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Wednesday afternoon notes: A four-letter word to hockey fans - ESPN

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Our afternoon hockey notes today touch on the business side of the NHL Trade Deadline. For the league at large, and for individual teams, it can prove to be a great attention-grabber, engaging both the die-hard fans and the casual observer who wants to see what all the fuss is about.

But does everyone jump on board? Apparently, the self-appointed "Worldwide Leader in Sports" took a pass...

There are 3 home games next week (L.A., Colorado & Detroit) so save $$$ on tickets with the OTF Discount!

Nashville Predators News

Why the Second Period is so Important for the Nashville Predators | The Predatorial
The Preds seem to be handling the long change rather well, actually.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

ESPN's strained relationship with the NHL is worse than ever - Puck Drunk Love
Apparently, ESPN's SportsCenter completely ignored the NHL Trade Deadline. I wouldn't know, as I can't remember the last time I watched it. Couple that with their recent "demotion" of the NCAA hockey tournament to lesser channels, and it becomes painfully obvious where that network's loyalties lie.

Random SportsBiz Thoughts For Today | The Business of Sports
It's often insightful to get a temperature check from a general-sports point of view - "I am a pretty casual hockey fan, but every year, I find myself drawn into the NHL trade deadline. I feel that out of the "big four" leagues, they do the best job generating buzz for their sport at the trade deadline, particularly via their website and other media outlets."

NBC Sports Network Adds Seven More West Coast Games Down the Stretch " Puck The Media
It's good to see someone on TV gearing up for the run to the playoffs.

Fighting Has Deep Roots in Saskatchewan Hockey -
The third paragraph here features an absurd aspect of fighting in youth hockey. One has to wonder if the current drive towards reducing or banning fighting the junior level can really achieve its goal.

KuklasKorner : Puckin' Around With Spector : What Will NHL Trade Deadline Look Like Under New CBA?
Interesting speculation from Lyle on how possible changes to the CBA could impact our late-season hockey holiday.

Brodeur is a Fraud: Why the Counting Trophies Method of Goalie Evaluation Is Flawed
Outstanding read here on how large a role variance can play in individual goaltending seasons, and why even very good goalies can fail to win the coveted Vezina.

Kirk Muller winning over Carolina Hurricanes locker room - The Hockey Writers
So far, so good for the new Canes coach. Since he took over a team at the bottom of the standings, this season has been all about establishing a winning culture and building towards next year.

The growth of James van Riemsdyk - Broad Street Hockey
Eric highlights ways in which Philly's young power forward is developing.

Systems Analyst: The Capitals play away from the puck leaves something to be desired | Backhand Shelf
To be fair, when it's a goal against, someone's usually going to look bad. But yeah, this ain't good.

Two Points at Home in Dramatic Fashion | Ted's Take
Our Fearless Leader (Ted Leonsis is an SB Nation backer) is sporting some pretty spiffy threads these days.

Lightning's Ryan Malone on attacking Habs' Emelin: "It's not old school hockey, it's pretty much hockey" - Lightning Strikes | Tampa Bay Times
Quote of the year from Ryan Malone?

Watch ECHL coach Nick Vitucci go crazy, launching water bottles toward referee (VIDEO) | Puck Daddy
I don't know which is more outrageous - this coach's antics, or his team's jerseys. Woof.

Embrace the Chase: 3 Points Out of 8th - Matchsticks and Gasoline
Can Calgary make it?

Culture change sparks Sens' dramatic rise - Cross Checks Blog - ESPN

Who'da thunk the Senators would have rebounded so quickly this season? Most had this pegged as a rebuilding year for them.

Should Marc-Edouard Vlasic be suspended for hit on Danny Briere? - Broad Street Hockey
Heck yeah, he should! I just added Briere to one of my fantasy hockey teams!

Evolution of a Rebuild - Mile High Hockey
Now that they're a few years into the post-Sakic era, is there reason for hope in Colorado?

SB Nation YouTube Channel - Coming Attractions

...and have you subscribed to the new SB Nation YouTube channel yet? The launch is approaching, and it's going to be chock full o' goodness. Here's another sneak preview for you...