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Wednesday afternoon notes: Most of the NHL gets into chillax mode

Set aside thoughts of cross-checks and slew footing, and let yourself relax for a few days.
Set aside thoughts of cross-checks and slew footing, and let yourself relax for a few days.

While the focus of most of the hockey media will be on Ottawa for the upcoming All-Star weekend, for most of the NHL, this is a rare opportunity to get a few days of rest & relaxation in before the hectic chase toward the Stanley Cup playoffs resumes next week. Nashville Predators enforcer Brian McGrattan has already tweeted out a picturetelling us that he's certainly not hanging out in Tennessee these days!

Follow after the jump for your afternoon hockey news, which starts off with a request for your vote...

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Nashville Predators News

Smashville 24/7: Rinne ready to thrive down the stretch – again
Is the best yet to come this season from Peks?

Ellis to Miss Out on the AHL All Star Game; Sloan to Return | Admirals Roundtable
Ryan Ellis can kick back like an NHL player this week, rather than strut like an AHL All-Star.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

The Hockey News: Adam Proteau's Column: Proteau: One-on-one with NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr
Set aside some time for this lengthy interview with the NHLPA's leader.

NHL All-Star Game Fantasy Draft Odds Posted | Hockey Gear HQ
Which NHL All-Star will get picked first, or last, during Thursday's Fantasy Draft? Since this is just like picking teams in the schoolyard, it helps to have the right friends.

Last Week’s NBC Sports Net Numbers Led By Sabres-Blackhawks " Puck The Media
When the Predators played the Rangers on NBC Sports last week, it drew an estimated 224,000 viewers.

The Player: Why NHL players rejected realignment, and why the backlash was worth it | Puck Daddy
You know what doesn't make sense to me? Why the players would be so opposed to the playoff scenario under realignment, while pretty much everyone else seemed OK with it.

The Dark Blue Jacket: The 1,000th post: DBJ's quest for understanding in the land of the Mayans
One fan's epic quest for meaning in the valley of despair which Columbus has become.

P.K. Subban is a solid bet for Edmonton, but have the Habs truly soured on the young d-man? That’s not clear. | Edmonton Journal
Edmonton desperately needs help on the blueline. Even though Elliotte Friedman wrote yesterday that the Preds aren't really interested in swapping a young D with a pick for Ales Hemsky, are there other forwards on the Oilers who could help Nashville?

Cullen: Comparing power play ice time to last season - TSN
Count Colin Wilson among the beneficiaries of bonus PP time this year.

The Quiet Room’s All-Hurt All-Stars: Forwards - Backhand Shelf
It's time to review some of injuries striking the NHL's top forwards (warning: grizzly photo towards the end here).

Antero Niittymaki, waived by Sharks: ‘I don’t want to be in this organization at all anymore’ | Puck Daddy
Here's an example of why Anders Lindback has almost no trade value right now.

John-Michael Liles Extended - Pension Plan Puppets
The pride of Zionsville, Indiana lands a $15.5 million deal.

Panthers could owe $30.8 million to Florida for not turning arena into homeless shelter | Puck Daddy
And now for something completely different.

The Detroit Red Wings: Experience & Composure vs. Old & Weak | The Hockey Writers
There's a glass half-full, glass half-empty way to look at Detroit's blueline.

Judging Goalies: Should We Include PK Save Percentage? - Broad Street Hockey
Good stuff here to tease out how much the variability of PK save percentage gets in the way of things.