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Friday's notes: Predators fans buzzing after Skate of the Union

The mood around Nashville is considerably brighter than 3 years ago, when the fate of the franchise hung in the balance. Predators fans today look forward to quality young players rising through the ranks, a new free agent acquisition thought by most to be the top center on the market, and of course, a new captain who can knock over tall buildings with a single slap shot.

Follow after the jump for reaction to last evening from around the Predators blogs, and a whole lot more...

Predators News

Preds On The Glass: Complete Video of the 2010 Nashville Predators "Skate of the Union" Panel Discussion
Did you miss last night's festivities? Buddy's got you covered!

See Puck City: NHL 11 Is Almost Here & Kovy Still Doesn't Have A Contract
SPC has video from Development Camp yesterday, along with thoughts on the Skate of the Union.

The View from 111: Predators Skate of the Union
Mark shares his recap of last night's panel discussion (I'll save mine for the weekend).

The View from 111: Short Term Gain vs. Long Term Growth
Mark takes David Shoalts out to the woodshed over his latest column advocating the relocation of an NHL franchise to Toronto.

Nashville’s Shiny New Kids 2010: Rookie Development Camp Day Three | The Hockey Writers
Jas Faulkner continues reviewing the on-ice action among the Preds' prospects...

Around the NHL

The 10 NHL free-agent signings that weren't entirely terrible - Puck Daddy
I think you'll be surprised at one signing that's NOT on this list... (hint: he was at the Skate of the Union)

Ilya Kovalchuk still has options, if he can stomach them - Puck Daddy
Greg reviews the various alternatives Ilya Kovalchuk has available. It seems to me like he and his team have overplayed their hand this summer.

Blocked Shots, The New Jersey Devils' Rink, and Scorer Bias - A Follow Up - In Lou We Trust
More evidence shows that the RTSS stats (blocked shots, hits, giveaways and takeaways) are nothing more than steaming piles of crap, due to the glaring inconsistency in how they're recorded across various NHL rinks.

HOT TO TROT: A Source On Bryan Trottier’s Role With Isles | Hockey Independent
If an organization keeps a guy like Bryan Trottier in a "mushroom job" (keep him in the dark and occasionally throw manure on him), it's no wonder the Islanders are a continuing failure.

What Could John Tavares' Year Two Look Like? - Lighthouse Hockey
Is it onward and upward for the 2009 #1 overall draft pick, or could there be a bump in the road?

Does Ottawa's blueline lack defense? - Silver Seven
It sounds like the Sens might boast a bunch of matadors back there...

Poll: Does LeBron's presence in South Florida market help or hurt Panthers? - Litter Box Cats
Finally, something important related to this entire LeBron James nonsense - how will he impact the Florida Panthers?

Junior Hockey 101, Part 2: NCAA v. CHL - Raw Charge
Another good primer on hockey's developmental structure, focusing on the difference between college and Canadian junior.