At long last, we can finally say that we've got NHL regular season hockey coming up this week! The Preds kick things off in Dallas on Saturday, but until then, we'll have a full week of news, notes, and previews to get you set up for the big day.
After the jump this morning, we have a look at how Patric Hornqvist has asserted himself this pre-season, a report on Nashville's prospects north of the border, and a picture of Dan Ellis from last night as he and Sully went out for a litte "team bonding" downtown...
Young forward standing out for Preds | Nashville City Paper: Nashville's Online Source for Daily News
David Boclair writes about how Patric Hornqvist ended up leading all Nashville scorers in the pre-season. Before you get too excited, you should know that he did the same thing last year.
Predators Canadian Hockey League prospects report - Nashville Predators Examiner
For those of you who miss the young 'uns already, Jim Diamond reports on how Nashville's prospects in Canadian junior hockey have been faring lately.
Sully26 - Elly rocking out the Stage
Steve Sullivan let us know on Twitter that he was "Out with the boys tonight. Little team bonding before season starts." Here, we see Dan Ellis getting his groove on at the Stage (or at least, in the bathroom there).
Preds On The Glass: Neil Bristow Interviews Pekka Rinne
Buddy shares an extensive interview that Edmonton writer Neil Bristow conducted with the Preds goalie. Good stuff about his experience at the World Championships, his goals for next season, and his hopes to play for Finland in the Olympics.
Around the NHL
Agent for Toews, Kane meets with Blackhawks; NHL still looking into Pronger, Hossa deals - ESPN
Pierre LeBrun checks in with a number of interesting items; young Chicago superstars looking for their next contract, Peter Forsberg keeping his NHL options open, and the KHL's plan to expand into the rest of Europe...
Talking With Messier About Fighting In Hockey | NHL Digest
Tyler gets Mark Messier on the record about fighting's role in the NHL, especially in light of the tragic death of Don Sanderson in an amateur game last season.
Blackhawks, Blues on rise - USATODAY.com
Kevin Allen previews the Central Division and puts Nashville in 5th, saying "The team doesn't have a big-name star up front who can carry the team." Come on, hasn't he heard of Mike Santorelli?
DirectTV, Versus battle could hurt Avs fans - The Denver Post
Adrian Dater digs inside the nonsense going on between Comcast and DirecTV that have NHL fans caught in the middle.
Forsberg looking like old self again, NHL scouts "drooling" - All Things Avs
It sounds like the hype is already in overdrive, only two games into Peter Forsberg's comeback in the Swedish Elite League. He may have looked great so far, but how long until he breaks down like he has the last several years?
Bettman on Olympics, long-term deals and Phoenix 'litmus test' - Puck Daddy
The Commish speaks about a number of topics, while in Washington for the Capitals Convention.
Lynch Released, Sestito Returns (Puck-rakers)
Good news from Aaron Portzline, as Tom Sestito returned to practice with the Blue Jackets after the nasty fall he took during the game against Nashville last weekend.
Lastly, here's an interview that Jordin Tootoo recently did on TSN related to that fight with Tom Sestito. Tootoo talks about fighting in the NHL, and the issue of how hockey helmets and visors come into play: