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Monday p.m. notes: The rumor mill is cranking up ahead of the NHL Entry Draft

It's been so long since the NHL Trade Deadline that perhaps we've forgotten how quickly the NHL rumor mill can get going, and as we approach the Entry Draft on Friday, speculation is starting to build about a number of major players moves which could impact the league at large. We've got one high-scoring winger possibly returning the NHL, one craving a return to his original NHL team, and activity on the assistant coaching front as well.

Follow after the jump for these stories and a whole lot more!

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Nashville Predators News

hockeygalmilwaukee | And here you thought girls didn't know anything about pro hockey…
The blogs are sprouting all over the place! Stephanie Muraro opens the doors at her site, sharing hockey thoughts from Milwaukee.

Smashville 24/7: Will any Preds take home hardware?
Ryan reviews Nashville's chances of filling up the trophy case Wednesday night.

Preds On The Glass: POTG Monday Headlines, News, and Morning Links
Buddy's leaving... on a jet plane...

Preds Roll Out the Red Carpet This Wednesday For The 2011 NHL Awards - Nashville Predators
The Preds are hosting a viewing party for the NHL Awards at Brewhouse South in Cool Springs Wednesday night.

What are Wisconsin's Hobey Baker chances in 2011-2012? - Bucky's 5th Quarter
Might Nashville Predators prospect Craig Smith contend for college hockey's top individual award for the Badgers?

Marcel Goc update - Predators Insider
Signs are pointing to a return for Deutschland's dipsy-doodler. That sound you hear is JR's bowtie spinning with delight.

Preds Search for Next Piece in Draft - FS Tennessee
Might the Predators try to make a trade in order to get back into the first round this weekend? If the Preds can't get Joel Ward signed, the idea is floated about trading his rights as part of a package deal.

Around the NHL

Jaromir Jagr reaches out to Penguins, speaks with Red Wings coach - Puck Daddy
The guy's 39, and I can't imagine he'd be a major force in the NHL any more. But if a team is looking for an offensive specialist, he could fill a supporting role on a good team. Hmm... I wonder if I know of any teams that could use just such a player...

Ryan Smyth tells Kings he'd prefer to rejoin Oilers - TSN
I can't recall the last time I heard of a player actually wanting to go to Edmonton.

"...Tambellini has quietly taken some calls about that No. 1 pick." - The Copper & Blue
Edmonton could really bolster their depth by trading back and acquiring additional assets.

Avs have decided on a top pick | All Things Avalanche
Colorado sits at #2, and appears ready to make their pick.

Paul Holmgren: 'We can't keep giving up' high draft picks - Broad Street Hockey
Philadelphia's GM held forth on his approach to this weekend's draft.

Bruins celebrated Stanley Cup with $100,000 champagne - Puck Daddy
Big pimpin' with the Boston Bruins...

2011 Final A Success On Many Fronts " Puck The Media
I would believe it when the NHL says the Bruins' win was good for business. Over at my side project, Hockey Gear HQ, folks were very interested in scooping up Stanley Cup Championship merchandise.

Bryzgalov says he expects a deal with Philadelphia this week - Houses of the Hockey
Can the Flyers close this deal, unlike their flirtation with Dan Hamhuis last summer?

The Short List In Winnipeg Is Even Shorter | Hockey Independent
The race to become Winnipeg's head coach appears to be nearing conclusion, and former Admirals head coach Claude Noel is still in the running.

Meet The New Coaches - Maple Leafs Hot Stove
It's a bit of an odd switch in Toronto, with two assistant coaches getting replaced while Ron Wilson remains as head coach.

Five Years | Jerseys and Hockey Love
Congratulations to Tapeleg for making it to a major blogging milestone.

Richards Hired As Assistant (Puck-Rakers Blog)
Former Admirals head coach Todd Richards lands in Columbus as an assistant, after getting fired in Minnesota recently.

Nicklas Lidstrom will return for his 20th season - Winging It In Motown
Hardly surprising, but Detroit fans are surely relieved at this news.

Hits and misses at the Draft by Central Division teams -
How have the Central teams fared at the draft table over the years? 

A Divisional Look: Central Draft Preview | Hockey Quarterly
A pre-draft look at what these teams may be searching for.

Lombardi, on Doughty contract talks " LA Kings Insider
Los Angeles didn't file to take Drew Doughty to arbitration like the Preds did with Shea Weber, but GM Dean Lombardi doesn't sound concerned about the threat of offer sheets.

Four Things I Liked (and Four More I Didn’t) From NBC and VERSUS’ Coverage of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final " Puck The Media
NBC Sports is going to be the home of the NHL for a long time, so it's good to see that they're making progress both in terms of quality and quantity of coverage.

Arctic Ice Hockey - For Winnipeg NHL Fans
"Behind the Net" comes out of its cocoon as SB Nation's new Winnipeg blog.

I'm going out on top - Stanley Cup of Chowder
There's regime change at SB Nation's Boston Bruins blog, with a new site manager taking over.

Sherbrook SBK to buy Global Sports Technologies, make a push in the hockey stick market? | Hockey Gear HQ
Sherbrook SBK Sport is acquiring the makers of the Trilage hockey stick, hoping to leverage unique features & technology within the composite hockey stick market, where they lag far behind brands like Easton, Bauer, and Reebok.