POSTED ON Saturday, 12.03.2011 / 4:18 PM
By Tom Callahan - Nashville Predators / Tom Callahan's 2011-12 Season Blog
We do focus a lot on the Nashville Predators Foundation and its far-reaching effects in Middle Tennessee. Tonight and tomorrow you have a chance to help out another excellent and deserving charity, Team Tootoo.

Team Tootoo is a fund set up through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee ( and goes to benefit children’s charities.

“Team Tootoo supports at-risk youth and suicide prevention,” said Tootoo. “Any athlete who has a pretty big following (should) take full advantage of it. I want to give back to the community. I’ve been here a lot of years and feel it’s right for me to give back. I’m honored to be a part of it.”

For those who may not be familiar, Jordin’s brother Terence took his own life at just 22 years of age, and Jordin has formed Team Tootoo “as a way to make the best of things.” The void left in a family is unknowable by anyone outside, and Tootoo hopes that he can help offer alternatives and hope through his initiative.

This weekend the Predators and Team Tootoo will offer bracelets for sale outside section 120 at the Buffalo game for $5 each or 3 for $10. All proceeds benefit the fund.

Sunday afternoon from 2-4 pm Jordin and Team Tootoo will be at Green Hills Mall outside of Nordtrom’s, collecting new and unwrapped toys for the Salvation Army Forgotten Angel Tree. Any fan who donates between 2-4 pm will receive an autograph from Tootoo.

During a time of year when we often get wrapped up in running around and being aggravated at our fellow man, I invite you to take a step back and reflect on your own life. Count your blessings if you will. And know that your contribution to help charities like Team Tootoo is felt right here in Middle Tennessee and is greatly appreciated.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

POSTED ON Monday, 11.28.2011 / 5:06 PM
By Tom Callahan - Nashville Predators / Tom Callahan's 2011-12 Season Blog
Just a quick check-in from Edmonton, Preds fans. Nashville is looking to kick the crud to the curb tonight as they seek the first win in four games against an Oilers team that has won the first two meetings of the season. A few updates for you include Taylor Hall is not playing tonight as the Oilers await the results of his shoulder MRI, and it looks like Magnus Paajarvi will slide into his spot on that line. Paajarvi has struggled this year, sitting almost as often as not and only registering one point so far this year. True, he is still very young but this chance on a top-6 unit may be what he needs to get things in gear. He showed he can use his size and speed last year, but the Oilers have seen none of it this season.

Good luck to Ian Herbers as he takes over as head coach of the Milwaukee Admirals after Kirk Muller took the reigns of the Carolina Hurricanes today. Many credit Montreal's deep playoff run to Muller's coaching last season, and it was only a matter of time before a spin of the coaching carousel induced him to ride. Good luck Kirk – but not when you play us!

Also out is Bruce Boudreau in Washington, as the Capitals slide continues. There are many reports that Boudreau lost the team and the recent swoon was to blame after a seven-game winning streak out of the chute. Looking at it from the outside, I have to wonder how much pressure was put on him to change the high-flying, freewheeling Caps into a defensive team because of playoff performance… And how much it contributed to his downfall this year? Maybe that roster as assembled has to run free to work. New head coach Dale Hunter certainly has his work cut out for him.

Finally, keep your eyes peeled for some massive line changes this evening. Barry Trotz indicated that sometimes he wants to send a message in practice, but sometimes he's also looking with an eye towards Plan A and B at the same time. So take what you will from the practice lines yesterday, and know that some were purely to stir the pot… And some you may see tonight. Here's what was out there yesterday:
Spaling – Fisher – Hornqvist
Kostitsyn – Geoffrion – Smith
Wilson – Legwand – Erat (most likely to stay together IMO)
Halischuk – Smithson – McGrattan/Tootoo

Whatever comes out of these groups, one thing is clear: Trotz is not happy with where the game is right now from anyone! Nashville needs more consistency of effort and to go back to playing the game "the right way" according to the coach – meaning hard work, winning battles, and not taking shortcuts.

They're back at it again tonight, so join us won't you? Puck drop from Edmonton is at 8:30 pm CST.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

POSTED ON Wednesday, 11.16.2011 / 2:31 PM
By Tom Callahan - Nashville Predators / Tom Callahan's 2011-12 Season Blog
Yesterday's game against Washington earns my early distinction for most exciting game of the year, and it certainly will be in the running once this season has reached its conclusion!

If you missed the game the other night, you missed some great hockey. A scoreless draw through 55 minutes that ended with four goals? Harumph you say! Well it happened, and for those who don't think scoreless hockey can be exciting - this was the game you lost your bet. Each team had several high-quality scoring chances and were turned away time and time again by Nashville's Pekka Rinne and Washington's Tomas Vokoun. Each goaltender played well, but Rinne deserved the win, turning in one of the best performances either Stu Grimson or I could remember having seen.

What I truly enjoyed about the game was Nashville's ability to bounce back, and that it was the captian Shea Weber who set up the tying goal exactly 30 seconds after the Caps' opening salvo. Weber charged into the rush down the right wing side and fed Martin Erat to knot things up quickly and really get the entire arena going.

Topping off the game was Colin Wilson's awesome goal and Pekka Rinne's 39 save performance. Every single fan I talked to after the game was pumped up and excited for the way things went. The win was dramatic and against one of the most purely talented teams in the NHL. Even though it was a Tuesday night, the energy in the building was amazing.

