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Thursday's notes: Some questions never get old

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There are certain questions which remain timeless in the world of hockey. Will the Red Wings ever break down? Will Columbus ever win a playoff game? Will the Capitals deliver on all that regular season promise? Conundrums like these can keep NHL fans musing away here during the dog days of August, as we drift between memories of the season gone by, and the promise of training camp which is still more than a month awaay.

So for this morning's hockey news, our roundup starts with a classic - is this the year Martin Erat finally delivers the goods?

Nashville Predators News

Could 2012 be a Breakout Year for Erat? | The Predatorial
For the $6 million salary he's getting this year, we can hope, but the odds are heavily against it. If Marty were able to come through with a healthy, productive year, that would obviously be a huge boost to the team. I'll admit, though, I almost spewed my drink when I saw that headline.

Preds On The Glass: POTG Thursday Headlines, News, and Links: Preds Interest Running High During the Dog Days
Buddy's amazed at how the level of interest in Preds hockey has kept up even into August, which is normally a dead time around these parts.

Wisconsin's Craig Smith could be Predators next star -
Let's just be patient with the kid, and not expect him to be a major contributor this season.

Nashville Predators upstage the Tennessee Titans | TicketNews
A look at the recent news about comparative ticket sales between the Predators and Titans, with some broader context about the sports market overall.

Nashville Predators look at rookies for defense - The Tennessean
I think I need to trademark the phrase "baby blueline". Anyway, this article will get you thinking about what Roman Josi might bring to the table this fall, and just based on the bit I saw at Development Camp, his mobility and puck-handling are really, really impressive.

Around the NHL

More Coyotes Ownership Rumors - Will There Ever Be An End? - Five For Howling
The answer is still "no".

Lombardi: Not much new on Doughty front " LA Kings Insider
The Kings still aren't making any progress getting Drew Doughty signed to a new contract.

Shot Reduction Could Be One Key to Jets’ Success | Illegal Curve Hockey
Can Claude Noel help the Jets reverse a longstanding trend of poor defensive hockey?

On Frozen Blog › No Slackers Here: One Capital’s Grueling Offseason Training
Off-season? What off-season? Brooks Laich is busting a hump getting ready for the upcoming campaign.

On Frozen Blog › Classic Hockey Find at Ruff & Ready Furnishings
A very, very cool bit of old-time hockey here. 

5 Nations Tournament: USA 4 Germany 2 - Western College Hockey Blog
Here's a game report from an international under-17 tournament being held in Ann Arbor.

Amazing discount on Mission hockey skates | Hockey Gear HQ - news, reviews & deals
A new coupon code offers an extra 40% off already-discounted Mission hockey skates, for a limited time.