Wednesday's news: Predators rookies square off against Florida

Tonight and tomorrow in Florida, the Nashville Predators prospects will take on their counterparts from the Panthers' organization. In the meantime, we can keep ourselves occupied with a bushel of hockey news this morning in the lead-up to the first day of the veteran's training camp, coming up Saturday morning.

Follow after the jump for a look at one outstanding rookie from yesterday's practice, an assortment of previews (of varying quality) about the Preds, and the first iteration of the SB Nation NHL Power Rankings...

Readers of On the Forecheck can take advantage of a special offer to save money on Nashville Predators tickets.

Predators News

Rookies Take To The Ice: An Unusual Suspect Impresses - Predlines
Amanda was really impressed by Gabriel Bourque yesterday, and it will be interesting to see how he fares with the Admirals this fall.

30 Goals In 30 Days: #11 vs. VAN, 12/22 | PredsBlog
See... he's not just a rebound-stuffer or shot-tipper.

2010 Central Division Preview: Blogger Roundtable - View From My Seats
Jeremy from Section 303 works the "addition by subtraction" angle, saying that unloading Jason Arnott and his "half-ass attitude" makes the Predators a better team already, and also blames him for holding back Colin Wilson. I don't buy either argument, personally.

Three Minutes With: Preds center Cal O’Reilly… | Section 303
These next few weeks are critical to Cal's NHL career, as he seeks to earn a permanent job in Nashville. Since he's eligible for waivers now, another team would likely snag him if the Preds wanted to send him down to Milwaukee.

Preds On The Glass: Predators and Panthers Rookies Ready to Drop the Puck, Erik Gudbranson Interview, and Wednesday Wrap-Up
Buddy's morning links includes video of Erik Gudbranson, the 3rd overall pick by the Florida Panthers, who will face the Preds' rookies tonight.

Fantasy Hockey Team Breakdown: The Predators - Deep End
Another prediction for Nashville to miss the playoffs, because two recognizable players left, and no star-quality names replaced them. I think the league must offer a template for these pieces, so sites can use them year after year.

Freshman Franson has one Giant brother act to follow - Vancouver Sun
Cody Franson's brother Cain plays for the Vancouver Giants of the WHL, and bears little on-ice resemblance to his big (and I mean big) bro.

Rookies prepare for Panthers - Predators Insider
Josh Cooper took in the rookies' lone practice before tonight's game against Florida.

Nashville Predators rookie defenseman Roman Josi plays older - The Tennessean
Nothing says "NHL ready defenseman" like a Hong Kong Phooey t-shirt...

Fantasy Puck Preview: Nashville Predators - TSN
Scott Cullen highlights the Preds worth keeping in mind at fantasy draft time.

Around the NHL

NHL Preseason Power Rankings: It's Been A Long Summer - SBNation.com
Apparently my fellow SBN hockey writers have been hitting the crack pipe pretty hard. That's the only reason I can think of why they ranked the Blues ahead of the Predators.

Season Preview: Ranking The Western Conference Forwards | CANUCKS HOCKEY BLOG
Talk about ignorant - this assessment says, "a healthy Steve Sullivan would be a major help," while ignoring the fact that Sully played all 82 games last year.

Michael Russo's Q&A Wild owner Craig Leipold | StarTribune.com
Craig's not happy that the Wild stunk last season... and I don't see that changing soon.

The Dark Blue Jacket: Canaries in the coal mine
Tom tries to defuse the "Blue Jackets down by about 2,000 season ticket holders" story, but the economy has little to do with it (things have been in the dumps for about 3 years now). The fact of the matter is that the on-ice product in Columbus has been sub-standard for a long time, and after a brief flirtation with the playoffs in 2009, they dropped right back out last season, and don't exactly have a convincing gameplan in place going forward. I don't blame the market, I blame the Hockey Ops side of that organization.

Florida Panthers Rookie Camp - two day mini-tourney vs Predators prospects begins Wednesday - Litter Box Cats
Get the scoop on the opposition which the Preds' rookies will face today and tomorrow.

Canes Now - Karmanos continues search for investors
Have you got a few million dollars lying around? If so, the Carolina Hurricanes' owner would like a word with you.

Brendan Morrison waits it out for another job, might end up with reality check instead - ProHockeyTalk
Has the former Hobey Baker winner (1997) reached the end of his NHL road?

Éric Bélanger s'est fait avoir par Renaud Lavoie - LE GRAND CLUB
Run this one through the Google Translator, and read how Eric Belanger apparently had a verbal agreement with Washington on a $1.85 million contract, but the Capitals kept stalling him, finally telling him to search for work elsewhere just recently. The only problem is that by now, most teams have filled their needs, so he signed with Phoenix for roughly $1 million less. 

Message received, NHL insiders say in wake of Kovalchuk contract clash - The Globe and Mail
After watching the Devils get smacked by the NHL, it will be interesting to see what happens next summer with big-time player contracts.

Board of Governors approve new tiebreaker system - NHL.com
Having realized that shootouts are playing too large a role in the standings, the league has made the most minor of changes to minimize their impact.

Bourne Blog: New Gear Day is hockey Christmas morning - Puck Daddy
More good stuff from Justin Bourne on the various ways in which hockey players relate to their equipment.

Only the best draw invitations to NHL Player Media Tour - NHL.com
Here you can get an idea of what Shea Weber's up to in New York...

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 & @Short_Shifts) or catch the site on Facebook. You can also email me at the.forechecker@gmail.com.

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