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Wednesday's news: Predators prospects profiled, while Kariya plots a comeback in St. Louis

Your mid-week news & notes include a radio interview with one top Predators prospect and a magazine profile of another, a concern raised about who will win the key faceoffs for Nashville this upcoming season, and a host of stories from around the NHL...

Predators News

Step It Up: The Jerred Smithson Edition - What The Puck
Rachel makes an astute statistical observation about the Predators roster transition this summer; perhaps the three best faceoff men on the team (Radek Bonk, Scott Nichol, and Vernon Fiddler) have all left as free agents. That leaves Jerred Smithson as the lone guy who will likely be relied upon in defensive situations. Obviously Arnott & Legwand get the bulk of the draws during regular action, but late in the game when you're defending a lead, every team likes to have that dependable presence that can work the dot.

Jon Blum interview - The Pipeline Show
The Preds 2008 1st-round draft choice appears on an Edmonton radio show (direct link to the MP3), to talk about his successful 2008-9 season, and what lies ahead for him in Milwaukee.

Colin Wilson | USA Hockey Magazine
This profile of the Preds prospect focuses on the role that the National Team Development Program (headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan at a rink where I used to play beer league games long ago) took in his growth as an athlete.

Three Preds Prospects to Participate in Hockey Canada's Junior Evaluation Camp - Nashville Predators News
In preparation for the next World Junior Championship (to be held December 26 - January 5 in Regina and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan), 3 Predators draftees have been invited to Team Canada's Evaluation Camp. Ryan Ellis and Charles-Olivier Roussel will be on defense for the Red Team, while Gabriel Bourque will skate up front for the White.

Budish To Participate in US Junior Evaluation Camp - Nashville Predators News
Meanwhile, Zach Budish has been invited to the US camp.

Around the NHL

The Ballad of Jeremy Roenick - Fear The Fin
Our San Jose blogger bids a fond adieu to Jeremy Roenick, who is about to announce his retirement from the NHL (and what should be the beginning of an interesting career on TV).

Kariya trains hard for comeback with St. Louis Blues -
The Blues are relying on a comeback from former Predator Paul Kariya to build upon last year's success. After having had surgery on both hips last season, can he still be a high-impact player at the NHL level?

Twitter / Allan Walsh: Shocking but true. The NHL ...
Player agent Allan Walsh wrote late last night that the NHL "will not honor NHL contract for a player injured at a summer Olympic training camp." Ouch... I'm guessing the NHLPA is going to have something to say about this.

ESPN Responds to Criticism and Publishes Social Media Policy -
Yet another reason why the NHL shouldn't jump back on the ESPN bandwagon; the sports media monolith released "social networking guidelines" that pretty much ensure that you won't find anything interesting coming from an ESPN staffer on Twitter or Facebook.

Islanders Lighthouse Project Hearings: Live coverage galore - Lighthouse Hockey
SB Nation's New York Islanders has all the scoop on yesterday's hearing about the Lighthouse Project, which is owner Charles Wang's ambitious arena development project.

Innovator - Irreverent Oiler Fans
Vic Ferrari finds a surprising reference in a paper on healthcare reform to Roger Nielson, one of the truly great minds in the history of the NHL. It sheds light on just how far ahead of the game he was back in the 1990's.

Red Wings sign Eaves - Red Wings Corner
Bruce MacLeod of the Macomb Daily reports that Detroit signed Patrick Eaves (younger brother of Ben, who signed with the Preds recently) for just $500,000 after getting bought out of his contract by the Boston Bruins.

Stars officially name Huddy to run defense - Dallas Stars Blog
Mike Heika discusses the hiring of Charlie Huddy, formerly with Edmonton, as an assistant coach for the Stars. His ability to help develop young blueliners will be critical to a Dallas team which moves into the post-Sergei Zubov era.

KHL - In The New Season KHL Will Fully Exercise The Statistical Coverage On Its Own
The KHL releases a bulletin stating that they plan to rework and improve the collection and presentation of statistics. They've got a long ways to go, as they recognize that to start tracking things like blocked shots, hits, etc. they need to "increase the number of staff working on the games." But who knows, perhaps someday this blog can open up a Russian affiliate branch...

Five Hole Fanatics: Every move the wrong one
Kent takes a look at Glen Sather's moves in New York, and doesn't like what he sees. Take this, for example - Wade Belak will make $650K for the Predators this year, while the guy he knocked out, Donald Brashear, will make $1.4 million each of the next two years for the Rangers. Egads...