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Ready for the weekend? Start it off with some Nashville Predators news

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OK, Preds fans, it's just a few more days until the team hits the ice in Rookie Training Camp (the first public session is this Thursday). In the meantime, if you're interested in joining an On the Forecheck Fantasy Hockey League, reply in the comments over here. We've already got over a dozen interested parties, so the spots are filling up quickly - who knows, we might have to run two leagues! Sign up will remain open through Monday.

While your friends are cozying up for the first full Saturday of college football action, you can cozy up with your weekend dose of hockey news...

Predators News

NHL countdown: No. 26 Nashville Predators - Sporting News
Larry Lage provides his preview of the Preds, after they ranked #26 in their preseason rankings. I'd be willing to bet the farm that this team will finish higher than #26, but that's what a lack of sexy free agent signings in the summer gets you.

Predators expect charge from power play - The Tennessean
John Glennon's preview series continues with an area for hope this fall, the power play.

Lessons From Yoda - Admirals Short Shifts
It looks like Eric was caught off guard just like I was by the comments yesterday that Patric Hornqvist might fit in as a 4th-line checking winger.

Around the NHL

Ice Edge Group Gets Closer to Glendale Agreement - Five For Howling
Long relegated to the periphery of the Phoenix Coyotes saga, might the Ice Edge Group move to the front of the pack if they can negotiate a new arena lease with the City of Glendale?

A ruling by the US Department of Transportation appears at first to throw a monkey wrench into the travel plans for NHL teams flying to and from Canada, and now they have to scramble for alternate arrangements. Wait a minute, this might be the solution to the Phoenix Coyotes problems! Just have all 30 teams use Jerry Moyes' "luxurious charter service", and maybe the team will start turning a profit!

Bruins Sign Julien to Multiyear Extension -
Boston rewards head coach Claude Julien with a well-deserved contract, treating him better than the New Jersey Devils did a couple years ago.

Q&A: Robitaille's retirement pain - Inside the Kings
Sometimes we forget the price that professional athletes pay for their on-field (or on-ice) success, and Luc Robitaille talks with Rich Hammond about the pain that hockey players deal with on a constant basis.

Red Wings in '89: Best draft ever? - From The Rink
One of James' readers asks an interesting question. Hey, it included two future Nashville Predators, so that counts for something, right?

Brassard Signs Extension -Puck-rakers
Aaron Portzline reports that Columbus has locked up one of their good young forwards with a new four-year contract extension. Derek Brassard was dynamite in 31 games before a season-ending shoulder injury last year.

Oilers Roundtable Part I - The Copper & Blue
Some esteemed Oilers fans discuss the Pat Quinn/Tom Renney coaching tandem, and how it might impact Edmonton's chances this season.

Wild may offer contract to Petr Sykora - Russo’s Rants
Michael Russo reports that the Wild might scoop up one of the few remaining goal-scorers on the free agent market, Petr Sykora.