Today is the day that all of Smashville has been impatiently waiting for since the Nashville Predators skated off the ice after bowing to the Vancouver Canucks in games six of their second round series last May.
Being the shortest summer ever for Preds' fans was no consolation as the offseason was not a particularly smooth ride with Shea Weber going to arbitration, the issues with the RFA contracts in early July, and the lack of signing any big name players.
All that will be in the past in the minds of the players as well as the fans when everyone shows up at the Bridgestone Arena tonight in their new Predator Gold jerseys that are on sale now.
The Preds are coming off of a successful 3-1 road trip that includes a come from behind 3-2 win on Friday night against a much stronger Carolina team. Here are some pictures from the game courtesy of Jamie Kellner that are excellent.
Tonight's line-ups for both teams and the updated NHL preseason stats can be found here or at the preseason link under the header above. Our friends at Illegal Curve have the morning links about the Jets and all else you need to know about the old Thrasher team.
Make the jump for a ton of other good stuff for your weekend reading and listening pleasure...
Here is the player for this week's edition of Smashville On the Glass radio where Ryan Porth and I hosted Mark Willoughby from the View from 111 and Patten Fuqua from Puck Scene for some preseason talk and speculation. Thanks again to James "Tapeleg" Gralien for our new into to the show.
In Pred Nation...
Josh Cooper has the first word from Mike Fisher on not being ready for the season opener. He also has an update on Frankie Bouillon.
Amanda DiPaolo talks to Teemu Laakso about his push for the Preds roster.
Ryan Porth continues his goalie mash series with a look at Jeremy Smith's headgear.
Jeremy Gover has part two of his three minutes with Tyler Sloan. He also has the latest edition of the 303:30 with Tom Callahan, the birthday boy. Say Happy Birthday to Tom if you see him tonight.
The guy with the biggest voice in Smashville, Paul McCann, has his game day look and notes.
Dirk Hoag has his morning notes with a bunch of posts about NHL Stats. Imagine that.
Dan Bradley has some interesting observations about the recent Predator marketing schemes.
Puck and Punk moves to the reds and oranges in their NHL color scale analysis.
The Predators Kid's Club is back. Sign up here.
Around the NHL...
Breaking news from the NHL this morning that "Minnesota Wild forward Brad Staubitz and Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski have been suspended indefinitely pending a hearing."
Big news yesterday was the official retirement announcement from Mike Modano. It was an emotional moment that is worth watching. Go here to the Star's website to see it.
For you couch potatoes, NHL Network has a triple header of games today and a Mike Modano special squeezed in the middle of them.
David Shoalts has an excellent commentary on the Wayne Simmonds racial incident.
Adrian Dater has his top five hot topics in the NHL at Sports Illustrated.
Say it ain't so! The Igloo may be demolished on Monday. I'm glas I got to see it at last years Winter Classic morning skate at the CONSOL.
Ex-Pred Joel Ward is making big dollars in Washington and is getting to spend some time on the top line with Alex Ovechkin.
I'm convinced that the Coyotes sale will never be resolved. There are two groups interested now with Jerry Reinsdorf back in the picture.
Anthony Curatolo likes the selection of Mark Streit as the Islses captain.
Mark Spector says that the Canucks dealing ex-Pred Darcy Hordichuk could have cost them the Stanley Cup.
The second worst secret of the year was confirmed yesterday with the announcement of the Leafs third jersey.
Odds and Ends...
After being a real space nerd all day yesterday following it's path, the UARS satellite fell to earth and no one knows any details. What a letdown.
Did you know that there is an astronaut beach house? This is pretty interesting.
A new theory put forth by an aluminum expert squashes the 9-11 conspiracy theories of bombs being in the building.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass