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Thursday's notes: Opportunity knocks

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If there's a theme to this morning's hockey links I would have to say that it involves the word "opportunity". Whether it's the Predators' chances of expanding their fan base here in Nashville or down I-24 in Atlanta, or teams elsewhere like the Blue Jackets and Islanders who are facing critical summers, some teams have a special urgency to make an impact with the public while the time is right...

Nashville Predators News

What was the worst draft in Predators history? |
Revisiting the horrors of the pre-Y2K era. And just think, Jonas Andersson came so close to turning all this around last year.

Big Picture Sports: A Different Window of Opportunity
Forget the competition within the NHL; this season, the Preds have a real shot making local gains at the expense of the Tennessee Titans, writes Zack.

Nashville Predators hope to expand into Atlanta market - The Tennessean
It doesn't look like the "Thrash to Smash" package is selling much, but anything is a bonus when it comes to tapping a market 4 hours away.

Around the NHL

Blackhawks cut Campoli loose - The Globe and Mail
This sounds similar to the Clarke MacArthur situation, in which the team walks away from a player headed to arbitration and he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Foppa makes a comeback with the NHL stars - hockey Express
Don't worry, it's just a series of charity exhibition games over in Sweden for Peter Forsberg.

The Dark Blue Jacket: Now's your chance
Just like the Preds have an opportunity to capture the attention of Nashville, the Blue Jackets have such a chance in Columbus to regain the fan base which they've alienated over the years.

Will Evander Kane wear Bobby Hull’s No. 9 with Winnipeg Jets? - Puck Daddy
The old Jets' history went to Phoenix with the Coyotes, but it could still be awkward for a new Jet to wear #9.

Near the Limits Again: An Updated Look at the 2011-12 New Jersey Devils Roster & Salary Cap Situation - In Lou We Trust

Might cap difficulties make New Jersey a possible trade partner for Nashville? Is there anybody who might help the Preds lineup? Maybe someone whose name rhymes with "Jack Youdontsay". Sure, that option's probably a fantasy, but there may be others. 

TAXES, TRADE RUMORS AND MORE COWBELLThursday’s three Islanders items worth following ·
Could the Islanders make a splashy player move in the days leading up to the vote for a new arena? That would certainly make for a savvy PR play.

NHL Finds Perry, Strikes Deal - Ice The Office
The NHL has teamed up with Disney on a line of NHL apparel tied to the Phineas and Ferb show. My sons are thrilled.

The Other Score Effect: Making Your Own Narrative - Matchsticks and Gasoline
One thing to keep in mind during discussions like this one is that one can watch a game and appreciate the moments that led to the outcome on the scoreboard, while looking at stats as an indicator of underlying performance in a completely different light. Nobody's going to give First Star of the Game to the guy with a great Corsi but no points on the night.

Keeping Development in Perspective - Japers' Rink
This would be an interesting exercise to go through for the last few Predators Development Camps...

And finally... Sam's been up to no good: