The midsummer doldrums in the hockey world continue. I was listening the NHLPA head, Paul Kelly, this morning on XM Home Ice and he acknowledged that there were more than the usual amount of free agents still on the market and pointed out that historically there would be a second flurry of signings as camps prepared to open in September.
With the current economic state and unclear nature of next year's salary cap figure, I don't think that we are dealing in a predictable situation with signings this year. With the potential lowering of the cap next year, the bottom end and the mid point will also go down.
For a team like the Predators who's focus is on the mid-point in order to receive revenue sharing, they have to be especially careful not to commit money into next season with no goalies signed and Dan Hamhuis and Jordin Tootoo needing a new contract if they stay with the team.
The last couple of items today are of a true melancholy nature and are are a reflection of how disconnected some folks can become in today's hyper-connected technological society.
In Pred Land...
Mark at The View from 111 has a new post about a case that has made it's way to the US Supreme Court that will have deep reaching ramifications in the pro sports world if the NFL wins their case. That result could have significant impact on how the anti trust exemption that pro sports has enjoyed will be handled. This is a must read for all.
Ryan at The RedLightDistrict discusses the Preds 06/07 team and asks the question will we get back there? I personally think they can, but it will look a lot different the second time around. It will involve homegrown talent and a couple of diamonds in the rough that show up for next to nothing salary wise and blossom like Joel Ward and as Jason at Hendrick's Hockey says that Ben Eaves will do this season.
Dirk has a round up of items at OnTheForecheck this morning. He had some nice things to say about this week's POTG podcast yesterday. Thanks for the props Dirk.
My new friend at Puck Report breaks down Dirk's handy work on miles traveled by division which is a little different perspective. The Central and the West have the tightest bunch of all within the divisions with 5000-6000 miles difference between the high and low teams. The biggest spread is between Washington and Florida in the Southeast with over 14,000 miles.
A late tweet and post from Dirk this morning @forechecker Bye bye, Bonk - RT @dchesnokov Sovetsky Sport: Nashville's Radek Bonk will be in Russia tomorrow to sign with KHL's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. No surprise here.
Here's a good idea from @cellblock303: Have a question you want answered during the 303:30? Leave us a voicemail. 615-852-PRED (7733)
Around the NHL...
After an odd year last season where Radim Vrbata signed a three year deal with Tampa and left the team and went back to Europe to play after 18 games with the Lightning, he has now been traded back to Phoenix where he scored 27 goals the year before. Tampa got Todd Fedoruk and David Hale in return.
Also from Phoenix, Five for Howling started a series where he looks at each division to see who the Coyotes biggest rivals are. First up is the Southeast with plenty of videos for the off season.
Ken Campbell has a story on unexpected things that occurred as a result of the CBA. One thing that the Predators are using profusely is signing marginal players to two-way contracts. This same tactic led to the blossoming of Jackson's favorite player, Alexander Burrows. Fisher's favorite is Joel Ward who also arrived to the Preds in the same manner.
Goon's World has a guess at the US Olympic team.
Here are more podcasts fron Dan Tencer at CHED to pass time in the summer dog days of hockey.
Stweart Cink's coach, Christopher Noss, has a web site called PGA Roadtrip and adds his latest on the British Open. (It is the off season so golf can be discussed occasionally since that's what a lot of NHL players are spending their off days doing)
Way off topic... The youngest of the Z-Boys, "Baby Paul"Cullen died Monday from a heroin overdose. There are many comments and eulogies here in a Surfermag post. While he was still in contact with folks around him, his addiction left him alone in his own world of terminal substance abuse.
I visited the original Zepher shop in Dogtown a couple of years ago which is more of a museum than a real shop and for anyone that is a skater or has a curious interest, it is worth a visit if you are ever in Venice.
The saddest story ever... A friend named Steve Ruby, that I used to work with every day, less than ten years ago, died about a month ago and word just came out that he was buried on Monday. From sketchy details and rumors, it appears that he died with no relatives or friends to make arrangements for his burial, thus the one month delay. His story should be a reminder to all to really appreciate the folks that each of us have in our lives that love and care about us. This sounds like the epitome of societal disconnection.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass