Weber drama highlights Nashville's development as a hockey market: Sunday's notes

OTTAWA, ON - JANUARY 28: Shea Weber #6 of the Nashville Predators and team Alfredsson takes a shot during the Blackberry NHL Hardest Shot part of the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Scotiabank Place on January 28, 2012 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The decision of whether or not the Nashville Predators will match the Shea Weber offer sheet will stand as a turning point in the history of the franchise. Will they step up as a team which can develop and retain elite talent and contend for the Stanley Cup, or will they go back to the expansion ear, "Little Engine That Could" mentality of aspiring simply to compete despite limited resources?

Today's hockey notes begin with a broader look at the development of hockey in Nashville, starting with that existential question at the pro level before examining where things stand with the collegiate and junior game...

Nashville Predators News

For Nashville Predators, clock is ticking on Shea Weber | The Tennessean
Given the statements that team ownership has made over the last couple years, declining to match the offer sheet would represent an abrupt about-face. Thanks to Nate Rau for including some comments from me in this piece.

Nashville's youth hockey talent migrates north | The Tennessean
Yes, they're leaving town for better opportunities, but it's remarkable to see this area producing hockey talent of this caliber. Remember, the NHL has been in California for 45 years, and it's only recently that they've started producing 1st-round draftees like Jon Blum.

Frozen Four still in sights for Nashville | The Tennessean
2015 would be the earliest, but this would be a great event to bring here.

Nashville-area colleges remain cool to adding hockey as sport | The Tennessean

Yeah, we're not going to see an expansion of collegiate hockey around these parts for a looooooong time, if ever.

Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher talks about trust - Inspiring Athletes
Spend some Sunday morning time with Fish.

Schedule Preparation | Admirals Roundtable
I wonder if the NHL uses something similar to this.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

Larry Brooks: Ed Snider, Philadelphia Flyers chairman, playing both side on Shea Weber offer sheet - NYPOST.com
Brooks points out the hypocrisy of the Flyers owner extending an offer sheet loaded with front-loading and signing bonuses, while playing a key role in the proposal to ban such techniques under the next CBA.

How The Shea Weber Offer Sheet Reflects The NHL's CBA Problem - SBNation.com
It will be interesting to see how the next CBA handles revenue sharing & the salary cap structure, but the Flyers have pushed things to the limit within the existing rules here.

NHL labour dispute: A player's perspective - CBC.ca
One anonymous player shares his view on the labor situation and the owners' initial proposal.

Colorado Avalanche will honor Jessica (Redfield) Ghawi - Denver Post
A nice touch.

Red Wings GM criticized for lack of offseason splash; but is it premature? | Puck Daddy
If they don't land Shane Doan and/or Alexander Semin, are the Red Wings due for a fall?

Dallas Stars Sign Mark Fistric To One-Year, $1.475 Million Contract - Defending Big D
Dallas brings back the (ahem) physical defenseman.

Brodeur, Selanne lead NHL's over-35 club - NHL.com
An All-Geezer Team would be a pretty good one.

Exploring Habs’ Advanced Statistics | All Habs Hockey Magazine
Outside of the interest in how Blake Geoffrion is doing (not well), what do you think of the format here? Would you be interested in seeing something similar on the Preds?

Evaluating goalies in context: adjusted Save Percentage, or SV%+ - Broad Street Hockey
Here's one way of setting goalie performance into context.

Dan Carcillo blames goaltending for Flyers’ 2010 Cup Final loss, has zero respect for Laviolette | Puck Daddy
Car Bomb goes off.

Pittsburgh Penguins fire lead team doctor | Puck Drunk Love
All the Pens' horseman and all the Pens' men, couldn't put Crosby together again. So they're out. (OK, maybe not really, but I couldn't resist a line like that)

Blackhawks’ Kane denies drinking problem speculation, admits embarrassment with image | Puck Daddy
He's not as think as you drunk he is, honesht.

Of Hearts and Minds - The Union Blue
A Blue Jackets fan shares a rather interesting perspective on what's going on these days in Nashville.

Black Friday in July sale is huge for hockey players & goalies | Hockey Gear HQ
This weekend brings two great online hockey equipment sales, and for you goalies out there, this is your lucky day.

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