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Wednesday's notes: Preds prepare for draft, Blackhawks forced to disband

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Tonight the hockey world turns its attention to Las Vegas for the NHL Awards, and all the attendant glamor and celebrity surrounding it. Nashville's rooting interest has Barry Trotz as a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, but the odds are stacked heavily in favor of Dave Tippet of the Phoenix Coyotes.

Catch the big show tonight on Versus, at 6:30 Central time.

For now, follow after the jump for a look at Nashville's preparation for this weekend's NHL Draft, the dilemma facing the Chicago Blackhawks as they try to cope with the salary cap implications of their Stanley Cup win, and more reaction to the shockingly idiotic decision by the Hockey Hall of Fame not to include Pat Burns in the 2010 class of inductees.

Predators News

Predators look to draft a forward with first pick, unless they pick a defenseman of course
David Poile isn't tipping his hand ahead of the draft this weekend, writes Jim Diamond. The only real shocker would be if he drafts a goalie in the first round.

Predators' scouts look to draft globally - The Tennessean
Bryan Mullen looks at how Preds Chief Amateur Scout Jeff Kealty scours the globe all year around for talent to draft.

Paul McCann - Schedule Analysis
Paul slices up the Preds schedule month-by-month, and previews tonight's SlapShot Radio show with Pete Weber on the scene in Vegas.

And So It Begins… | Hockey Independent
David looks at all the recent Predators moves and maps out what he sees coming next.

Steve Dahl goes to the Eagles show -
Tsk tsk tsk... Keith Urban played a show in Chicago and donned a Blackhawks jersey to play to the crowd.

Around the NHL

Blackhawks Cap Crunch Will Force Trades - Bird Watchers Anonymous
It looks like Chicago won't even be able to give qualifying offers to many of their Restricted Free Agents, they're so tight against the salary cap. I'm telling you, if they hadn't won the Stanley Cup (dang you Marty Erat for that stupid pass in Game 5), Dale Tallon would be pilloried for orchestrating a train wreck there, rather than celebrated as the architect of a champion.

Chicago Blackhawks: Salary cap likely villain -
Cue the whining in Chicago: "the league couldn't have intended to punish responsible organizations this way when it reinstituted the cap in 2005". Actually the cap wasn't "reinstituted", it was a new feature of the CBA. The bottom line, however, is that none of what's happening in Chicago is a surprise. The Blackhawks walked right into it.

2010 Hockey Hall of Fame: This year's vote shows how selection process needs big overhaul - ESPN
Scott Burnside's upset not only that Pat Burns didn't get chosen for the Hall of Fame, but that Dino Cicarelli did.

Greatest Hockey HHOF Needs To Make Voting Transparent
Joe Pelletier believes the Hockey Hall of Fame voters need to make their votes public. Anything to help explain this year's class would be great help...

NHLPA votes to extend CBA; salary cap to go up next season - ProHockeyTalk
The NHLPA wisely decides to put off negotiating a new CBA for another year, and activates the 5% "growth factor" for the 2010-11 salary cap, which is expected to top $59 million. That would result in a salary floor of $43 million, which leads to a probable player budget for the Preds of $47-48 million.

Bruins make trade with Panthers; Horton to Boston, Wideman to Florida - Stanley Cup of Chowder
Nathan Horton, coveted by many Preds fans as a potential addition up front, was instead traded to the Boston Bruins.

Before free agency, Canadiens ink Plekanec for six years - Puck Daddy
...and another potential Nashville fit re-ups with Montreal for $30 million.

Scott Niedermayer atypically decisive; expected to announce retirement. - Battle of California
Earl Sleek pays tribute to the dynamic Duck.

Black Dog Hates Skunks: The Old Man At Sea
Pat Quinn walked the plank in Edmonton yesterday, yielding the head coaching job to Tom Renney.

If the price is right, the Oilers should bring back Denis Grebeshkov - Cult of Hockey
Will the Oilers pick Denis Grebeshkov back up, and keep the 2nd-round draft pick Nashville sent them at the Trade Deadline? Ouch...

Gay Pride | Jeff Pearlman
SI columnist Jeff Pearlman celebrates the Chicago Blackhawks' decision to bring the Stanley Cup to Chicago's Gay Pride Parade this Sunday.

The West it is a changin' - The Dallas Morning News
We haven't even hit free agency yet, but already the Western Conference is going through some major changes, writes Mike Heika.

Sharks tell Nabokov he won’t be coming back; ‘I have no regrets,’ goalie says of time in San Jose | Working the Corners
San Jose's management realizes that Wins are the most overrated goaltending stat of all, and decide to let Evgeni Nabokov walk.

Evgeni Nabokov a Victim of Stanley Cup Finals Goaltending | PuckUpdate
Steven Ovadia sees the soon-to-be-former Sharks goalie getting squeezed out by all the unheralded netminders who starred in the playoffs. - When UFA Signings Don’t Work Out
Could the Nikolai Khabibulin signing look any worse for the Edmonton Oilers? Just wait a few days...

The Dark Blue Jacket: Tickets! Get yer tickets!
Tom bangs the drum for folks in Columbus to come out and support the Blue Jackets this fall. But when he says "2010-2011 is going to be a better year for Columbus Blue Jackets hockey. I am 100% convinced of it." That just sounds like blind optimism. You always have that with a new coach, but recently I heard one former NHL player strongly question the hiring, saying that Scott Arniel is a good hockey guy, but not head coaching material.

Team-By-Team Most Likely To Be Traded At The Draft - From The Rink
Cory projects who else might get traded this week, as GM's scramble for position relative both to the draft, and the salary cap.

Henderson jersey auction destroys records, sells for over $1 million - Puck Daddy
The jersey worn when Paul Henderson scored the winning goal in the 1972 Summit Series just set a record for hockey-based memorabilia.