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Tuesday afternoon notes: The Cube? Call him "The Arena" now

Didn't anyone tell the hockey world that things are supposed to slow down these days? It just seems like news and stories keep popping up all over the place, and I've got two dozen to share with you this afternoon.

So follow after the jump as The Cube gets a surprise, the Preds wax optimistic about ticket sales, and a prospect takes a step towards playing in the Junior World Championships later this year...

Nashville Predators News

Francis Bouillon Has Montreal-Area Ice Arena Named In His Honor -
And here I already thought he had that honor...

Final Thoughts on Weber, Suter and Rinne | Hockey Independent
Final? Who's kidding who? I think we'll be chewing over this matter for several more months. It's a fascinating conundrum, though.

Austin Watson makes the cut, will play in international games… | Section 303
Team USA trims down to 29, so it's a bit early to say that Watson will definitely play, but it's looking good so far.

Preds On The Glass: POTG Tuesday Headlines, News and Links
Catching some playoff action last night served as a reminder of just how much the Preds' roster has turned over in the last 12-15 months.

Season Series Preview: Chicago Blackhawks | The Predatorial
Have the Blackhawks taken over the "most hated" status among Preds fans from Detroit?

Weekly Hate: Shea Weber the Overrated? - Winging It In Motown
J.J. doesn't want to see the Red Wings empty the cupboard to trade for Weber.

Tale of the Tickets |

Success is relative, but it's good to hear that the Preds expect season ticket sales to hit 10,000 full-season equivalents. The Titans, meanwhile, enjoyed a disappointing first-day of single-game ticket sales as they failed to sell out on Day One for only the second time ever.

Around the NHL

Return of RDO camp allows League to experiment -
Some ideas are great (shallow nets, removing the trapezoid), others not so much (the delayed penalty variation, the bear hug rule), but this camp is all about testing, which is a very, very good thing.

Plans for Weber are falling into place ... muhahaha !!! - The Province
And so it begins... you can bet on seeing articles like this until Shea Weber is either signed to a long-term contract, or is shipped out of town.

Down Goes Brown: How to buy out a player: The NHL's handy form
Funny stuff as always from the mighty DGB,

Success comes from better data, not better analysis - Harvard Business Review
The GM of the NBA's Houston Rockets would sees statistical analysis as having evolved pretty far, and that the need going forward is to record better and more data. That league appears to be well in advance of the NHL, which has difficulty with how some statistics are recorded from arena to arena.

Traitors, Turncoats and "Business Decisions" - Japers' Rink
Here's an idea worth stealing...

Are the San Jose Sharks the best in the West next season? - Puck Daddy
They're certainly in the mix... I'd have my Top 4 right now as Vancouver, San Jose, Detroit & Chicago.

Brophy on Blackhawks: Old news -
As the Predators go with youth, Chicago brought in a number of experienced veterans this summer like Andrew Brunette and Sean O'Donnell.

Say It With Me Now...Ales Hemsky Is A Premier First-Line Forward In The NHL - The Copper & Blue
Hey, if the Oilers don't want him, we could use a guy like that here in Nashville.

Puck Treasures: Would you wear an NHL division champs ring? - Puck Daddy

This is odd... you normally only think of rings being handed out for league championships. 

Analyzing Lightning wingers: in which we realize that next year might actually be okay - Raw Charge
Can Tampa follow up their resurgent 2010-2011 season?

Dreamers, Sleepers, Contenders, the Islanders and Blues in Between - Lighthouse Hockey
Do Islanders fans dare to buy into some of the hype building around their team?

NHL, Glendale reportedly in talks with two potential buyers for Coyotes - Houses of the Hockey
Just wake me up when a deal gets done, m'kay?

The New Economics of the NHL - Matchsticks and Gasoline
Interesting analysis here - I don't know that I'd go as far as the included study does, but adding a second team in Toronto is such an obvious boon to the league that it's a pity they haven't figured out how to make that happen yet.

On 23rd anniversary of trade, Bruce McNall and the ‘Gretzky Tax’ - Puck Daddy
August may usually be a dead time for hockey news, but the biggest trade in NHL history took place 23 years ago today.

John Kordic vs Basil McRae - Pension Plan Puppets
Wow, what a scrap here. I hadn't seen this in a long time.

Unsold Premium Seating is Becoming a Structural Problem | The Business of Sports
The club seats are where many teams make a lot of cash, but in tough economic times, they can be hard to fill.

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?