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Monday's news: These kids are alright

Now that the Nashville Predators Development Camp has concluded, we're staring at two long months without hockey, folks. But don't worry, we'll keep you engaged with news, analysis, and lots of puck-talk all summer long.

This morning after the jump, we have a look at the Preds' NCAA prospects, a recap of last week's Skate of the Union, one blogger who found video of Dan Hamhuis sending a dig at Nashville all the way from Vancouver, and an invitation to show our latest draft pick what Southern Hospitality is all about...

Predators News

Predator draftees formed valuable bonds over the last year - Nashville Predators Examiner
An interesting observation from Jim Diamond about the links found between some of the Preds' collegiate prospects.

Like October in July… " Pull My (Fang)Finger
AJ perfectly sums up the State of the Union experience, which is all about getting out and meeting up with other Preds fans.

Hammer-ing the Predators: Do UFAs usually zing their former team? | The Hockey Writers
Amanda knocks this one out of the park, providing the video of Dan Hamhuis' recent comments about hockey crowds in Nashville.

Confessions of a Predators Fanatic: Fret not you 7ish people who read this...
Kelly checks in with thoughts on the summer so far, with a "meh" for the new captain.

The second annual "call to action" for Preds fans… | Section 303
Jeremy puts forth an outstanding idea - as an expression of Southern Hospitality, Preds fans should send cards to 1st-round draft choice Austin Watson celebrating the birth of his latest (9th!) sibling.

Around the NHL

Report- Kovalchuk Drama Ends Tomorrow - KuklasKorner
By now, "tomorrow" means "today", so please please please, can this finally end?

More Blackhawks Misery: Antti Niemi Looking to Cash In, Too - The Grinder
Chicago's salary cap mess is made even worse as their goaltender awaits a new contract as well.

What Makes a "Good" Contract? Left Wing Edition - Hockey Wilderness
At least on the left side, the Minnesota Wild seem to have an affordable bunch of pluggers.

Nikolai Zherdev’s Return - Hockey or Die
Jonathan Willis makes a projection as to what Nik Zherdev will provide for the Philadelphia Flyers, based on his KHL production last season.

Eastern Conference Staying Gooney |
Is there an "arms race" going on in the East, with everyone loading up on goons?

Red Light District: Could Ellis be the next Anderson?
Ryan wonders if Dan Ellis can find his niche as a #1 starter with Tampa Bay just as Craig Anderson did in Colorado last year. In my opinion, this ain't gonna happen. Ellis is fine as a part-time starter, but I don't see him carrying a team over the length of a season.

Reactions to Nabokov's Return to Russia: Surprising, but Huge - Fear The Fin
Here are some interesting reactions from the Russian media about the former Sharks goalie coming over to play in the KHL.

Pittsburgh Penguins Offseason Update |
Get yourself caught up on what the 2009 Cup champs have been up to this summer...

Five things to know about Mike Fisher/Carrie Underwood wedding - Puck Daddy
My only surprise here is that the Puck Daddy himself wasn't on the guest list...

About ESPN, SportsCenter and its perceived anti-hockey bias - Puck Daddy
Does ESPN give hockey the shaft? One guy who works for them asks another guy who works for them, so guess what the answer turns out to be...

And lastly, to get your Monday started off right, here's some footage from Wayne Gretzky's charity golf tournament this last weekend, with several notable ex-jocks talking about Twitter & Facebook. Great stuff here, courtesy of a tip from Kukla's Korner...