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Thursday morning notes: NHL focus shifts to Entry Draft, trade market

With the NHL Awards now in the rear-view mirror, the NHL shifts quickly to Draft mode, where we should expect to see a good deal of activity on the trade front as the league's GMs gather in Minnesota. Columbus, for example, is openly talking about trading their #8 selection, and Edmonton has been discussed as entertaining the thought of trading down from the #1 position.

Will the Predators make a move to jump back into the 1st round? July 1 is approaching quickly, and I'm sure David Poile would like to extract some value out of pending free agents that he doesn't plan on re-signing. So stay tuned, as the next 72 hours could get quite busy...

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Nashville Predators News

Home Opener: Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? - The Cannon
It sounds like the Predators will open the new season at Columbus on October 7th (that's the Blue Jackets' home opener, and I'm guessing that's the first overall game for Nashville).

Smashville 24/7: Preds comment on new logo, color scheme
Ryan took the chance to ask Barry Trotz, Shea Weber, and Pekka Rinne what they thought of the team's new look.

LIVE FROM LAS VEGAS: Pekka Rinne sits down with 303… | Section 303
It's a good thing he sat down, or Jeremy's arm would get tired holding his recorder way up in the air.

Draft Preview: Alexander Khokhlachev |
Try saying that name five times fast!

Nashville Predators 2011 draft preview - Hockey's Future
A review of what the Preds have, and don't have, in the pipeline currently.

Tampering Week: Marcel Goc - Blackhawk Up
A Chicago blogger ponders whether Marcel might fit with the Hawks.

Around the NHL

EA NHL 12 cover boy: Steven Stamkos | Hockey Gear HQ - news, reviews & deals
In what has become an annual honor in the hockey world, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos has been named to grace the cover of EA Sports' NHL 12, due for release in September.

From Minnesota: NHL draft scuttlebut - All Things Avalanche
Adrian Dater reports as teams start to gather for the NHL Entry Draft.

Coming Down the Pipe!: 2011 Mock Draft - Guy Flaming
I'm not the biggest Mock Draft guy, but these guys at Coming Down the Pipe focus solely on prospects, so this is worth your time.

2011 NHL Entry Draft: Russian Prospect Preview - Puck Worlds
Get the scoop on a few of the Russian prospects available; the question is how much the threat of playing in the KHL scares off NHL teams.

Looking back on recent draft day trades - Houses of the Hockey
A handy guide to the type of deals we may see over the next few days.

Life after the top 30: 10 draft sleepers to take note of - Buzzing The Net
Will any of these guys fall far enough for the Preds?

The Limited Utility of Interviews - Houses of the Hockey
Some teams place great weight on the interviews they conduct with potential draft picks. But should they?

Player-Aptitude Reports Are Critical for NBA Prospects | Playbook

Not quite hockey-related, but very interesting nonetheless.

NHL maps out major changes - Ottawa Sun
I'm down with the idea proposed here.

Sacrificing the future: The impact of giving Ilya Bryzgalov $7 million per year - Broad Street Hockey

How the heck will Philly fit a $7 million goalie into their roster?

Original Flames Owner Harley Hotchkiss Passes Away at 83 - Matchsticks and Gasoline

Sad news out of Calgary. 

City of Toronto: THE SUCKIEST SUCKS THAT EVER SUCKED - Pension Plan Puppets
Brian Burke wasn't too happy with seeing his Toronto Maple Leafs rank 120th out of 122 in ESPN's franchise rankings (where the Preds came in 18th).

Islanders-Nassau Coliseum Lease: $14 million rent; 11.5% revenue sharing - Lighthouse Hockey
A light at the end of the tunnel on Long Island? Getting a new building there could prove a real shot in the arm for the league.

NHL maps out major changes - Ottawa Sun
I'm down with the idea proposed here.