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Friday's notes: Looking back, looking ahead

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As we stand at the cusp of a new year, it's only natural to see the hockey world take a look at the big picture, both for the year gone by and the one coming up. After the jump, we have the first of the 2011 Year in Review posts from the Preds blogosphere, a look at how one recent draft class is already making an impact at the NHL level in Nashville, and a preview of what should be the biggest hockey-related story in the upcoming year, the CBA negotiations between the owners and players...

Nashville Predators News

The Hippodrome: Between the Bengals and the Liberty Bowl, Down with Cincinnati! | Pith in the Wind
J.R.'s trip around the Nashville sports scene includes several Preds-related notes.

2009 draftees already making an impact for the Predators - Nashville Predators Examiner
The harvest is coming in a little bit early here, but looking really strong so far.

Smashville 24/7: 2011 a successful year for Predators
If you're looking for a dose of pure optimism, this is the review for you.

Smashville 24/7: Know the Enemy: Halischuk previews St. Louis
Ryan gets Hustlechuk's thoughts on how the Blues have changed under Ken Hitchcock.

It’s a New Year: One Year of Sobriety for Jordin Tootoo | The Predatorial
For Tootoo, a different kind of new year just began.

Nashville Predators' Shea Weber still recovering from concussion - The Tennessean
According to yesterday's report Weber is still experiencing symptoms, so I can't imagine he'll be back in the lineup real soon.

Nashville Predators' Kevin Klein still recovering from flu, won't play - The Tennessean
Does this seem odd to anyone else? If he's still recovering from the flu, then why has he been practicing this week? Isn't rest the usual option here until the illness has passed?

After fast start to NHL career, Predators' Smith has stopped scoring | Nashville City Paper
I'm not too worried here, as Craig Smith is still creating shots and scoring chances, and picking up assists at a decent clip.

Year in review: No longing sellers, Predators take big step with richest franchise deal yet | Nashville City Paper
I think they meant that headline to read "No longer sellers", but either way it's a bit odd when compared to the spending figures over at CapGeek.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

Blues' sale talks are in crunch time -
The St. Louis franchise sale is still up in the air, as it sounds like the purchasers may not have the financing locked down yet.

The 2012 CBA -
Tom Benjamin sets the scene for the upcoming negotiations, in which he expects the players to take a significant pay cut. Let's just hope the whole thing gets worked out without a work stoppage.

Notes and quotes: Stars now ninth in Western Conference - The Dallas Morning News
One of the early season wonder teams has plummeted back to reality.

Pizzo’s Points: 30th Anniversary of 50 in 39 - Backhand Shelf
Looking back at one of the more remarkable feats in NHL history.

Winter Classic in Miami? Florida Panthers Want to Talk to NHL About 'Outdoor' Game at Marlins Park | On Frozen Pond
This is a pretty neat idea...

The NHL's Most Interesting Name: The 1990s Part I - Arctic Ice Hockey
I fully expect Per Djoos to make an appearance in this series.

Here’s United States of Hockey’s Chris Peters on What You Need to Know Before VERSUS Launches Into College Hockey Tomorrow " Puck The Media
Oh yeah, Pete Weber, get ready for a smack-down on January 20!

An illustrated guide to USA vs. Canada in World Juniors - Puck Daddy
Folks dig the infographics...

Game 37 Recap: Victory, But At What Cost? - The Cannon
The Blue Jackets finally won a road game in regulation, but lost defenseman James Wisniewski to injury.

The Afterburners: Mason Shuts 'Em Down, Sans Fancy Pads - Arctic Ice Hockey
Former Pred Chris Mason stopped 31 shots as Winnipeg shut out Los Angeles.

Coyotes at Avalanche Recap: Avs Have Last Raff, Edge Phoenix 3-2 - Mile High Hockey
The Avalanche saw Matt Duchene go down with a knee injury, but beat Phoenix for another home win.

Staal Kickstarts Carolina: Hurricanes 4, Maple Leafs 3 (OT) - Canes Country
Eric Staal has had a disappointing season so far, but scored twice to lead the Hurricanes to victory.

Playin' with some jam: Jagr salutes, Talbot scores, little kids cry as Flyers beat Penguins - Broad Street Hockey
It doesn't look like the boos rattled Jaromir Jagr at all - both he and Max Tablot scored as the Flyers beat Pittsburgh 4-2.

Islanders 3 (EN), Flames 1: Tavares Shines in Strong Team Effort - Lighthouse Hockey
The Islanders star scored the game winner and helped with the opener as New York topped Calgary.