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Wednesday's notes: Music and Hockey, sitting in a tree...

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Yesterday's report that the Nashville Predators are enjoying strong ticket sales this summer is indeed welcome news, yet one more sign of the franchise's development within the city. It has become a critical component of downtown's business prospects, and should get a nice boost of momentum when the new Music City Center opens up across the street in 2013.

Along those lines, we kick off this morning's hockey news with an outsider's perspective on the relationship between the hockey team and the city of Nashville, and in particular the strong ties to the music industry...

Nashville Predators News

Predators Skate With the Beat - Ice The Office
Examining the link between the Predators and the music industry here in Nashville. Given the rise of non-hockey business at Bridgestone Arena and what that can mean to the overall organization's business prospects, this relationship goes far beyond a few guitar strings on the new uniforms.

Hockey Night in Nashville: Five questions heading into 2011-12 season
I just wish we had some answers, because these questions are huge.

Picks, Pucks & Pigskin: I'm a Hockey Fan, So I'm Smarter Than You
The answer, Zack, is "obviously!"

Preds On The Glass: POTG Wednesday Headlines, News and Links
Buddy's using the NHL Network playoff replays to help him get through this month.

Paul McCann - Tickets and Random Notes
Only 36 days until training camp opens! Now that is good to hear...

Nashville Predators' Martin Erat says pain in back is healing - The Tennessean
The Predators need a healthy and productive Martin Erat this fall, and his off-season preparation will play a big role in whether he can reverse his trend of slow starts.

Around the NHL

International Tourney Season - Western College Hockey Blog
There are more tournaments than just the Ivan Hlinka going on right now, including a Five Nations tourney for under-17's at the rink I used to play at in Ann Arbor.

Red Light District: Who is team to beat in Central Division?
I agree with Ryan, this looks like a two-horse race right now.

Lidstrom's return means Detroit's a Cup contender -
The Red Wings might take a bit of a step back this season, but they're still in the mix of Cup contenders.

Are Players Already Trying to Jet Out of Winnipeg? - Arctic Ice Hockey
There has always been suspicion that perhaps Winnipeg isn't "big time" enough for some NHL players to want to play there, and a Toronto sports radio host fueled that speculation by spreading a rumor over the weekend that some of the Jets want out.

Sulzer ready for challenge of cracking deep Canucks' roster - The Province
Can Alexander Sulzer beat out some stiff competition for a spot on the Vancouver blueline? I'd like to see him make it.

OHL: Spitfires celebrate ultimate long-time fan - Buzzing The Net
Windsor's biggest fan turned 100 years old yesterday, so the team bestowed a special honor on her.

Top 20 sellers in hockey equipment, July 2011 | Hockey Gear HQ - news, reviews & deals
CCM and Reebok boast two of the hottest selling hockey skates on the market, but which led the way in hockey equipment sales for July?