Monday afternoon notes: Another defenseman off the trade market

UNIONDALE, NY - DECEMBER 31: John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders lies on the ice in pain after a hit by Andy Sutton #25 of the Edmonton Oilers at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on December 31, 2011 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Instead of setting the hockey world ablaze with speculation about which big names might be on the move over the next few weeks, the NHL's general managers are acting like a collective bunch of killjoys recently. Teams out of the playoffs are signing players to new contracts, and contenders are shrugging their shoulders and saying that all's quiet on the trade market right now.

I know these GM's have got their long-term roster management to keep in mind, but I've got to know - should I take February 27th off of work or not??? I'm not wasting a day to watch the talking heads at the NHL Network stare at each other and hope something comes across the wire...

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Nashville Predators News

Nashville’s Trade History: A Long Strange Trip – Part One – 1997-98 | PuckScene.com
Marian Cisar kicks things off...

Paul McCann - Crucial Week Ahead and Randoms...
I dunno, Paul, they call it the Southleast for a pretty good reason.

Weekend leftovers - JSOnline
Will Atte Engren or Jeremy Smith take over in the Milwaukee net?

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

Canes starting to thrive as Muller returns to Montreal - NHL.com
The spotlight game tonight in the NHL features Kirk Muller returning to Montreal as the Carolina Hurricanes head coach.

Oilers Sign Sutton To A One-Year Extension - The Copper & Blue
Edmonton locks up Andy Sutton, their 36-year-old third-pair defenseman, for another season at $1.5 million.

Red Light District Hockey: Will trade deadline be a dud?
Given how many pending UFA's are getting locked up these days (Sutton, Tim Gleason, Vinny Prospal), we may indeed see fewer deals struck.

History Lessons: Chronicles of Maritime Badassery - Backhand Shelf
Just in case you ever thought of complaining about the traffic while on your way to a hockey game...

WHILE NASSAU FIDDLES WITH ANOTHER MEETING……Wang is listening to offers from municipalities in New York and elsewhere | islanderspointblank.com
Ominous talk from Chris Botta here.

Is the Shootout Really a Crapshoot? - Broad Street Hockey
Evidence that Pekka Rinne is indeed one of the very few goalies to demonstrate above-average ability in the shootout.

A short conversation with Pat Quinn - Backhand Shelf
Old dogs can still get it done, as Quinn talks about Ken Hitchcock's success in St. Louis so far.

Matt Duchene returns to practice | All Things Avalanche — Colorado Avalanche news — The Denver Post
The Avalanche hope to welcome back their star center soon.

Mike Comrie calls it a career | ProHockeyTalk
Comrie was a two-time 30 goal scorer, but continuing hip problems have driven him to retire at 31.

Goal differential and the Southeast Division - CBSSports.com
And here's a good look at why the Southeast stinks.

Driving Play: Editorial: Widen The Net, Please
I'd really like to see if they could take another look at reducing the size of goaltending equipment, first. For example, why do catching gloves and blockers need to be so big?

Stu Hackel Week on Arctic Ice Hockey: Man games-lost to injury - "Stats the NHL Ought to Keep" - Arctic Ice Hockey
There are some Nashville Predators who rank high on the post-lockout list for most times as a healthy scratch.

Alex Mason scores goal of 2012 in Minnesota high-school hockey game (Video) | Puck Daddy
Pretty nifty...

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