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Friday's notes: This Smith kid must be alright

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I have to keep the intro to today's notes short & sweet, but I'll offer up one reaction to last night's news that Craig Smith is turning pro rather than returning to the University of Wisconsin:

The Nashville Predators have typically been very patient with the development of their prospects, and part of that strategy involves getting the maximum use out of a player's entry level contract. Once a player's pro career gets started, the clock starts ticking towards free agency, so that starting date is important.

For the Preds to encourage Smith to turn pro, I have to think that they see him playing with the Predators this season, not necessarily right out of training camp, because it makes little sense for him to make this move if the plan were simply to play in Milwaukee all year. This kid will bear close watching at training camp...

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Nashville Predators News

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Around the NHL

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Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun joins TSN and Bell Media Radio - TSN
A big free agent signing... off the ice.

Mattias Ohlund declines Elitserien - Eurosport
Run this one through your favorite translator, but defenseman Mattias Ohlund shoots down talk of his finishing his career in the Swedish Elite League.

Jets take several Thrashers staffers with them - The Globe and Mail
And here I thought nobody was making that trip...

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Big homer, or the biggest homer? You decide...