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Wednesday's notes: Tootoo, realignment & fighting have the league talking

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This morning's hockey notes center on three hot topics which are generating conversation not just here in Nashville, but around the entire NHL. We've got analysis of the Jordin Tootoo suspension, consideration of how realignment will affect the league, and the continuing concern around fighting and its possible link to brain damage, given the post-mortem diagnosis made with Derek Boogaard.

Of course, there's all that and a boatload more after the jump...

Saturday's game vs. Anaheim should be a sellout, but check out our Tickets page to find deals on the resale market!

Nashville Predators News

First off, I'd encourage you to surf through the other Preds blogs listed in the "More Predators Sites" box on the left-hand sidebar of the main page for a wide range of reaction to last night's loss. There's something in there for just about every Preds fan, whether optimist or pessimist.

Meet the new boss |
Tyler argues that Shanahan's suspension of Jordin Tootoo is an example of continued harsher treatment of lesser-known players than stars.

2010 Draft - Forwards and NHL Equivalencies - The Copper & Blue
Austin Watson is not having a strong year, to say the least.

Nashville Predators Better Plan for the Realignment - THW
I think Mike is overreacting here, portraying the Preds' new conference as too difficult to compete in.

Metro, Predators receive 4 more months to reach new lease deal - The Tennessean
The city and the Preds will take more time to negotiate the terms of their financial relationship going forward.

Nashville Predators like new realignment's travel cuts - The Tennessean
The major impact on travel will be in the playoffs, since the opening rounds will be within the 8-team conference.

Smashville 24/7: One more thing: Home woes a concern?
How times have changed. The Preds have lost twice as many games as they've won on home ice so far.

REALIGNMENT: is it duct tape, superglue, or a weld? - Predlines
Whatever it is, it's flexible enough to accommodate a number of future scenarios such as franchise relocation or expansion.

Realignment and the Nashville Power Play | Hockey Independent
David may have found the trio of forwards to keep Nashville's power play clicking.

Hockey Night in Nashville: Power play has been clicking for Preds
Hey, at least something's working these days.

Postgame ponderings - Predators Insider
As bad as things have been lately, at least the playoff pack isn't pulling away.

The Hotel O’Reilly closes - Predators Insider
Josh Cooper took the opportunity to check in with former Pred Cal O`Reilly.

Barry Trotz insists Jordin Tootoo wasn't trying to hurt Sabres goalie - The Tennessean
Assorted notes from the post-game here.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

Bill Daly foresees few realignment issues with PA -
The NHL's Deputy Commissioner doesn't see major obstacles to getting the NHLPA's agreement on the realignment plan rolled out Monday.

NHL realignment earns player approval - The Globe and Mail
It certainly sounds like the players interviewed here don't have major issues with it.

Cox: Why Derek Boogaard's death won't change the NHL -
It's going to get more difficult for the league to ignore the mounting evidence regarding brain injures and the possible link to fighting.

Time to Think - Part One: Where's the Rage? - Hockey Wilderness
Brian wonders why the New York Times series on enforcers this week hasn't triggered stronger reaction around the NHL. Put simply - is the continued tolerance of fighting within the league causing long-term brain damage, even to younger players?

Bloodstained hockey cards celebrate NHL enforcers; bad timing? - Puck Daddy
A new trading card series focuses on enforcers. In today's environment, is that really such a good thing?

Listen to the Ryan Lambert vs. John Steigerwald radio battle - Puck Daddy
You know things get weird when Ryan Lambert is the one that sounds reasonable and respectable.

Forechecking and the Defensive Zone - Japers' Rink
Are the Capitals already engaging in a new style of play under head coach Dale Hunter?

Consol Energy Center: Why So Quiet? - PensBurgh
They certainly don't have any excuse with the hockey team they've got on the ice this season.

The Mario Tremblay vs Patrick Roy Saga – Who is to Blame? | All Habs
The anniversary of the Patrick Roy-to-Colorado trade stirs up bad memories in Montreal.

Front Line: The 'production' statistic - ESPN
This fantasy hockey column argues for Craig Smith as a savvy pickup, because he may just have earned himself a more regular spot in the Top 6.

Jersey Fouls Extra: Incredible chain mail San Jose Sharks sweater - Puck Daddy
This has to be seen to be believed.

The NHL's Most Interesting Name: Wrapping Up the 1970s - Arctic Ice Hockey
This may be my favorite installment of this long-running series. "Merlin Malinowski"? Seriously?

NHL 2012 All-Star jerseys appear to be in reruns - Puck Daddy
Um, maybe the NHL has been bitten by the recycling bug?

Trade Sam Gagner to the Chicago Blackhawks? Are you nuts? | Edmonton Journal
As Gagner is ramping up to speed with the Oilers, might they dare trading him out of town?

Game 27 Recap: Fine + Two Points - The Cannon
The Blue Jackets salvaged four points out of a four-game road trip with a win at Montreal.

Blues beat Red Wings; fans happily walk out of building with two points. - St. Louis Game Time
Don't look now, but St. Louis is creeping right up alongside Detroit & Chicago near the top of the Central Division.

Post-Game +/-: Islanders 5, Lightning 1. Again with the Scoring. - Lighthouse Hockey
It was a big night on home ice for the Islanders.

The Afterburners: Revenge; A Dish Best Served Cold. Jets Topple Bruins 2-1. - Arctic Ice Hockey
The Jets knocked of the defending Stanley Cup champs, ending a 15-game points-earning streak for Boston.

Avalanche At Canucks Recap ; Style Over Substance (6-0W) - Nucks Misconduct
The Canucks won the game, but a knee from Colorado's Kevin Porter took out David Booth.