The crowd at last night's Nashville Predators Skate of the Union event was at least twice the size that attended last year's inaugural effort. It looks like it has gained a foothold in Predator tradition.
The big news of the night was the official announcement of Shea Weber as the Predators new captain for the coming season. New signee, Matthew Lombardi was also introduced to the very enthusiastic crowd of Predator fans.
The panel discussion was led by Pete Weber and included David Poile, Ed Lang, Barry Trotz, and Tom Cigarran. Weber and Lombardi also spoke. To view the entire 45 minute presentation follow this link to our video.
Fans were able to get autographs of the five first round players from the last four years that included Colin Wilson. Jon Blum, Chet Pickard, Ryan Ellis, and Austin Watson. Blake Geoffrion also had his Hobey Baker Trophy on hand and posed for pictures with fans.
Big winners of the night were fans who hauled off used equipment by the armload that was purchased as rock bottom prices.
In summary, a great time was had by all as the Predators appear ready to put one of their best teams on the ice in October. Additionally, the Predators stock of prospects has been rated as the best in the NHL by Hockey's Future guaranteeing a competitive team for years to come.
In Pred Nation...
Other stories about the Shea Weber captaincy and the Skate of the Union come from The View from 111, Jim Diamond, Forechecker, Section303, Bryan Mullen and David Boclair.
Ryan Porth at RLD Hockey has a good post on David Poile's uncanny ability to build the Preds in spite of a cap floor price.
Mark at The View From 111 has an extensive discussion on franchise relocation and the long term and short term effects.
Kurtenblog takes a look at one of the Canuck's new players, Dan Hamhuis, with a little input from POTG.
Big Kev touches on Thursday's Development Camp and Shea Weber. Please note that there are no public events at camp again until Saturday.
See Puck City has three videos from Thursday's camp and a new post.
Jas Faulkner has Day Three at the Camp at The Hockey Writers.
Rachel at What The Puck is encouraging everyone to check out the Nashville Rollergirls as a summer substitute for hockey.
Around the NHL...
We end the week with nothing new of the Ilya Kovalchuk front. The Devils remain the only team to say they are not out. I still find it hard to believe he will go to the KHL. Puck Daddy looks at the options for Kovi.
B D Galoff takes a deeper look into the non-renewal of Ryan Jankowski's contact with the Islanders. Chris Botta reports that Bryan Trottier was also non renewed. I would think that would cause an even bigger stink among the Isles faithful.
More from Chris Botta who made is this video of Kirill Petrov and Krill Kabanov. Kabanov may have been the funnest of all the draftees at last month's entry draft.
David Naylor speaks to the NHL commissioner about future of the NHL in Canada at The Globe and Mail in this video. Winnipeg, Quebec City and Hamilton are discussed as well as "hypothetical" expansion opportunities.
As Keith Tkachuk enjoys his retirement, he sees big things ahead for the Blues.
Hawknut looks at surviving the Summer vacation at View From My Seats. Hard to sympathize since Hawks fans had the shortest vacation of all.
Intent to Blow has the full story on contract demands that have slowed the Kovalchuk negotiations. I especially like the Jay Grossman patch request. I like Jay and that is a nice tribute.
Odds and Ends...
Want to learn how to "let go"? Check out Adrian Nadeau's four part series at The Journey.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass