"The Predator Way" was the main theme from last night's Skate of the Union address at the Sommet Center, and later today I'll provide my recap of what the various dignitaries had to say. In the meantime, however, we've got lots more on our plate; Radek Bonk has indeed signed with a KHL team (a fact which David Poile was perhaps unaware of last night), some discussion on a potential sniper for Nashville's 2nd line, and a look at a unique addition that's been made to the Stanley Cup.
All this and more after the jump...
Top line gives Predators hope for turnaround - The Tennessean
John Glennon provides his recap of last night's Skate of the Union. His was the only traditional media presence at the affair; I caught the Channel 5 news last evening, and Hope Hines failed to even mention that it took place.
The View from 111: Skate of the Union
Mark gives his recap of last night's affair; it was fun seeing him, Codey from Section303.com, and Buddy & Jackson from Preds on the Glass all sitting up front.
In a hard-hitting expose, Jim Diamond blows the lid off of one of the greatest secrets in all of recorded history. You wouldn't believe your eyes as you read the tale of how the Three Stars of the Game are determined here in Nashville. The horror... the horror....
Breaking the shackles of restricted free agency in KHL and NHL - Puck Daddy
Dmitri Chesnokov, who almost acts as the hockey blogosphere's bridge to Russia, provides an overview of Restricted Free Agency and how it differs between the NHL and KHL. As you can probably guess, the Russian version isn't so "free".
Why NHL coaches and GMs can easily escape their contracts - SI.com
Jim Kelley discusses the trend which sees coaches and general managers changing teams despite having contracts still in effect.
Be "King of the NHL" What ONE On-Ice Rule Would You Change? - Paul McCann
Paul opens up a good question to fill these dog days of late July... asking fans what one NHL rule they would change. Personally, I'd get rid of the trapezoid behind the goal line, and let the netminders roam free (but open to getting hit if they do so).
A permanent reminder - From The Rink
Should the lockout season be immortalized on the Stanley Cup?
Enigmatic Afinogenov worth a shot? - Tennessean.com
John Glennon brings word that David Poile considers free agent Maxim Afinogenov "an interesting player." Exactly how he's more interesting than Miroslav Satan, who could have been claimed off of waivers at the trade deadline, I'm not sure.
Lokomotiv waited on Bonk - Sovetsky Sport
OK, the link takes you the Russian-language site, but if you run it through Google Translate you'll get the gist of it; Radek Bonk had some concerns about uprooting his family to Russia, but basically it became a simple decision as no firm NHL offers came his way.
FanHouse Chats With Nashville Predators Defenseman Shea Weber -- NHL FanHouse
Adam Gretz interviews Shea Weber about the upcoming Olympic Games, and what it's like playing in Nashville.
Who's on the hot seat in the West? - NHL.com
John Kreiser takes a look at one player from each Western Conference team who will feel the pressure to perform right from the start of the season. Personally, I disagree with his choice from the Predators... (hat tip to Kukla)