Normally when you hear a hockey player or coach say they have the greatest fans, it's just another tired cliche, simple pandering for the local audience. When the Commissioner says it in the context of how well the league recovered from the Great Lockout of 2004-2005, however? That spells trouble, and our around-the-league hockey notes today start off with some dire updates from the latest round of NHL/NHLPA talks...
Nashville Predators News
2012 NHLPA Rookie Showcase Will Feature 30 NHL Prospects - NHLPA
Austin Watson will represent the Preds at this year's event.
The bobblehead movement… | Section 303
The masses are nodding their heads in approval.
Smashville 24/7 - Players react to eventful summer
A smattering of comments from various players, mostly about how glad they are that Shea Weber's offer sheet was matched.
Brian McGrattan - LockerDome
Big Ern's got himself a video collection, where you can take in some of his favorite bouts over the years.
Based on Donations, N.H.L.'s American Owners Prefer Republican Candidates - NYTimes.com
According to this study, the Preds' owners are the league's second-biggest backers of the GOP.
Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey
NHL and NHLPA argue over the fundamentals of surrendering players’ salary to owners | Puck Daddy
It's getting ugly, folks. We've reached the point where Gary Bettman no longer feels the need to sugercoat the owners' naked desire for a massive player salary rollback.
Bettman: We can lockout because you'll be back -- and he's right - Broad Street Hockey
Hockey, we just can't quit you.
Imposing Again : Tom Benjamin's NHL Blog :: CanucksCorner.com
Dangit, I knew Tom's optimism was too good to last.
The Cup is ours: a manifesto - Colby Cosh - Macleans.ca
Colby attempts to stoke the fires of Canadian pride to make sure the Stanley Cup has a 2013 champion no matter what.
KuklasKorner : The Malik Report : Swedish Eliteserien prohibits teams from signing NHL’ers not willing to play full year in SEL
In the event of a lockout, don't expect to see guys head over to Sweden.
Why Limiting Term Is A Bad Idea | Overtime
Richard ignores one reason why it's a very good idea for owners - limiting the liability they're taking on that a player gets hurt and can't perform at his expected level for the duration of a long-term deal.
15 Years Gone: Remembering the Hartford Whalers | Backhand Shelf
Some of the best uniforms in hockey history... and now they're long gone.
Former Blue Jacket Huselius: "They Acted Wrong Against Me" | BlueJackets Xtra
It sounds like Kristian Huselius is not at all happy with the Columbus Blue Jackets, saying they rushed him back into the lineup, which led to a groin injury.
Video: Sports Fans Digest Their Own Mistakes after Loss - Lighthouse Hockey
We've all been here, I think.
Pot, Heroin, and Playing Hockey - Battle of California
Megalodon brings you an important Public Service Announcement.
Gordie Howe on TV has a 100% success rate | Backhand Shelf
You've got to love "Mr. Hockey".
Journalizm | mc79hockey.com
Few can tear into a mainstream columnist for their lazy writing like Tyler.
Odor Gladiator keeps your game (and your hockey bag) fresh | Hockey Gear HQ
This little wonder fights for you against that signature smell that comes from your hockey equipment bag.
And lastly... courtesy of The Triple Deke, here's a creative way of describing how each team approaches the salary cap (warning, it gets pretty gross halfway through when they hit the Maple Leafs):