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Saturday's notes: Shea takes his best shot tonight

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Today is all the NHL All-Star Skills Competition, which takes place tonight at 6:00 p.m. Central on NBC Sports (formerly the Versus channel). This will be Craig Smith's chance to show his stuff on the league-wide stage, while of course many folks are looking forward to Shea Weber's chances in the Hardest Shot competition.

All the info on the various events, and who is participating from each team, can be found here at

Yesterday's news, of course, was dominated by Ryan Suter's comments during his media session. This got picked up around the NHL, but sadly ignored by the Tennessean locally...

Where To Buy 2012 NHL All-Star Gear Online

Nashville Predators News

Ryan Suter: No benefit in signing by Feb. 27 - Cross Checks Blog - ESPN
Pierre LeBrun sums up the implications of Suter's comments yesterday. "Now the next move belongs to Poile, whose team has been on a tear in the past month, rising up the Western Conference standings, clearly playoff-bound and perhaps capable of a deep run. Can he afford to move Suter before Feb. 27 given where his team sits in the standings? Can he afford not to if he stands to possibly lose such a huge asset this summer for nothing?"

The View from 111: Tryin for Ryan, Can the Predators Sign Suter?
Mark sees Suter as having escalated the pressure on David Poile, too.

NHL midseason awards: Malkin, Lundqvist, Weber are cream of the crop - Sporting News
Jesse Spector would hand Shea Weber the Norris, and has the advanced stats to back it up.

Hockey Courtesy - Has Been Sports
Justin kicks things off with a plea for fans not to make waves at a hockey game.

Ads Skid Continues With 2-1 Loss To Wolves | Admirals Roundtable
The Admirals drew a huge crowd (17,386!) but dropped the decision last night.

Preds rookie puts NHL on notice - The Tennessean
Yeah, I'd say it's been a pretty good season for the Honey Badger.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

All-Star experience something Brian Elliott ‘wouldn’t trade for the world’ | Puck Daddy
The former Senators cast-off is probably the feel-good story of the weekend.

NBC Sports Network Drops 35% for the Fantasy Draft " Puck The Media
Did the fact that this was on a Thursday vs. a Friday last year make much of a difference?

Down Goes Brown: Things overheard backstage at the NHL all-star fantasy draft
I like this one - "This is boring. Next year I’m totally going to give somebody a leaping headshot so I get to stay home."

Datsyuk tops among his all-star peers | Hockey | CBC Sports
He's not exactly a media sensation, but Pavel Datsyuk has the respect of his fellow players.

A look at NHL collective bargaining issues - The Globe and Mail
David Shoalts lays the main issues out on the table.

Spezza: NHLPA made "a lot of concessions" for last CBA, doesn't want to make more - Silver Seven
Jason Spezza says the players are coming in to this negotiation better prepared than they have been before.

Hawks acquire Brendan Morrison - The Hockey Writers
A nice depth pickup by Chicago here in the aging Morrison. Back in olden times, Morrison was the first player I ever interviewed, when he was a senior at Michigan on his way to a Hobey Baker Award and national championship.

Which Leafs Could Be Available? | The Hockey Writers
Might there be a potential match here for the Predators?

The impact of the John-Michael Liles Extension " Toronto Maple Leafs Hot Stove
As Toronto locks up the defenseman for four more years, might that squeeze out a guy like Luke Schenn?

Unzipping the Jackets, Part I -
An up-close view of the mood in Columbus, as one writer embedded himself with the Blue Jackets for a week.

Jackets To Host All-Star Game | BlueJackets Xtra
This is a nice bone to throw their way. With the Olympics coming up in 2014, Nashville might be on deck for 2015.

How People Get to - Arctic Ice Hockey
I think I'm going to try and share one bizarre search term a day via Twitter which brings people to OTF, it's funny stuff.

With spotlight on, Kane starting to mature - Cross Checks Blog - ESPN
Patrick Kane now beats up chauffeurs rather than taxi drivers.

American goaltenders making presence felt - The Globe and Mail
You mean they make goalies somewhere other than Sweden & Finland?

"I’m terrible at what matters…but I’m good at something else" |
Sure, Edmonton may be faltering, but their AHL team is going great!

Breaking Down One Of The Many MSM Defences Of Steve Tambellini - The Copper & Blue
It sounds like the media in Edmonton have rallied to the defense of the Oilers GM.