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Wednesday afternoon notes: "Every Coach's Dream"? Surely not the Titans' Chris Johnson

This afternoon's notes remind us just how different hockey players, as a whole, are from other professional athletes. Sure, there are exceptions to every rule, but the one constant you hear from members of the sports media is that hockey players are more humble and down to earth than those in other sports.

I was reminded of this will assembling the articles below. While a recalcitrant football star lashes out at fans via Twitter, we have a celebration of one of Nashville's foot soldiers; the guy often referred to as an ideal Predator...

Nashville Predators News

Chris Johnson sounds off on ‘fake Titans fans’ | Titans Insider
Well, it looks like the Titans' holdout has eclipsed Dan Ellis for public condescension via Twitter. 

Smashville 24/7: 2011-12 Preview: Jerred Smithson
Forget Chris Johnson - we should call Jerred Smithson "Every Coach's Dream" (the nickname that CJ bestowed upon himself). Seriously, the guy does the dirty work that a coach needs to have done, sacrifices his body for the team cause, and doesn't stir up drama. That's a far cry from a human highlight film who holds out from training camp despite being under contract.

Bucking the Trend? Nashville and Three Others Look to do so | The Predatorial
Can the Preds push farther in the playoffs this season? Kris says that history bets against it.

Paul McCann - Bye Bye Dog Days
Paul sums up our long summer, and looks ahead to rookies reporting soon.

Preds On The Glass: Nashville Predators Offer Chance to Win Free Season Tickets
OK, this sounds fun - the Preds are holding a scavenger hunt on the morning of September 10th.

Kirk Muller talks with Aaron - Milwaukee Admirals
Aaron Sims interviews new Milwaukee Admirals head coach Kirk Muller about the prospects for the year, and some of the talent he'll be working with.

Bouillon won’t be ready for camp - Predators Insider
Josh Cooper got word from David Poile that Francis Bouillon "will probably not be ready for camp" (not exactly surprising, but disappointing nonetheless). Get ready for the Baby Blueline with special guest star Jack Hillen!

Around the NHL

Marc Savard not expected to play in 2011-12, career in doubt - Boston Globe
Sad news out of Boston, where the Bruins are writing off Marc Savard for the year.

Know Thy Enemy – The Columbus Blue Jackets: Summer of Discontent - Predlines
Dan doesn't think the Blue Jackets have done enough to qualify for the playoffs yet, and I have to agree, the defense needs work and the goaltending is extremely suspect.

Tyutin Signs 6-Year Extension | BlueJackets Xtra
Speaking of D, Columbus locks up one of their stalwarts for $27 million over 6 years.

Know Thy Enemy: St. Louis Blues - Winging It In Motown
Preds fans need to keep an eye on the Blues, as they represent a legitimate challenge to Nashville's playoff hopes.

Former Capital David Steckel backs up Matt Bradley’s comments about Alexander Semin, team’s lack of discipline - The Washington Post
...more evidence that Alexander Semin is about the last guy the Preds need.

Ottawa Senators blog roundtable: The 2012 NHL All-Star Game - Silver Seven
With any luck, we'll get an All-Star Game here in Nashville once the Music City Center is completed sometime in 2013. So get a taste of the anticipation that's already building in Ottawa for this season's event.

NCAA coaches aren’t backing off paying-players accusations - Buzzing The Net
The cross-border war of words continues between NCAA and Canadian junior hockey. 

NHL Live on VERSUS to Co-Exist with NHL Live on NHL Network This Season - Puck The Media
So the next time someone tells you to tune in for their appearance on NHL Live, be sure to ask "which one?"

Can 40 women set Guinness world record for longest hockey game? - Puck Daddy

Why you should buy hockey sticks online | Hockey Gear HQ - reviews & deals on hockey equipment and apparel
No individual piece of hockey equipment has a stronger effect on a player's confidence than a stick, so before you gear up for the new season, do your research!