Hockey season is finally over for the Preds: Sunday's notes

Thanks to the Czech Republic losing yesterday (and Martin Erat getting knocked from the game with a concussion), all of the Nashville Predators are officially done playing for this season. Sure, there are two junior prospects still competing in the Memorial Cup, but the pros are now able to kick off the skates and heal up for the next three months.

All that's left to do for now is get ready for Mike Fisher's interview with Oprah Winfrey, which airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. Central on OWN. We've got a sneak peek as part of our hockey notes today...

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Nashville Predators News

Post Mortem: Part II "The Bright Spots" - Predlines
Dan shares five reasons to look forward to the fall.

Nashville Predators' Craig Smith hopes rookie wall is behind him | The Tennessean
The buzz around the Honey Badger will be off the charts this fall, and with good reason.

Take a sneak peek at the upcoming "Oprah's Next Chapter" episode, airing Sunday evening on OWN, featuring Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher. Here, Carrie makes only her 2nd trip into the Preds' locker room...

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

2012 NHL Playoffs: Rangers Explode Again In Third Period To Take Game Three - Blueshirt Banter
The Rangers weathered the New Jersey storm before taking over in the final period, and now hold a 2-1 series lead.

Kings Gameday: Kings 101 - Battle of California
Rudy Kelly offers helpful information for all the bandwagon-jumpers.

IIHF Worlds: Russia and Slovakia Square Off for Gold - Puck Worlds
Hmm... I wonder if Alexander Radulov regrets coming back to the NHL, rather than waiting a couple weeks and playing for Russia at the World Championships.

Michael Arace commentary: Sustained stink has made Jackets a tough sell | BlueJackets Xtra
What, the installation of Todd Richards as permanent head coach and the imminent trade of Rick Nash aren't firing up the fan base?

Semin Needs Detroit and Detroit Needs Semin | The Hockey Writers
This would be an intriguing match... the Red Wings have a history of making the most out of players with game-breaking potential, but glaring weaknesses which need to be accommodated.

2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup: Knights get win, Gerard Gallant loses cool with refs; the post-game questions - Buzzing The Net
Both Charles-Olivier Roussel and Austin Watson did well yesterday.

N.H.L. and Players Head for a New Labor Showdown - NYTimes.com

Once we get past the Draft and the NHL Awards, expect things to get ugly.

LA's bold marketing strategy isn't just online - Puck Drunk Love

Brilliant!

Stacking the Kings against other dominant teams | Backhand Shelf
The #8 Western Conference seed now has to deal with the perception of being the favorite.

The Edmonton Oilers’ Ryan Jones delivers a quality season in 2011-12 | Edmonton Journal
It looks like Jones is blossoming into a legit NHL winger after all.

So, about those goalies: Yzerman's tough decision - Raw Charge
Might Anders Lindback find starter's work with Tampa Bay?

Does Division Title Alter Panthers’ Three-Year Plan? | Overtime
Will the Panthers get full of themselves after losing their way (in OT and the shootout) to the Southeast Division title?

Down Goes Brown: Each side's major sticking points in the upcoming CBA negotiations
It's like you're right there at the negotiating table.

Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators: Mr. Thrills and Spills | Edmonton Journal
"the new Paul Cough-up", I like it.

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