NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 22: Ryan Jones #28 of the Edmonton Oilers slashes the stick of Jonathon Blum #7 of the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on November 22, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
A number of young players made big steps forward in their hockey careers last season for Nashville - Craig Smith, Roman Josi, Gabriel Bourque, etc.
Jonathon Blum was not one of them.
Expectations were high coming off a seemingly successful 2010-2011 debut (although there were warning signs), but before the halfway point, Blum was sent down to Milwaukee to finish the season. Can the 2007 1st-round pick turn things around fulfill his potential as a puck-moving blueliner?
Our morning hockey notes start off with an encouraging story, suggesting he's doing everything he can to work himself back into the mix...
Nashville Predators News
Nashville Predators' Jonathon Blum answers challenge to get in shape | The Tennessean
In a nice sign of commitment, Blum has shown up in Nashville early to work with the team's conditioning coach so he comes into camp well-prepared.
Familiarity brings Chris Mason back to Predators | Nashville City Paper
Mase likes the idea of playoff action.
Former backup goalie follows lead of other Preds making return trip to team | Nashville City Paper
So... look for Ramzi Abid coming back to the team any day now.
Development Camp Archives – Victor Bartley’s Evolution | The Predatorial
Does Bartley have a chance to earn some NHL action, after taking a leading role with the Admirals last season? With Cube & Hillen gone, there's an opportunity.
Shea Weber's leverage will never be higher - FS Tennessee
The potential limit on contract length might compel Weber to get a deal done this summer, before a new CBA kicks in. Note that Manasso's talk about Suter out-earning Weber in salary for next season is unlikely to be correct, because if the players' share of revenues goes down, you can bet there will be a league-wide rollback in salaries just like they did in 2005.
Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey
Mendes: What fans should hope for in the NHL's new CBA - Ottawa Citizen
I'd sign up for these ideas. Who's with me???
NHL ownership, union philosophies far apart - The Globe and Mail
Shocking headline, I know, but still a good read here with perspective from the ownership side.
Down Goes Brown: NHL owners' other leaked CBA demands
I like that idea of having Cam Janssen tossing money into a swear jar... talk about a way to build revenue!
Hard to take NHL's harsh offer seriously | Hockey | CBC Sports
A thoughtful, wide-ranging consideration of things from Elliotte Friedman.
Could TV deals save NHL fans from prolonged labor lockout? | Puck Daddy
This is why many think an early December start is likely, giving enough time to build up to the Winter Classic and the kickoff of national TV coverage.
Manchester United Tops The World's 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams - Forbes
And not one from the NHL, cry the owners.
NHL, NHLPA set to resume labour talks on Wednesday - The Globe and Mail
It's going to be smack-down, but at least a cordial one.
An Afternoon With Former Avalanche Enforcer Scott Parker - Mile High Hockey
The story about how Parker signed his contract after the 2004-2005 reads like something out of the 1950's, just a classic hockey tale!
Scott Stevens named to Devils’ coaching staff | Backhand Shelf
Just keep your head up on the way to the water cooler.
Edmonton councillors approve design of new hockey arena - The Globe and Mail
Costs be damned, it's full speed ahead!
Red Wings made big pitch for Rick Nash, but Columbus not willing to deal with Detroit | MLive.com
So much for the notion of Rick Nash, Red Wing.
When Discussing The On-Ice Product, Patience Is Key For Isles Fans | Hockey Independent
Just hang on, it's only another decade or two.
Goaltenders with and without Ken Hitchcock | NHLNumbers.com
How much of an effect has Hitch's notoriously structured style had on his goalies?
Quantifying players' impact on teammate shooting percentage | NHLNumbers.com
Put simply, a small number of players seem to be able to make a significant difference here.
Evander Kane, Winnipeg Jets negotiating John Tavares-like contract | Puck Daddy
After topping the 30-goal mark last season, Kane could cash in big-time.