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Tuesday's news: NHL free agent season opens Thursday

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With yesterday's deadline for NHL teams to submit qualifying offers to their restricted free agents having passed, the table is now set for shopping season to begin on Thursday, July 1. Yesterday, the Predators opted to let Denis Grebeshkov, Dustin Boyd, and Peter Olvecky leave the team, and hopes are high in Nashville that an established offensive forward can be found for a reasonable sum.

After the jump, we have previews of what some teams are looking for in free agency, and what the prospects are for some of the top players available. All that, and a look at some reorganization of Nashville's Metro Sports Authority, which oversees the Predators arena lease at Bridgestone Arena...

Nashville Predators News

303 ON TOUR: Fulfilling a lifelong dream… | Section 303
Jeremy recaps a wild week of covering the NHL Awards and Entry Draft, fulfilling a dream experience as a hockey fan and blogger.

Red Light District: The Week That Was Out West
Ryan recaps his big week as well. 

VIP Williamson Co. eMag v2.0
Guess which former Nashville Predator showed up at the Iriquois Steeplechase recently, and was caught on film by VIP Williamson County Magazine? Hint: When he left the Preds, he headed to the KHL.

Roaring Back | Pro Sports Blogging
Chris Rydburg makes a projection for the 2010-11 roster, and I'm concerned about those centers.

Preds 101: Metro Sports Authority Disbands the Finance Committee... Will Reducing Rusty Lawrence's Power Help the Predators?
This touches on an issue noted last week, which has the Metro Sports Authority doing away with its Finance Committee, and considering such matters in front of the entire board. Anything which limits the influence of Rusty Lawrence (the head of the Finance Committee) is probably a VERY GOOD THING.

Around the NHL

Top players available when free agency begins Thursday -
Paul Allen has Dan Hamhuis as #4, and it looks so far like he'll become a free agent despite being traded to Philadelphia then Pittsburgh since the end of the season.

Free Agent Wish List - Part Three - From The Rink
Bob Wage surveys the bottom half of the Western Conference to see what they'll shop for this summer.

Understanding Restricted Free Agency - Nucks Misconduct
Do you have questions about how the whole RFA process works? Sean has you covered...

NHL expects total revenue to top $2.7B - Sports Business Journal
Give the league credit for continuing to grow revenue despite an awful economic climate over the last two years.

Visa tops Gatorade as most identified with NHL - Sports Business Journal
Another good sports business article examines how well various brands are gaining recognition from both avid and casual NHL fans.

Budgeting Stanley Cup contenders - From The Rink
Mike Chen looks at how recent playoff contenders have allocated their salary between forwards, defense and goaltending.

The Ottawa Sun may not be "anti-Spezza", but they are pro-controversy - Silver Seven
Sometimes the mainstream media goes for the "cheap clicks" even more than the most disreputable blogger, and Peter calls out the Ottawa Sun.

Igloo Dreams: Taking penalties while on the power play
Which knuckleheads have killed their own team's power play by taking a penalty?

What Do We Have For Our Contestants, Jay? The 2010 NHL Awards Show Post-Mortem | The Hockey Writers
Jas dissects the NHL Awards, which, I have to say, were at least a little bit less awkward than usual.

Panthers waive D Ville Koistinen - Litter Box Cats
You gotta read this one, if only for the poll that follows the article!

Lastly, here's another look back at the Draft, as Heidi Androl interview's Nashville's 3rd-round pick Taylor Aronson: