Today's hockey notes consider the broader impact of Shea Weber's contract on the future of the Nashville Predators, and the league at large. Will this usher in a new era for the Preds as a destination franchise for free agents?
That question, and a look back at Rick Nash's time in Columbus, follow after the jump...
Nashville Predators News
Hockey Night in Nashville: Weber's long-term presence extends beyond his on-ice play
Does his new contract make Weber the iconic sports figure in Nashville? I wouldn't go that far yet, but it's a step in the right direction.
Boclair: Beating the system | Nashville City Paper
Weber's deal put a bow on the old CBA, but perhaps that won't work in the players' favor after all, if the owners point to it as an example of what must change.
The View from 111: Perceptions and Expectations
I wonder if expectations will indeed rise among the local fans.
Pressing issues keep NHL offseason busy – USATODAY.com
Kevin Allen sees the need for a veteran on the Nashville blueline. Just like the last couple years there will be talk of having the kids fill several key roles, but there's still plenty of time to bring in a more experienced hand.
Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey
61 Thoughts | BlueJackets Xtra
Aaron Portzline sums up the Rick Nash era in Columbus with a monster column reflecting on the big star's time with the Blue Jackets from beginning to end, including the highs and the lows.
Was Jordan Eberle’s success last season something of a mirage? | Edmonton Journal
This is one of the key questions in Edmonton, whether Eberle's season was a flash in the pan or a sign of things to come.
Forwards and NHLE - 2011 Draft | NHLNumbers.com
Preds prospects Josh Shalla and Chase Balisy show up well here, but apply a grain of salt due to the fact that they're a year older than most of the other guys.
2012 NHL Rumors: New York Rangers Are Interested In Joe Thornton? Probably not. - Blueshirt Banter
Yeah, I'm not buying this one, either.