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Mid-week notes: Re-drafting the NHL, and a critical legal battle for the NHL, fought by the NFL

After the jump you'll find an interesting variety of news bits; perhaps the most significant relating to a lawsuit being defended by the NFL, which could have broad implications for all of professional sports. If the league succeeds, it could potentially give the NHL immunity from the antitrust arguments that make up a good portion of Jim Balsillie's crusade to forcibly relocate a team to his lair in Hamilton, Ontario. But that's not all...

I've been rather distracted lately with other hockey work (actually wrote an article for a season preview magazine, so that's exciting), but we'll get back to the Player Profiles and some statistical nonsense over the next few days. After tomorrow's Skate of the Union event at the Sommet Center (make sure you attend!), we're heading into a dark time for hockey fans. It will be a 4-6 week chasm that somehow, someway, we'll have to get through together.

Red Light District: Can Nashville get back to their 06/07 form?
RLD has a bit of a pity party over the road the Predators have had to travel since the Great Salary Purge of 2007, and wonders how they'll be able to compete in the short term against the rest of the Central Division. My answer there is by having (along with Columbus) the best goaltending and (just after Detroit) the best defense corps in the division. That's a pretty good start.

Re-drafting the League: Cycle like the Sedins
There's a fantasy re-draft of the entire NHL going on, and the boys at Section 303 are representing the Nashville Predators. Stay tuned to see who they pick with the #9 overall...

The View from 111: A Needle In A Legal Haystack
Mark takes a look inside the "American Needle vs. the National Football League" lawsuit which has made it all the way to the US Supreme Court. At stake is the question of whether a professional sports league can avoid antitrust concerns by being designated as a single legal entity. The ruling could have enormous implications for the NHL.

Game Tipped to Draw 76,000 Opens Schedule for 2010 Worlds - Slap Shot Blog -
The I.I.H.F. released the schedule for the 2010 World Championship tournament in Germany, with the opener taking place in a 76,000 seat stadium. The current record for attendance at a hockey game was set at "The Cold War", a game in 2001 between Michigan and Michigan State at Spartan Stadium, which drew 74,554.

Rift between Sykora and Bylsma refuted - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
While Petr Sykora is still planning to leave the Pittsburgh Penguins as a free agent, he and his agent discredited a report in a Czech newspaper that alleged the reason was a personal difference with Pens coach Dan Bylsma. Sykora's agent, Allan Walsh, says he has every intention of finding work elsewhere in the NHL, and that he suffered a separated shoulder late last season, which is the main reason he was scratched so often during the playoffs.

Report: Hossa could be out until December with bum shoulder - Puck Daddy at Yahoo! Sports
You know that shiny new free agent with the 12-year contract that Chicago plucked out of Detroit? He might have a torn rotator cuff... ouch!