the.forechecker@gmail.com.

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