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Hump Day Highlights: Budish scores on the ice, while Reinsdorf scores off of it

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We're almost halfway through the least eventful month on the hockey calendar, folks! Just three more weeks, and we'll be able to see training camp on the horizon, so keep marching!

Sorry, I think I just stayed up too late last night watching We Were Soldiers.

After the jump, we've got a Preds prospect scoring against the Russians, a blow to Jim Balsillie's bid to purchase and relocate the Phoenix Coyotes, and the Hockey News makes their prediction for the 2009-10 Nashville Predators...

Predators News

U.S. National Junior Team Tops Russia, 8-1, at National Junior Evaluation Camp - USA Hockey
Preds 2nd-round pick Zach Budish was among the goal scorers as Team USA romped over the Russians in an exhibition game in Lake Placid, New York.

My 5 reasons for loving hockey - Nashville Predators Examiner
Jim Diamond gives his rendition of the Puck Daddy theme that's going on this month, and includes a loving ode to one of the great dying arts in all of sports, the hip-check.

Zherdev to Russia not a done deal - The Tennessean
John Glennon pops the bubble on all the "Zherdev's bolting to the KHL!" talk yesterday after an ambiguously-translated report from RDS got sent around. According to his agent, Nikolai Zherdev has not signed with a Russian team, and is still interested in NHL options (although Nashville doesn't sound very interested in him).

The Hockey News 2009-10 NHL regular season predictions - No. 10
Shockingly, we see a preseason prediction for the Predators to finish out of the playoffs and last in the Central Division.

Summer Skate, Central Division - Puck Prospectus
Using their VUKOTA projection system, the geeks at PP make their call for a breakout and a declining player from each team in the Central Division.

McElroy Joins the Exodus - Admirals Short Shifts
Another player heads oversees, but this one's worth reading just for the hilarious Babel Fish translation of an Italian press release.

Around the NHL

Creditor cuts deal with Reinsdorf - The Globe and Mail
Jim Balsillie's chances of winning the Phoenix Coyotes took a major hit with the announcement by SOF Investments has reached a tentative agreement with Jerry Reinsdorf on how to handle the $80 million owed to them as part of the team's bankruptcy. If Reinsdorf can work out a renegotiated arena lease with the City of Glendale, it would give his bid overwhelming support.

The View from 111: Time To Ante Up
Mark takes a look inside the bid procedure lined up for the Phoenix Coyotes auction next month. Like I commented in Mirtle's post on the subject, the fact that the judge specifically mentions that qualified bidders must be approved by the NHL's process as outlined in their constitution and by-laws means that Balsillie still has a very large obstacle to overcome.

Primary Thoughts on Secondary Assists - Japers' Rink
J.P. takes a look at primary vs. secondary assists, and does a good job of bringing context to the discussion with the use of power play vs. even strength comparisons.

Abid heads to KHL - Metro - Halifax : Blog
Ramzi Abid, who played 13 games for the Predators during the 2006-7 NHL season, is heading over to the KHL to play for Traktor Chelyabinsk (hat tip to Kukla's Korner via Twitter).

On Arbour/Potvin, Gordon/Tavares, and coaching young stars - Lighthouse Hockey
Dominik looks at a fascinating question; how will Islanders coach Scott Gordon handle the dawn of the John Tavares era on Long Island, and will he last longer than coaches in Washington, Pittsburgh, and Tampa who inherited superstar youngsters?

Depth Perception: Center (Puck-rakers)
Aaron Portzline examines the centers within the Columbus Blue Jackets organization.

On Personal Lives - A Theory of Ice
"A Theory of Ice" is my tiramisu of the hockey blogosphere; a rare treat that never fails to satisfy. In this installment, the nature of scandal in professional sports is considered.