Workday commitments usually keep me away, but today I caught most of the Nashville Predators practice session at Centennial Sportsplex downtown. Here's a few thoughts...
1) To the extent that lines were put together for certain drills, Vern Fiddler was still alongside Jason Arnott and J.P. Dumont, and Jed Ortmeyer was teamed with David Legwand and Martin Erat. For you fantasy hockey geeks, Fiddler may be an early-season depth contributor, at least until Steve Sullivan comes back and takes away that top-line ice time.
2) When they worked on the power play, you had the following units: Zidlicky & Suter behind Bonk, Arnott & Dumont, then Weber & Hamhuis behind Legwand, Erat & Radluov. All four defensemen were playing their off-side (the right-handers were on the left point, etc.).
3) John Garrett, who does the color commentary for Vancouver games, was in town watching practice from the media area.
4) Radek Bonk looks like he's 50 years old - not in the way he's playing, but with the gaunt face, five o'clock shadow, etc. Physically he looks fine out there.
5) For this longtime beer leaguer, it's just impressive to watch these guys up close in a practice setting. The speed, the skill, and the organization are simply amazing.
On a separate note, we should get the first official progress towards the Sommet Center lease renegotiation when the Metro Sports Authority's Finance Committee meets next Wednesday to "consider a set of proposed lease changes to the Sommet Center/Nashville Predators lease in advance of a positive vote by the full board that will need to take place by Friday, Oct. 5." (from the Nashville City Paper)
So after the Finance Committee gives it the go-ahead, it would be voted on by the full Sports Authority Board, then go from there to the Metro Council in time for their October 16 meeting.