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Wednesday's news: A new crew in Nashville

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The NHL must be enjoying the surge in hockey news this week, triggered first by the Ilya Kovalchuk signing on Monday, which turned into a controversial contract rejection by the NHL late last evening. The only thing we know for now is that an ugly fight is brewing in New Jersey.

But there are plenty of other stories worth your attention this morning - we have the video introducing the new crew of Nashville Predators dancers, and a panel discussion on social media in the sports world that you won't want to miss...

Predators News

Circle these dates Preds fans; the games of interest are… | Section 303
Jeremy highlights some notable games next season, including October visits to Nashville by Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby.

Puck Pile: 7/20/10 " PredsBlog
Sam's daily links highlight a disturbing trend here in Nashville, the growing "Hipster" problem.

Nashville Predators – 10 Remaining Questions | Pro Sports Blogging
I think Dave set a new record for the most question marks in a blog post, raising all sorts of questions heading into the new season.

The Nashville Predators and Matthew Lombardi are a ‘fit’ - Nashville Predators Examiner
Jim Diamond walks through the process which led Lombardi to Nashville, which included some helpful advice from former Pred (and Phoenix teammate) Vern Fiddler. Rack up another assist for old #38...

While it was great to talk hockey with Willy Daunic & Chad Withrow on 104.5's "Sports Zone" yesterday afternoon about the future of the team, let's not forget that it's not just the player roster that's turning over - here's your look at the 2010-11 Predators Dancers...


Around the NHL

Social Issues - Sports Business Journal
If you're interested in how sports leagues and teams utilize social media tools like Twitter and Facebook, this roundtable discussion will make your month. It features team and league executives from several different sports and highlights the successes and failures each has had so far.

Four Revealing Quotes About the New Jersey Devils Signing of Ilya Kovalchuk - In Lou We Trust
Lou Lamoriello impresses me with his candor about the loophole used to lower Kovalchuk's cap hit to just $6 million per season on his new 17-year contract. He still used it, because that's what he has to do to try and bring another Stanley Cup to New Jersey, but I admire him for not ducking the question. Did that candor ultimately have something to do with the NHL striking the deal down?

No, Lou. - Jewels From The Crown
Quisp laid out the case for the NHL's rejection of the Kovalchuk contract, just hours before it actually got slammed.

Why The NHLPA should NOT File A Grievance For Kovalchuk - View From My Seats
Matt Reitz gets into what for me is the most interesting question here. Should the NHLPA help Kovy in this fight, even though it will cost the rest of the players money during his high-dollar seasons?

2010 NHL Free Agency: Anton Stralman's salary arbitration could cause a mess in Columbus - ProHockeyTalk - Hockey - NBC Sports
The BJ's are really struggling with this "build a competitive team on a budget" thing.

Players To Watch Part 5: Derek Dorsett - The Cannon
It's always good to keep an eye on your division rivals, so get up to speed on the young Columbus pest.

Modano wants to be sure he is ready to dedicate himself to another season - The Dallas Morning News
Mike Modano's going to wait a few weeks until he decides whether to sign with a new team or retire.

Is Sunbelt Hockey Working? Part I - Hoosier Hockey
The first installment of a series focuses on the growth of Southern hockey in terms of USA Hockey registrations, which holds some encouraging news.

All Habs: Crisis in the "Q": A Study of Quebec-born NHL players
Are French-Canadian hockey players in decline as a proportion of NHL prospects?