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Tuesday's notes: Farewell, Atlanta Thrashers

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Fans in Atlanta are bitter, and understandably so.
Fans in Atlanta are bitter, and understandably so.

It sounds like indeed today is the day that we'll hear about the NHL returning to Winnipeg, as pretty much every hockey reporter with a Twitter account has been sounding off about a trip to Manitoba this morning for a press conference. On days like this, it's worth reflecting on those trying times of 2007, and just how close Nashville came to losing the Predators. We were fortunate here to see first a rallying of the fan base expressed in a genuine surge of season ticket sales, and then of course the gathering together of a local ownership group to save the team for Music City. We've all come a long ways since then, that's for sure.

While Atlanta fans are understandably upset over how quickly this has come together (especially compared to what's happening in Phoenix), one has to remember that with this kind of story, most of the action happens far away from the public eye. By all accounts there have been attempts to sell the Thrashers for several years, and there just doesn't appear to be a local option willing to step up, or a civic response as in Glendale to soak up the financial losses until a new owner comes along.

Just ponder how close we came to losing the Preds while perusing your morning notes...

Nashville Predators News

The View from 111: Stanley Cup Finals Preview
Mark throws his lot in with... (head over there to find out).

AHL affiliate for Nashville Predators stocked with NHL ready talent - Hockey's Future
An overview of what's in the pipeline.

Nashville Predators' Blake Geoffrion surprised by rookie year - The Tennessean
It was a whirlwind season for big #5.

Around the NHL

Thrashers owner indicates end is near - The Globe and Mail
Time to bring in the trucks... it's a sad time in Blueland, as we expect to hear an announcement today.

The Man To Blame In Atlanta - Houses of the Hockey
If you have to pick one, then yes, I think Jonathan Willis tags the right guy here.

Nucks Misconduct Asks Stanley Cup Of Chowder 5 Questions About The Boston Bruins - Nucks Misconduct
A bit of sportsmanlike outreach before the unpleasantries begin.

Will the real Roberto Luongo and Tim Thomas please stand up - The Globe and Mail
We've got two Vezina finalists in the Cup Final, so will this turn into a series of pitcher's duels? - Tinfoil hats are great in Vancouver because they keep off the sun AND the rain
Tyler looks at the referees assigned to work the Stanley Cup Final, and their history relative to Gregory Campbell, son of the NHL's Director of Hockey Operations. You'll be shocked, shocked I say, at what he finds.

Objective NHL: Stanley Cup Finals 1011 Playoff Probabilities and Predictions
JLikens crunches his numbers to arrive at a prediction.

Jarome Iginla in Afghanistan - Calgary Flames
The Flames captain made a surprise visit to Canadian troops in Kandahar (found via Kukla's Korner).

2011 NHL Conference Finals Recap -
Pretty pictures summarizing the Conference Finals.

The Dark Blue Jacket: CBJ MUST improve on game turnaround to make playoffs
A modest proposal to help the Blue Jackets compete.

Florida Panthers sign Jack Skille - Litter Box Cats
The Predators-killer re-ups with Florida.

GM Steve Yzerman open to Roloson/Smith in net; Stamkos says no reason deal won't get done - Lightning Strikes
The Tampa Bay Lightning have their own major RFA to re-sign, too.

Paul Holmgren interview yields answers, more questions - Broad Street Hockey
Philly had a team capable of making a Cup run this season, but improving upon it could be tricky.