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Friday fun: Colin Wilson to become a real pro, and fan appreciation done right

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We wrap up the week later on today with the announcement of the All-Time Nashville Predators Team, but until then, we've got your daily dose of Predators and NHL news.

After the jump, Colin Wilson takes a big first step in his professional career, and we hear about an innovative approach to fan appreciation from the KHL...

Predators News

Ryan Suter has the media's vote for Vancouver - Nashville Predators Examiner
Jim Diamond surveys various articles about the Team USA Olympic camp, and finds unanimous support for Ryan Suter making the team.

Predators prospect to get 'carded' - Nashville City Paper
David Boclair tells us that Colin Wilson takes a big step in his professional career next week; getting photographed for his first Upper Deck trading card.

Roster problems in Western Conference: Part 2 - FOX Sports on MSN
Spector concludes his assessment of Western teams and includes Nashville, which touches yet again on the "they haven't replaced Radulov" angle.

Around the NHL

Wild pursuing Tanguay; Correction on cap number; Third jersey teaser - Russo’s Rants
Mike Russo reports that the Minnesota Wild are trying to sign Alex Tanguay, who is probably the biggest name left on the free agency circuit. There's also this fun note: "from everything I’m hearing, Nikolai Zherdev’s mind is at $4 million or Russia." Enjoy the KHL, Nik!

The Rink Episode 43: Scotty Wazz | The Rink Podcast
One of my hockey podcast staples debuts a new episode, featuring Scott Wasilewski of the Face Off Hockey Show.

Melnyk fires salvo at Balsillie - The Globe and Mail
After Jim Balsillie complained that since the NHL had previously accepted owners who turned out to be criminals and frauds, that they're unjustified in rejecting him. In return, Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk fires back with a public statement that makes Balsillie look like a sad, desperate, stubborn man.

Spector: Felons yes, Balsillie no -
Mark Spector says, "For a league that accepts convicted felons as owners, the NHL's attack on Jim Balsillie's character is a new low." He, and countless others who make this argument, miss the point entirely. The McNall's & Del Biaggio's of the league seemed OK when they were brought in, and turned out to be frauds later on. If you know that Balsillie is trouble before he becomes an owner, why admit him to the club?

Why Russian fan appreciation days put the NHL to shame - Puck Daddy
An incredible story of how Dynamo Moscow reached out to their fans in a fun, creative way. It boggles the mind to consider how fun it would be if the Preds did something like this. I'd love to write a blog about trying to defend Sully on the rush, or looking for a sliver of daylight behind Pekka Rinne.

Capitals Insider - Caps Confirm Theodore's Tragic Loss
Tarik El-Bashir confirms the sad news that Washington goalie Jose Theodore and his wife lost their two-month-old son last week.

"Hockey does not lend itself to a meaningful statistical summary," says hockey statsmeister. - Cult of Hockey
David Staples brings us an in-depth interview with one of the key figures in the world of hockey stats analysis, Alan Ryder of

Excerpts from "Gabby - Confessions of a Hockey Lifer," Part IV - Japers' Rink
If you ever wondered why I call this blog "On the Forecheck", read the latest excerpt from Bruce Boudreau's autobiography over at Japers' Rink. Forechecking is my favorite part of the game to play and to watch, and when done well, is the key to dominating your opponent.