The Nashville Predators appear to be down to the 23 players that will start the season with the team as they head to Columbus tomorrow afternoon. David Poile talked to Josh Cooper and indicated that the roster was still a work in progress so expect more changes over the next few weeks.
The Mattias Ekholm roller-coaster yesterday was particularly curious as early in the day his agent said that he did not make the team. By the end of the day, the Preds announced that he is on the opening day roster.
It is a different situation because he has the option to return to Sweden if he doesn't stay in Nashville. A return to Europe would be a major hiccup in his development so the Predators will continue to try to keep him in North America this season.
I know for a fact that he likes Nashville and wants to play here but he is also a competitor and would get 25 minutes of playing time and be a star in half empty small barns in Sweden. He needs to make a mature decision and agree to go the "Predator way" and stay in North America for a season and see where the chips fall.
We'll see what happens over the next few weeks.
We will have our Western Conference picks out shortly. Make the jump for today's news and links...
Today on RLD Hockey Talk, we will have our Western Conference preview with Craig Custance of ESPN and Dennis Bernstein from The Fourth Period. Join us at Noon Central for what should be an insightful look at the West.
Thanks to the guys at Pucked in the Head for including me in their Central Division preseason extravaganza podcast with an interview that I did during training camp from a noisy Centennial Sportsplex.
Last night, I joined 13 year old Colin Fitts to talk Predators hockey on his BTR show. The young man does well in hosting a show that includes all local sports.
In Pred Nation...
Josh Cooper takes a look at the lines that Barry Trotz has used for two days in a row at practice. He also adds insight from David Poile that the roster remains fluid and that Mattias Ekholm could still return to Sweden. This morning, Josh also has a nice full length feature on Mike Fisher enjoying the Nashville lifestyle.
Ryan Porth agrees with the Predators' decision on Ryan Ellis.
David Boclair feels that the Preds big three want their best seasons before potentially heading to other teams. He also wants to see the Preds and the Leafs in the Winter Classic.
Bryan Mullen has an interesting story about homegrown Predators goaltenders.
Dirk Hoag has his preseason look at Sergei Kostitsyn. He's also up early today with a link round-up.
Robby Stanley says the Preds have a goal of the Central Division title.
John Manasso points out that the Preds have six rookies on the opening day roster.
Predatorial writes about the Predators' chemistry.
Pred, White and Blue asks the question "Are our sports getting too soft?" He also looks at the Preds final roster.
A note from the QMJHL site indicated that Charles-Oliver Roussel has been returned to the CHL and traded to the St. John Sea Dogs who are one of the favorites for the Memorial Cup.
Eric Lipschutz is surprised at Ryan Ellis's demotion from a fantasy standpoint.
Ad's Roundtable would probably have rather seen Craig Smith in Milwaukee but is pleased to see the Wisconsin native do well.
The annual Predators Faceoff Event is set for next Tuesday.
Ex-Pred Cody Franson appears to have dropped down to the seventh D-man slot in Toronto. Maybe David Poile was smarter than was thought when the trade was made. He is not as pleased with being in Toronto as he was originally.
For the first time this year, Shanny TV was dark. Will the trend continue?
Ryan Porth had double duty with Eastern and Western Conference picks.
The Puck Daddy crew makes their NHL Award predictions.
Nick Cotsonika has a top ten of Stanley Cup contenders.
Adrian Dater previews the Pacific Division at Sports Illustrated.
The Hockey News has their Central Division preview.
Jogn Buccigross has his picks for the NHL which includes Shea Weber gone by the trade deadline.
Down Goes Brown sees a late season collapse by the Preds due to a fear of the Weber beard.
Around the NHL...
In a surprise move yesterday, Sean Avery was placed on waivers by the New York Rangers. All eyes will be on the clock today at 11 a.m. CDT when the waiver results go public to see if anyone else is willing to pay a million dollars a year for his brand of play. My thought is no.
The Pens and Caps rarely are on the same page but will jointly raise funds for the families of the Lokomotiv plane crash.
Ryan Porth talks no touch icing with several players and coaches.
Up to nine 2011 draftees could start the season in the NHL this year.
TSN's top 50 player list is out and Sidney Crosby is still number one in spite of his injury. Preds on the list include Shea Weber (11), Pekka Rinne (28), and Ryan Suter (43).
The Toronto Maple Leafs added Dave Steckel in a deal with the Devils.
Chris Johnston looks at the NHL season as it starts with heavy hearts.
The NHL has named Dan Marr as the new Director of Central Scouting, a position formally held by the late E.J. McGuire.
Here is a good look at Boston's championship rings.
Odds and Ends...
Is Amazon out to conquer the retail world?
There's a new species of ants taking over the South that cause major damage and are hard to exterminate.
NASA is taking applications for new astronauts. It appears that I am too old.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass