4th of July notes: Poile clears the decks

Over the weekend the Nashville Predators got moving on their off-season roster shuffling, pulling off a bit of financial maneuvering with the Matthew Lombardi/Cody Franson trade, and acquiring a potentially productive sniper for a hair over the NHL minimum salary in Niclas Bergfors (who ranked highly on my list of potential acquisitions). What lies ahead, however, is really interesting; David Poile likely has close to $20 million to spend on this year's team, leaving room for top-drawer talent even after re-signing Shea Weber and the RFA's.

I'd be surprised to see anything further go down today, so follow after the jump for a Ryan Ellis TV interview, along with the rest of your morning hockey notes. Happy Independence Day, everyone!

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Nashville Predators

To start things off, Preds prospect Ryan Ellis joined WKRN's Sports Extra last night to talk with Cory Curtis:

The Dexshow Hits The Road | PuckScene.com
Patten may well have been Mark Dekanich's most vocal supporter in Nashville... but now he'll play for Columbus.

Smashville 24/7: Hellberg the latest highly-rated goalie prospect in Preds system
A nice play on words when writing about the 6'5" Swede.

Nashville Predators prospect Craig Smith learns vs. NHL's best - The Tennessean
The college prospect got a taste of the bigs when playing for Team USA at the World Championships, and heads back to college this year as a potential Hobey Baker candidate.

Franson trade opens door for Predators prospects - Nashville Predators Examiner
Guys like Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, and Mattias Ekholm all sense an NHL opportunity this fall. That competition is going to be one of the best things to watch during training camp.

Yesterday’s News: Andreas Thuresson Traded To Rangers | Admirals Roundtable
Ryan sees Andreas Thuresson as having been passed on the depth chart, so isn't surprised at his trade.

Nashville Predators bolster future in trade with Toronto Maple Leafs - The Tennessean
Josh shares David Poile's explanation of yesterday's moves.

Around the NHL

Cox: Steal of a Leaf deal with Nashville - thestar.com
They're applauding in Toronto, where the acquisition of Cody Franson leveraged the Leafs' big strength; finance.

What’s Next For The Leafs? | Hockey Independent
Picking up Matthew Lombardi means that Toronto will assuredly want to put him on LTIR, and in order to gain the benefit from that, they'll need to spend up near the salary cap.

As dust settles, are the Philadelphia Flyers a better team? - Puck Daddy
I'll go with a big NO.

Capitals Sign Tomas Vokoun - Japers' Rink
One year, $1.5 million? Vokoun and his agent blew this big time, but boy are the Capitals having a great off-season.

Tomas Vokoun signs with Caps for $4.166 million less than Ilya Bryzgalov - Broad Street Hockey
...and fans in Philadelphia aren't feeling so great about that mega-deal that was handed to Ilya Bryzgalov.

Who made who? Ehrhoff and the Sedins - Nucks Misconduct
One reason to believe Buffalo massively overpaid for Christian Erhoff? The guy played a ton with the Sedin twins, who contributed in large part to his success.

Raffi Torres Speaks About Why He Left Vancouver Plus A Raffi Tribute - Nucks Misconduct
He played like a cruise missile for the Canucks, and they'll miss him.

Time to Poach Our Rivals - Habs Eyes On The Prize
Fun to think about, but almost never a reality - making an offer sheet while another team is close to the salary cap.

Sharks acquire Martin Havlat from Minnesota Wild in exchange for Dany Heatley - Fear The Fin
The Sharks may have given up the better player, but they got a little wiggle room under the cap in exchange.

Ian White Joins the Red Wings, Does not Suck - Winging It In Motown
He's no Brian Rafalski, but he'll help the Red Wings.

Fantasy Hockey Scouts: Free Agent Fallout 2011 Day 2 - Fantasy Hockey Scouts
Start thinking ahead to this fall's fantasy draft as Jay breaks down the implications of recent moves.

Fantasy Hockey Scouts: Free Agent Fallout 2011 Day 3 - Fantasy Hockey Scouts
Both Cody Franson and Niclas Bergfors look like big winners here.

Report: Max Talbot contract with Flyers violates NHL CBA - Puck Daddy
Whoops, it looks like they made the same mistake the Preds once did with Martin Erat.

July 4th weekend offers extra savings on hockey equipment | Hockey Gear HQ - news, reviews & deals
Special discounts are available this weekend make it easier to get some fresh hockey gear ahead of next season, whether you're looking for skates, sticks, or anything else (including UnderArmour for you non-hockey players).

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