After months of player movement, courtroom drama, and NHLPA unrest the focus returned to the ice with four games on the NHL's opening night for the 2009-2010 season.
For the first time in many years we have legitimate cable TV (with Versus) so it was a bit of a unique experience to watch hockey in HD as opposed to on the computer or a low-D hookup with the computer hooked to the big screen.
After a few minutes of getting acclimated to the new technology, it was almost if hockey had not been gone for 3 1/2 months. Things picked up right were they left off last season. Ovechkin is back in the league lead in goals, the Habs and Leafs are going at it, and San Jose already thinks it is the post-season. One thing new was rookie Matt Duchene picking up his first NHL point.
The ceremony in Colorado for Joe Sakic was nice. He seems awful young to be hanging up the skates in a day when many veterans are playing into their forties. One thing that bothered me were all the plants on the carpet on the ice. I don't get why that was necessary.
One thing that is missing are several veteran players who have fallen victim to youth movements and salary caps. I know that it is not going to happen but I still want the Preds to give Chris Chelios a call and bring him in as an extra defenseman/on ice coach. I think it could make a difference in the long run this season.
For those who missed our season predictions Jackson and I did separate posts looking at all thirty teams that went up late yesterday afternoon. Her are Jackson's picks and my picks.
In Pred Nation...
The big news on the NHL's opening day in Nashville was the Face-off Luncheon. Mark at The View from 111 has "His View" of the event. His regular Friday post "My View" is here.
The Predators leave for Dallas this morning to begin their quest for a return to the playoffs. The starting goalie has not been chosen at this point and Jordin Tootoo is out with what is rumored to be a hip flexor.
Goalie Controversy? Always in Nashville, that's how we roll. Forechecker's poll shows a split among his readers. Dirk also has a video and a link for discounted tickets for opening night.
David Boclair, writing at the Nashville Scene, has an unusual article that is critical of Barry Trotz's handling of Alexander Radulov. Dirk Hoag piggybacks the article with additional commentary.
Jim Diamond discusses who the Pred's shootout choices may be this season.
Paul McCann has a few thought about the Preds embarking on their opening night trip.
Codey Holland of Section 303 has been added to the Social Media Club event next Wednesday. The local Predator blogging community is very well represented.
Pete Weber was on XM204's Hockey This Morning yesterday breaking down the Western Conference. Go here to listen.
The Milwaukee Admirals had a relaunch of their site with new Ads TV and more photos. Check it out.
Admirals Short Shifts has a excerpt from an NHL.com post on Ben Eaves.
The Milwaukee Journal has a story about the strength of this year's team.
In Cincinnati, the Cyclones begin practice today.
Around the NHL...
Opening night was a night of no hockey or bootleg streams off the internet for millions of DirectTV subscribers who could not get Versus. Andy Strictland has a post on how the fans are getting screwed over the whole mess. Based on recent tweets, if you are a DTV subscriber, calling up and voicing your displeasure will get you some substantial credits to your account.
Several reports from the Island on the lease signing yesterday including from Nick at Let There Be Light(house), Katie Strang at Newsday, and Hockey Independent has video of whole thing. It is now in the hands of the Town of Hempstead.
In a surprising move, Brendan Shanahan left the Devils on opening day. It was by mutual agreement with the team and is not an official retirement. Michell Kenneth writes the hardest article she has ever written about the departure.
The Morning Skate is back at the Red Light District. It is a great place to look to see what to look for in the day's games every day. Matt at View from My Seats has the Daily Cross Check which is more of a West coast look at the day's games.
@tndotcom must had too much time on his hands to find this, but it is a good one. "Can the Predators please, PLEASE do a video like this to introduce the team?" @RLDhockey countered with this one, the crowd version of the "Rivals" video. I'm not sure why the Preds never posted the clean copy on PredsTV.
NHL.com made a site to look at the opening day rosters of every team.
Slap Shot has the aggregate of all 30 of their blogger's picks as the last post in the opening round of questions. Here are the 30 blogs with their latest posts.
From @KHL_hockey: "KHL Network launches today". For those who understand Russian, I assume this will be the equivalent of the NHL Network.
All the guys at Illegal Curve give their best shot at the new season predictions. Where was Psycho Puck Lady, Katrina when this was going on? I guess she was over at Hockey Buzz doing their opening day show.
Kat Kealy at Press Box Perspective questions the marketing of the NHL opening night.
Finally, "I'll be darned, Dave had sex," and more creepiness.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass