Archive for July, 2007

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Deal Done?

July 31, 2007

Well I knew the patience would pay off.

A source very close to the ongoing negotiations with the pending sale of the Predators has confirmed that a binding letter of agreement could be signed by the end of the week. The source tells me that the deal is valued at nearly $200 million and that at least one additional investor has been brought in to make this happen. I will be keeping my finger on the pulse and will report any breaking news I have as soon as I have it.

Thanks to my sources who have worked tirelessly to help break this story. Looks like we have hockey in Nashville!

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All Is Quiet…

July 30, 2007

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There was a time when the hockey blogosphere was littered with posts about the Preds from both Pred fans and those who hated the fact that a team was deep in Dixie. Where though, I ask, has it all gone?

For fans of the franchise I think there is some fatigue for sure. For a couple of months now we have been living in this unknown, grasping any news that seemed the least bit positive. Many fans spent hours posting and defending our right to a team to Canadian patriots who hunger for more hockey north of the border. When the ‘Save The Preds Rally’ arrived on the heels of news that local ownership was making a real push to keep the team in Nashville you could almost hear the Nashville hockey community exhale…ahhhhhh. We were tired. It’s tough fighting for and defending your teams survival each day.

Fans hoping for a Music City Failure I believe also find themselves a bit tired as well. For just as long fans in Canada (especially in Hamilton) have been hoping that these Preds would find their way north. Posts were written about how Nashville did not deserve a team and why this team belonged in Canada. For these fans I think much wind went out of their sails when current Preds owner Craig Leipold broke off talks with Jim Balsillie. Follow that up with a successful ticket rally (heck even Eklund came for that one!)and a real chance that local ownership rescues the team and you have these fans looking to expansion or elsewhere as their next target.

What is next? Unfortunately it’s more waiting. I have been desperately trying to get someone to talk to me about the potential sale to the local group but if there is one thing they are doing well it’s staying quiet. So we wait. Both fans and not. Waiting to see what the future holds for the team here in Nashville.

Come October though we will have hockey and the thought of that makes this writer very very happy.

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Pred Rally A Success…

July 19, 2007

As of this writing over 600 new FSTE’s have been sold today alone! While that number may not seem huge to those in other areas of the country you have to keep in mind that these are in addition to the tickets that have already been sold (35% ahead of last years total at this same time). While no announcement was made of a letter of intent being signed by Leipold and the Local Group it was still a positive day.

Was a message sent to Canada? Actually I doubt it. They are of a different mindset and breed. These people believe that Nashville is a joke of a hockey market and will be until we sell out every game. The Canadians seem to forget that not too long ago teams in Calgary and Edmonton were struggling to fill seats. Nashville is a ten year old hockey market and it ‘s been a tough sale…but this day should show that Nashville wants to see hockey succeed. 7500 fans showed for the big rally…that my friends is what we call a statement!

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Update…

July 18, 2007

The Tennessean is reporting that letter was NOT signed but that it could happen soon. I’ll try to stay on top of this.

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Local Group Signs Letter

July 18, 2007

Eklund over at Hockeybuzz.com is saying that a letter of intent has been signed between Leipold and the local group. If this is indeed true this is a huge deal for Predator fans. It gives us, at least for the time being, some firm footing for this franchises future.

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Preds Sign Three

July 16, 2007

The Predators announced today that they have resigned defensemen Greg Zanon and Kevin Klein as well as tough guy forward Darcy Hordichuk. While these are signings that will barely be a blip on the NHL radar for PReds fans these are huge!

Greg Zanon quickly became a fan and coach favorite with his unselfish playing style that saw him lead the team in blocked shots. Continually risking his body Zanon is a pure team player. While he will never awe you with his offensive prowess thats okay because he plays D and plays it well. Zanon was a key member of our PK last year and look for him to get lots of playing time there as well. Zanon signed a two-year deal that will pay him $700,000 and $750,000 over the next two seasons.

Kevin Klein (not to be confused with A Fish Called Wanda actor Kevin Klein) is one of several young guns that the Preds have groomed on D. Klein has the size and the shot to be potent blueliner in this league and his coming out party starts now. Klein signed a one-year, two-way deal that will pay him $500,000 on the NHL level and $70,000 on the American Hockey League level. Though Klein has a two-way contract, he would still need to clear waivers if he returns to Milwaukee.I would have liked to have seen a longer term deal here but at least we have him locked up for the next year.

Rounding out the key signings is forward Dacy Hordichuk. Hordichuk accepted his qualifying offer, signing a one-year deal that will pay him $517,000. While Hordi sometimes found himself a healthy scratch last year when the team needed to go with a speed instead of a physical his presence is key. He is the guy that the Preds can put in when we need that physical force. He is not afraid to drop the gloves with anyone.

Like I said…I don’t think Eklund of hockeybuzz.com will spend alot of time disecting these siging but for us Pred fans this a good day.

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Preds Schedule Announced

July 11, 2007

The NHL just released the schedule for the 07-08 hockey season and at first glance it looks favorable for the Preds.

– Saturday Night Fever: The Preds have 14 Saturday home games. For a team trying to get butts in seats nothing is better than a Saturday home game.

– Never Far Away: The Preds have only tow long road trips…a five game swing in Late October that takes them to the Northwest before ending in Chicago and Detroit and a six game trip that starts February 27th that takes the team from Buffalo all the way to the NW again and then back to Detroit for the final game. All in all not a real punishing road schedule (Nashville’s central location in the states does help this though)

– Eight Great At The End: The NHL has scheduled the last eight games all against division rivals. That is GREAT! This is not a Preds thing…this is league wide. Hopefully this will lead to some great races for division titles at the end of the year. A great move by the NHL!