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Wednesday afternoon notes: No Marty, No Party

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BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 20: Martin Erat #10  of the Nashville Predators checks Stanislav Galiev #49 of the Washington Capitals at the 1st Mariner Arena on September 20, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 20: Martin Erat #10 of the Nashville Predators checks Stanislav Galiev #49 of the Washington Capitals at the 1st Mariner Arena on September 20, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Getty Images

This afternoon's hockey notes are all over the map - we're missing Martin Erat, preparing for a rematch of last spring's playoffs, preparing for an invasion of Smashville, speculating about trade possibilities, and even have a couple basketball connections for you. So jump on in...

Nashville Predators News

Life Without Marty Is Proving to Be a Losing Proposition For Nashville | Predators AJenda
A huge, epic read here that's well worth your time, discussing just how valuable Martin Erat is to the Preds, and how the team fares without him during his all-too-frequent stints on Injured Reserve.

Why Predators fans shouldn’t be reaching for the panic button… | Section 303
Where is that danged panic button, anyway? Just for future reference, you understand.

Paul McCann - Tonight's SlapShot Radio and Randoms
Paul welcomes in Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo!'s Puck Daddy blog tonight on SlapShot Radio.

Early League Standings Leave Many People Scratching Their Heads | The Predatorial
Yup, the standings look pretty weird when you're still in the first fortnight.

A Man Down: When it’s More Destructive by Who Committed the Penalty | The Predatorial
Jeremy calls on the Preds' PK specialists to quit taking so many penalties.

Smashville 24/7: A look back at Nashville’s playoff series against Vancouver
Remember the Ryan Kesler Show? Well, he's back in the lineup for the Canucks.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

The New York Rangers victory hat is just about perfect - Puck Daddy
Meh. Joel Ward looked a lot cooler when the Preds passed around a hardhat.

Will New Concussion Detection Technology Improve Treatment and Prevention in the NHL? - The Hockey Writers |
George takes a look at a new device which attaches to a player's helmet, and provides an alert for when a potentially concussion-inducing impact occurs. Will we see this adopted widely in contact sports, once the cost comes down?

Fear And Loathing In Music City: Second City Hockey's Savage Journey To The Heart Of The Blackhawks Dream - Second City Hockey
The Blackhawks Are Coming, The Blackhawks Are Coming! And their bloggers are coming, too, in January...

Rene Bourque Up for Grabs? - Matchsticks and Gasoline
What do you think about this guy as a trade opportunity? He's a pretty decent offensive player, but I don't know if he's a difference-maker.

Bill Simmons Heads to the L.A. Kings in the Wake of the NBA's Labor Trouble - Grantland
I can't imagine there are too many others out there buying NHL season tickets because the NBA is in a lockout. But hey, we'll take it.

Escrow Squabble Foreshadowing Another NHL Lockout? - KuklasKorner
Apply Betteridge's Law of Headlines here. Good stuff by Lyle.

Cherry has had an immense impact on hockey - The Globe and Mail
There's a reason to get upset when Don Cherry crosses the line, argues Bruce Dowbiggin.

Why the Bruins Tuesday Night Snapshow Was a Great Sign For Them - Backhand Shelf
They may have gone nuts, but at least they went there together.

Silver Nuggets: A look inside the Ottawa Senators closed-door meeting - Silver Seven
As long as you're bracing for a long, painful season, you might as well have some fun, right?

Thoughts on Jaroslav Halak’s Struggles - The Goalie Guild
My theory is, maybe he's not as good as the buzz which got built up around him after his 2010 playoff run with Montreal?

Goaltender Dwayne Roloson not alone in Tampa Bay Lightning's struggles - St. Petersburg Times
Tampa's defensive zone has been a shooting gallery so far this season.

The All-Former Duck Team (Active Players) - Anaheim Calling
Stealing this idea in 3... 2... 1...

Stars ownership situation nearing important deadline - The Dallas Morning News
Another milestone approaches for the Dallas franchise sale.

NCAA conference realignment spurs coach carousel -
Forget all the blathering about college football conferences, it's college hockey that's undergoing a fundamental shift!

Anze Kopitar and The Beauty of the Neutral Zone Alley-Oop Pass - Backhand Shelf
And here you thought the Alley-Oop only applied to basketball. Actually, I recall Wade Belak sending one of these passes to Vern Fiddler for a goal a few years ago, so I dug up the video. Not quite tape-to-tape like Kopitar, but a dandy nonetheless: