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Tuesday's notes: One last hockey event before the dog days commence

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Tomorrow's Skate of the Union marks the last big event for local hockey fans before the onset of training camp in September, so brace yourselves, Preds fans, for two loooooooong months coming up. With David Poile talking now about how the search for a Top 6 forward may have to wait well into the season, there's no guarantee of anything happening on that front soon, leaving us only the Shea Weber negotiations to keep an eye on.

So I ask you, which one thing are you looking forward to most tomorrow? Is the used equipment sale, the autograph signing, the panel discussion, just the chance to get together with fellow Preds fans, etc.? Whichever one it is, make sure to savor it!

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Nashville Predators News

Hockey Night in Nashville: Pieces still in place for Preds
Robby looks at the roster at the end of the playoff run vs. today's and doesn't see much difference. While true, that was a severely banged-up unit.

Predators plan to pursue more scoring punch ... at some point | Nashville City Paper
The free agency market is pretty much dried up, so perhaps the likely times now might be early in the season (if a trading partner goes into panic mode) or closer to the trade deadline. I don't feel so good about that...

Around the NHL

Unplugged: No reason to fear an NHL lockout, Fehr says - National Post
If you can put much stock in these remarks (and I don't why not), you should ignore most of the fear-mongering being pushed by writers in some markets. Serious talks on the next CBA aren't even likely to get underway for several months.

Can the NHL benefit from the NFL and NBA lockouts? - Raw Charge
If teams get out there now and get in front of potential corporate partners while all this uncertainty is in the air? Absolutely.

2008 Draft - Forwards and NHL Equivalencies - The Copper & Blue
Yup, Craig Smith had a pretty darned good season...

The history of (future) Hall of Fame and Norris defensemen before age 22 - Jewels From The Crown
Extolling the reasons why Drew Doughty's going to get a hefty payday in Los Angeles.

The top NHL free agents without a home - The Globe and Mail
There aren't any surefire bets for a productive Top 6 forward remaining (outside of Teemu Selanne, who won't play for anyone but Anaheim).

What to Expect in 2011-12: Cody Franson " Toronto Maple Leafs Hot Stove
They're still pretty giddy in Toronto over landing Cody Franson and getting rid of Brett Lebda in the process.

Reasons for change surface; UND looking to keep up with times in new league | The Dickinson Press
College hockey as a regular offering on Versus? Now that's interesting...

College Hockey's New 'Super Conferences': Are They Good Or Bad For The Game? -
Only one thing's for sure right now, the University of Alabama-Huntsville is on the outside looking in, still.

Sale talk: Gaglardi out of exclusive window but still favorite to become ``stalking horse.'' - The Dallas Morning News

The sale of the Dallas Stars continues to plod along. 

South Florida's Newest Export: Hockey Players - On Frozen Pond
It's good to see youth hockey growing in Florida, too.

New York Rangers Analysis: Choosing The Rangers Captaincy - Blueshirt Banter
Chris Drury was bought out, so who should get the C next in New York?