While the NHL stars and media head to Las Vegas for the NHL Awards tomorrow night, there's still big news coming today at 11:00 a.m. Central with the release of the 2010-11 Regular Season schedule. Stay tuned shortly thereafter for my latest version of the Super Schedule, which tells you everything you need to know about the travel burden that each team will face.
After the jump, however, we have your morning notes - the Preds' defense will get even younger next season, Puck Daddy highlights the top centers available in free agency, and a team out East prepares to slash its budget considerably...
Drafts, deals will make for a very young Predators' defense - Nashville City Paper
David Boclair writes that Francis Bouillon will be the old man on the Nashville defense this season.
Around the NHL
The 10 UFA centers you'd actually want on your team - Puck Daddy
Greg Wyshynski reviews the options down the middle this summer. How's about Matt Lombardi to replace Jason Arnott, folks?
Jim Rutherford: Next Season's Payroll To Be Between $43 to $45 Million - Canes Country
Yikes, talk about austerity measures! The Hurricanes spent over $47 million (per NHLNumbers.com) on last season's team, so this is definitely a step back.
2010 Final Draft Ranking 1 - 30 - TSN
Bob McKenzie has released his Draft Rankings, and this is well worth your time as he's one of the true "insiders" that has a feel for what teams are looking for.
Can the Senators afford to risk drafting Kirill Kabanov? - Silver Seven
Could Ottawa take a chance on the mercurial Russian, who is appraised as an elite-level talent, but whose commitment to North America hockey is questionable?
Cooke agrees to three-year deal with Penguins - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Pittsburgh re-signs their head-shot specialist.
Per @RussoStrib: Wild Acquire Brad Staubitz - Hockey Wilderness
Minnesota picks up their Boogaard replacement, the guy who bloodied Jordin Tootoo by using his elbow pads as weapons during a memorable fight.
Avalanche Free Agency Game Plan: Defensemen - Mile High Hockey
Who will Colorado look to as they attempt to improve their blueline?
Also not so hot at drafting? Chicago. (More Draft Analysis 94-present) - Pension Plan Puppets
Get your geek on and really do some draft analysis here...
Warning: Form-Fitting Rules May Cause Nausea – The Goalie Guild
Goalies are starting to howl about the new equipment rules which define maximum sizes based on the player's physical proportions.
Hitchcock wants new lease on life - Faceoff.com
Former Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock is keeping himself busy doing important things rather than just waiting for another NHL gig.
Down Goes Brown: Signs you're not getting drafted this weekend
I love this one: "At the combine, the only workout event anyone ever asked you to do was the "100 meter dash to that exit door over there"."
Righting a Terrible Wrong: Induct Doug Gilmour into the Hall of Fame - Pension Plan Puppets
Will "Killer" get the call?
Lastly, how can Toronto not get excited about their articulate new captain, Dion Phaneuf? This comes from Hockey or Die...