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Monday's notes: The Game begins with The 1st Quarter, naturally

102.5 The Game, the new radio home of the Nashville Predators, launched this morning with The 1st Quarter, a morning drive show featuring Darren McFarland and Brad Hopkins. Hockey fans should be encouraged by a few developments discussed this morning:

  • Each Wednesday will feature "Coffee With The Coach", with Barry Trotz joining the show for two segments, and taking calls from listeners.
  • Wade Belak will have a weekly show from 9-10 p.m. Mondays.
  • Until they bring in ESPN Radio to fill some regular time slots in the coming weeks, from 10-1 each day they're going to re-broadcast games from the Preds' 2011 playoff run, hosted by Tom Callahan.

For more, check out the Q&A I ran yesterday with 102.5's Sports Director, "Crazy" Charlie Saunier.

One thing that really struck me about this format is that many of these shows will be available in podcast form, which is a huge benefit for fans who may not be able to pick up a radio signal when a given show is on, and can listen later on as they wish. It also extends the potential listening audience beyond Nashville, and you can bet you'll get folks from Toronto subscribing to the Wade Belak show.

So tune in to 102.5 while you read this morning's hockey notes...

Nashville Predators News

Smashville 24/7: Getting to know Blogger's Row: Chris Burton
Ryan's series double-dips from OTF!

Preds On The Glass: POTG Monday Headlines, News, and Links: Dog Days to End Soon
Buddy's looking for some free agent signings soon, as training camp approaches and final roster spots get filled.

Rinne proves hockey is on Nashville’s radar; voted Best Athlete in Toast of Music City | Section 303
Congrats to the 303 crew on their 3rd-place finish in the Best Blog category in the Toast of Music City voting. After all, Pekka pretty much only has to compete against the Titans. A Preds blog have a much steeper hill to climb, given the much wider field of competition.

My BIG Thoughts | Fang Finger
Colin doesn't see Ryan Ellis ever really playing for the Preds, and serving instead as trade bait.

Nashville Predators' new logo appearing on t-shirts | Hockey Gear HQ - reviews & deals on hockey equipment and apparel
After the Preds revealed new logos & jerseys for the upcoming NHL season, we're now seeing some vendors come up with designs featuring the new imagery.

Around the NHL

Fantasy Hockey 2011: Top 80 Rankings for Forwards 21-40 - FakeTeams
Some good reading for those of you preparing for Fantasy Hockey season...

Dominate Your Fantasy Hockey Draft with Fantasy Hockey Scouts - The Copper & Blue
Derek interviews Jay Meyer from SB Nation's fantasy hockey blog. Handy stuff here for those looking to get a start on a hockey pool this season.

World Junior Club Cup Begins in Omsk - Puck Worlds
This attempt at a pre-season world junior tournament is getting off the ground, but hasn't drawn in the Canadians yet.

March of Progress: NHL Competition's Steady Squeeze on the NHLPA - Lighthouse Hockey
With most of the focus on the NHL's multi-millionaires, we often forget what's at stake for those guys on the cusp of NHL vs. AHL work.

Tolkiens Take – The Two Towers " Blackhawk Up
I'm a sucker for a Lord of the Rings reference. I could see Brent Seabrook as the Faramir to Duncan Keith's Boromir, actually.

Jets Comparables IV: Kane and Wheeler - Arctic Ice Hockey
Using career comparables to project likely performance for two of Winnipeg's top young forwards.

Expectations and measuring progress |
At what point does a team start competing, rather than settle for another high draft pick?

Individual Point Percentage - Defensemen - The Copper & Blue
Again, I'm not sure how much meaning I'd put into this measure. Yes, Nashville's dynamic duo take 2 of the top 8 spots here (the portion of PP goals on which they earn a point). Is that a sign of their strength, or the Preds' overall PP weakness?

Fedorin Cup: Curious Case of Finnish Flash - Anaheim Calling
Jen caught Teemu Selanne in action at a recent charity game, which bodes well for his playing one more season with the Ducks.

Video: Times Square street hockey during Hurricane Irene - Puck Daddy
It's good to see people use having a bit of fun during a rare opportunity at open space in Times Square.

The NHL coaching landscape, then and now - Puck Daddy
A coach's job security has always been tenuous, and Greg (or his minions) did some fine work here to compare today's bench bosses with those of 10 years ago.