Hockey fans, today is the day we've all been waiting for since the night in June when Boston defeated Vancouver in game seven to put the bow on the 2010-11 NHL season.
All thirty teams are undefeated and 29 of them are hopeful that this season will bring better fortunes to their team than the year before.
Action gets underway tonight with Philadelphia at Boston (Versus, 6 p.m. CDT), Montreal at Toronto (6 p.m. Center Ice Package), and Pittsburgh at Vancouver (Versus, 9 p.m.).
Friday will see six games that includes two in Europe and Nashville opening at Columbus. Almost everyone is underway by Saturday with a slate of 13 games including the Preds second game in St. Louis.
Nashville fans will have to wait until Thursday, October 13 for Phoenix to come to town for the Predators' home opener.
We have had our Eastern Conference and Western Conference picks the last two days and will give our playoff picks and NHL Award projections in just a little while.
Make the jump for today's news and links...
In Pred Nation...
It sounds like the ball (or puck) is in Mattias Ekholm's court (or rink) as to his decision to play in Sweden or North America. Josh Cooper also has a look at the Central Division race and has a notes column that says expectations are high for Niclas Bergfors. Josh then breaks down the components of the Pred' attack.
Bryan Mullen has more about potential roster adjustments for the Predators.
Ryan Porth has a round-up of what pundits are saying about the Preds' outlook. He also introduces the 2011-12 Preds' opening day line-up.
David Boclair explains what the offseason changes have meant to the Predators' coaches. This is good insight.
Tom Callahan has started a series with a guest blog per day to preview the Central and starts with John Wiedeman looking at Chicago.
Dirk Hoag has the season preview of Teemu Laakso and David Legwand. He also has a poll asking where the Preds will finish. Finally, he had an article on Craig Smith at Preds.com.
In another post, Dirk gives updates about a new rink in Lebanon. Here's a Tennessean story about the multi-use development. WSMV reports that Jeff Cogen is supportive of the project.
Continuing Dirk's big day, congrats to the whole OTF crew on getting J.R. Lind's "writer's choice" award for best sports blog.
Mark Willoughby has his "What if" column with a look at this year's Predators.
Paul McCann and Pete Weber returned with the first episode of Slapshot Radio last night with Jeff Marek and Mike Lange. Go here for the podcast.
Josh Farrar debuts at The Hockey Writers with a look at the Defense and Goaltenders for the Preds.
Pred, White and Blue analyses the Preds opening day roster.
Here is an audio clip of Pete Weber on NHL Home Ice yesterday.
PredGold has their opening day observations.
Nashville is getting respect as a sports city at The Sporting News.
After nothing yesterday, Shanny fills the void with a video explanation of good hits to dispel the notion that the league is going the way of the "pink hats."
Kevin Allen caught up with Brendan Shanahan for a talk on the eve of opening day.
Paul McCann has his round-up of all thirty teams.
The Puck Daddy staff picks the East
The RLD Hockey group has an assortment of picks for teams and individuals.
Adrian Dater picks the Northwest Division for Sports Illustrated.
Hockey Night in Nashville has all their postseason picks.
The group of SB Nation bloggers came to a consensus of their picks in the West..
EA Sports has the Penguins winning the Stanley Cup.
Predatorial has a look at the Eastern Conference.
Copper and Blue has a different take, checking out the middle third of the league that includes the Preds at seventh in the West.
Around the NHL...
Will Matthew Hulsizer be the new owner in St. Louis?
Zach Parise will wear the "C" in New Jersey.
Ryan Porth has a good list of ten storylines to follow this season in the NHL. He also has a complete list of opening night rosters.
Talking Hockey with Adrian Dater Podcast makes its debut.
Rob Rossi has some interesting goal predictions for the Pens this season.
Chris Johnston says Donald Fehr is optimistic on the labor front heading into the last season under the current CBA.
The NHL Hour will premiere tonight from the TD Garden at 5 p.m. CDT when Gary Bettman will start his fifth season as show host where he has special guests and takes questions from fans.
The fun never stops with Bodog bets. Puck Daddy has the latest over/unders.
Pierre LeBrun talks to Corey Perry in this preseason video. I'll get run out of Nashville admitting that I like the guy.
A post-mortem brain study reveals damage to Rick Martins brain due to repeated trauma.
Odds and Ends...
Twitter and Facebook are becoming big parts of some marriage ceremonies.
Some guy known as "Dr Love" thinks businesses will become more profitable with hugs in the workplace. That's not happening in my office.
Google Docs has a new updated interface for tablets. It does work much better.
Here's information on how to deflect an asteroid headed toward earth.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass