The 2012 NHL All-Star weekend kicks off tonight at 7:00 p.m. Central (on NBC Sports) with the Fantasy Draft, as captains Daniel Alfredsson and Zdeno Chara fill out their rosters. Vegas has odds posted on who will get picked first, with Nashville Predators defensemen Shea Weber & Ryan Suter listed at 40/1 and 65/1 respectively to receive that honor.
We'll have an open thread this evening so we can follow the draft together, but for now, enjoy your morning hockey notes...
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Nashville Predators News
Nashville's Unicorn - Predlines
Unicorn, or red herring?
Nashville Predators have look of playoff contender - The Tennessean
Josh Cooper's a True Believer.
Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey
Biggest Stories For The 2012 NHL All-Star Break - Puck Drunk Love
Assorted items to keep your eye on.
No shame in being last man standing at all-star draft - The Globe and Mail
If you look at how Phil Kessel's scoring has gone since he was the last guy picked in 2011, I'd think everybody wants a piece of that good luck.
Vladimir Putin wants meeting with NHL for 2014 Sochi Games | Puck Daddy
Russia wants to take a proactive approach to make sure the world's best hockey players show up in Sochi.
NBC Brings "Science of N.H.L. Hockey" to TVs and Classrooms - NYTimes.com
We'd heard about this series before, as Pekka Rinne is one participant. The segments will debut this weekend.
Gagne, Parse and salary-cap relief " LA Kings Insider
The Los Angeles Kings could have quite a bit of cap room available for trade deadline moves if they put Simon Gagne (concussion) on long-term injured reserve.
Things Jackets Fans Can Do In the Second Half of the Season | Hockey Independent
This is pretty funny, actually: "Don’t just relish in the Shea Weber and Ryan Suter train rumors, but start them. As Jackets fans, we all hate Nashville, with their pesky front office and coaching stability, drafting prowess, elite defense and elite goaltending. It’s so obnoxious of them to have their original draft pick is still contributing while we had the good sense to exile Rusty "Blue Eyes" Klesla to the desert so we could rent Sami Lepisto and Scottie Upshall for a late season losing streak….and then take the money we saved to extend Fedor Tuytin’s House of Turnovers."
Sharks Improved Fourth Line Will Be Instrumental Down The Stretch - Fear The Fin
Depth up front has been helpful for San Jose so far.
The Peerless Prognosticator: The Ovechkin Redemption
A rather unconventional pep talk for Washington's under-performing superstar.
Headlines: Hamilton Bulldogs Moving to Laval? | All Habs
Are the Montreal Canadiens looking to move their AHL team out of Hamilton?
Game 49 Recap: What Just Happened? - Habs Eyes On The Prize
All the Red Wings could muster last night was a lousy safety, getting stomped 7-2 by the Canadians.
Lastly, some OTF Super Bonus Points go to DonBorvio, who found this parody of the music video that Alex Radulov was in a while back. I have little idea what's going on here, but it's worth a chuckle (jump to the 3:00 mark):