The Nashville Predators are now two days away from D-Day in the form of the the arbitration hearing on the seven (actually six, since Thuresson went to the Rangers) that will decide whether the players in question will be RFA's or UFA's. I'm still expecting a last minute multi-year deal on Nick Spaling.
Sergei Kostitsyn threw an odd kink into the situation by chosing to go for player elected arbitration which if he remains an RFA would send him to arbitration and put the Preds in a take it or leave it position. If he is declared a UFA, all bets are off. The Preds could also sign him at any point during the process.
There is no progress on the Shea Weber front with one rumor saying that he wants less years and another story saying that the Drew Doughty negotiations had slowed to a crawl. E. J. Hradek made a good point yesterday on RLD Radio that you can't compare the James Wisnewsky and Christian Ehrhoff signings as they were true UFS'a.
The Preds signed a couple of role players in Zach Stortini and Kyle Wilson yesterday. This seems like two more bricks in the wall of the Predator way.
Make the jump for today's news and links...
In Pred Nation...
David Boclair takes a look up at Magnus Helberg, the newest piece of the 19 1/2 feet of goalie that the Preds possess. He is really a likable kid.
Josh Cooper discusses Ryan Ellis's summer of transition to being a pro.
Pete Weber was on NHL Home Ice yesterday. Go here to listen to the clip.
Ryan Porth looks at what David Poile may be up to with all the cleared cap space.
Jim Diamond talked to Preds prospect David Elsner (in English) about his upcoming first season in North America.
Jeremy Gover had three minutes with Michael Latta. He also featured the return of the 303:30 with a look at all the recent news in Predator-land.
Dirk Hoag had a menu of afternoon links and questions whether Shea Weber really is looking for a short-term deal.
Read this one from Sam Page at your own risk as he discusses the possible need to trade Pekka Rinne. I guess the reaction drove OTF to record page hits with everyone burning up the comment section.
Mark Willoughby has wedding news for the Preds' Rebecca Ward with details of an unusual honeymoon.
The AHL Board of Governors has approved a new division alignment and playoff format for 2011-12. Admiral's Roundtable has the details.
Around the NHL...
Twenty-three players elected to file for arbitration before yesterday's deadline. The most curious of the bunch is Sergei Kostitsyn who may not be an RFA after Friday's arbitration hearing. Josh Cooper has the details on the possibilities.
Peggers were getting nervous until they were able to tie up Andrew Ladd with five-year deal yesterday. Other major signings yesterday included Tomas Kaberle to Carolina, Keith Yandle in Phoenix, Mark Methot in Columbus, and Clarke McArthur in Toronto. Ex-Preds Scoty Nichol landed in St. Louis while fan favorite Jed Ortmeyer went to Minnesota.
Puck Daddy has the grades for all thirty teams thus far during free agency. Needless to say, the Preds did not get a high grade but they are waiting to make a charge.
Kurtenblog looks at Scott Hartnell as a potential Canuck. He might actually be a better fit in Nashville with a cap hit of $4.2 million but with actual salary of $3.7 and $3.2 million. What about Colin Wilson for Scott Hartnell?
Adrian Dater is rethinking his initial thoughts on the Semyon Varlamov deal with Washington.
John Tortorella now has the team that he wants. It will be interesting to see what he does with it.If so, Chris Osgood will probably retire.
Sources say that Ty Conklin may be the Wings' back-up goalie.
Tony Gallagher thinks that the Western Conference may be easier next season and points the finger at Nashville, Phoenix and Dallas as backsliding teams.
The Stanley Cup's summer journey has begun and it started out in Yosemite National Park Were we will be at the end of the month. That would really be a surprise for those that showed up in the wild and saw the Cup.
Max Talbot blogs about his move to Philadelphia at On The Point.
As usual, Down Goes Brown has exclusive inside information on the Brad Richards bidding war.
In case anyone was wondering, here is the complete list of all NHL hashtags.
Odds and Ends...
If you want unlimited data on Verizon, you need to act today in order to avoid their new pay as you go plan.
Here is a video of a massive dust storm in Phoenix. I guess that is one type of weather issue we do not have.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass