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Wednesday news: Joe Sakic retiring, Twitter's impact on the NHL, and Predators prospects hit the ice

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For a Wednesday in mid-July, I've got a ton of good reading for you this morning. At the top of the heap, of course, is the news that "Super" Joe Sakic is retiring in Denver, with the official announcement coming on Thursday. I'll chime in tomorrow on my own personal encounter with the Quebec Nordique/Colorado Avalanche legend, but for now, I think I share the sentiment offered up by our Chicago blogger - "If Joe Sakic retires now, the snow blowers have won."

After the jump, we have some reaction to the Sakic news, two interesting pieces relating to the Nashville Predators' Development Camp (which holds its first public on-ice session at 10:00 a.m. this morning), a link to one of the best sports columns I've read in a long, long time, and a whole lot more...

Avalanche's Sakic to retire from the NHL on Thursday - The Denver Post

Joe Sakic, one of the all-time great forwards in NHL history, is set to announce his retirement from the game on Thursday, writes Adrian Dater. #19 will assuredly head to the rafters in Denver in short order, but that will likely be one of few highlights this upcoming season for an Avalanche team that little resembles the powerhouse of the mid- to late-1990's.

It's Over - Mile High Hockey
David from SB Nation's Colorado Avalanche blog shares his personal perspective on the end of an era.

What The Puck: Curiosity could kill the saber toothed cat
Rachel muses about the holes left by the Predators' departing free agents, and what it all means for the young RFA's like Cal O'Reilly, Ryan Jones, and Mike Santorelli.

Predators collegiate prospects pay the price, literally - Nashville Predators Examiner
Jim Diamond notes that for 11 of the Predators prospects participating in this week's Development Camp, NCAA amateur eligibility rules require them to pay their own way. I wonder what the Preds are charging, and whether they would open it up for a nearing-40 beer leaguer that serious needs the conditioning work!

Predators' No. 1 pick could have big impact | The Tennessean
John Glennon checks in with a number of OHL coaches to assess Ryan Ellis, Nashville's 1st pick in the 2009 draft. Opinions are unanimous that he'll make a big impact at the NHL level regardless of his 5'9" frame.

SBN Adds Mobile Commenting and Twitter, Ruins Your Productivity - Pension Plan Puppets
I mentioned this yesterday, but our boys in Toronto do a much better job explaining just how you can better utilize Twitter (and other social media sites like Digg or Facebook) relative to this site. Sure, it may ruin your productivity, but entertainment is where it's at!

How hockey agents, players are adjusting to the tweet life - Puck Daddy
Greg Wyshynski delivers an outstanding article on how Twitter has impacted this summer's NHL business, from Martin Havlat expressing disappointment with Chicago to agent Allan Walsh outing the Blackhawks for not filing qualifying offers to restricted free agents on time. It's a brave new world, and not something that agents or players can blithely jump into.

The folly of sports fandom - National Post
One of the best sports-related columns you'll read this year comes from Colby Cosh. It's prompted by the Dany Heatley saga and the hold it has on both Ottawa and Edmonton, but it relates to any red-blooded sports fan. Found via mc79hockey.

As The Tree Said To The Lumberjack, I'm Stumped - Nucks Misconduct
Up in Vancouver, there's some discontent over the recent signings of Shane O'Brien (mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging defenseman who snared a 35% raise) and Andrew Raycroft, who had one good season in Boston before the lockout, but has been awful ever since.