If you have some free time before the Predators head out on the road next week, try to catch the games against Toronto Thursday, Columbus Saturday or Edmonton next Tuesday. Both Toronto and Edmonton are off to good starts and have a lot of talent, while Columbus is always fun just because we are their Darth Vader you know. You never know what you'll miss out on if you don't make it to the game!

Now I'm going to rest up and see if I can't muster that same energy once again tomorrow night against the Leafs. Until next time, keep your stick on the ice!

POSTED ON Saturday, 10.22.2011 / 10:57 AM
By Tom Callahan - Nashville Predators / Tom Callahan's 2011-12 Season Blog
Because of today’s shortened timeline for the game, I’m going “old-school” and writing my game-day preview for you. I know, you’d much rather see my smiling (yet cold) face from Calgary but hey, I’m a radio guy and I improvise on the fly. So typing today’s out is what I’ve got.

Depending on what time you read this, keep your eyes peeled for some news on Nashville’s defensive corps today. It might already be posted on this fine web site, or if you aren’t able to surf at the appropriate time then check out our pre-game show at 2 pm CST on 102.5 The Game. Jim Diamond of The Examiner will also join us today as our guest for the first half hour.

Anders Lindback played really well and looked sharp coming off the bench against Calgary. I figured he’d be in line to get some work this road trip, but unfortunately that’s not the way you want to go about it. I’m encouraged that he did look so solid out there – especially considering he was tested early and often. Great to see. However, count on Pekka Rinne being back in net today. He’s our #1 guy and Nashville needs points on this road trip. And honestly, I really can’t fault Pekka for at least three of the four goals in the first period in Vancouver. It was just one of those nights.

Speaking of Vancouver, our effort was better, especially in the second and third periods. That said, penalty trouble really sabotaged any chance we had to get back in the game, and the team knows that. A gifted club like Vancouver will make you pay at some point, and while they went 2-for-10 on the man advantage, the Preds simply can’t give up that many chances again. Ever.

Calgary is struggling a little bit as well, and the Flames blew a late lead to the New York Rangers and eventually lost in OT the other night. It seems like a similar story to Nashville: get the special teams going, get better in the faceoff circle, rely on your goaltending. Miikka Kiprusoff has been good for the Flames but like Rinne, doesn’t score very often. So the Preds need to attack Calgary hard and get pucks at the net. It’s going to take a high volume of shots to get two or three unless Kipper has a rare off night (day?).

Finally, the Flames are talking about moving Brendan Morrison in the middle of Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay to give the line more creative flow. Morrison has looked good the little bit he’s played there but I think the only thing that concerns the Flames is will it mean putting all the offensive eggs in one basket? It certainly would make it a little easier for Nashville’s defensive matchups on the road.

Okay, that’s it from Calgary. Don’t forget we’re on this afternoon with a 3 pm CST start and 2 pm CST pre-game show on 102.5 The Game. TV featuring Pete and Terry will be on Fox Sports Tennessee today.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice!

POSTED ON Wednesday, 10.12.2011 / 3:48 PM
By Tom Callahan - Nashville Predators / Tom Callahan's 2011-12 Season Blog
If the playoffs started tomorrow… I’d wonder where six months of my life just went!

There are always interesting storylines taking place this time of year as new faces settle into new places and are suddenly judged on two or three games. People are willing to dole out a pass/fail score for both GM and player pretty quickly on moves that were supposed to do more than bring hope. In a way it’s odd that Nashville only occasionally makes a splash during the summer as it seems to be the norm around the league. On the other hand, when you look at a Preds team that started 2-0 and Barry Trotz has yet to see the effort he wants out of it, maybe there’s something to sticking with the kids.

Trotz has said this week that he hasn’t seen the five-on-five play he would like from the team, yet Nashville’s power play has clicked in both games thus far and of course having Pekka Rinne in net really gives you a chance to win every time out. Knowing that this team does have more to give even strength (traditionally a hallmark of the club) should actually incite some confidence in fans.

It’s nice to see the line of Legwand, Smith and Wilson producing points early on. Legwand may be the settling presence the two younger players need, and while I don’t expect Smith to continue his epic scoring pace I do think this line may be one that stays together more often than not. What will be interesting is to see if Legwand is needed in a shutdown role if this line stays intact as-is.

Another great and encouraging sign is seeing Pekka playing at such a high level so early. Last season Anders Lindback was forced to step in and contribute quickly, but fortunately Rinne has managed to get through the weekend without incident and things seem to be developing nicely for his rhythm. It would be great to see him put together another season like last year (only better!) and so far I can’t see any reason why not.

I hope you can come out and join us for opening night or perhaps on Saturday as the Devils come to town. It should be a great couple of games – and remember to wear your gold!

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

POSTED ON Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 11:07 AM
By Tom Callahan - Nashville Predators / Tom Callahan's 2011-12 Season Blog
Our Central Division season preview series concludes with a look at tomorrow night's Season Opener opponent, the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are perhaps the most-changed team in the Central Division this season as far impact players now in uniform. Probably the biggest acquisition of the summer was bringing in Jeff Carter from Philadelphia. Carter is a 40-goal scorer and may or may not play alongside Rick Nash this season, but his mere presence will certainly take the load off Columbus’ long-suffering offensive icon. If they are on a line together, it will be all the more dangerous. If the two are split, then chances are good for one or the other to find a favorable matchup at times during the game. Vinny Prospal is a good candidate to play with this line on the right side as a veteran presence who can dish the puck.

The second unit will be fine for the Blue Jackets as well (Umberger, Vermette, Brassard) but beyond that there are question marks. As is the case in Nashville, Columbus has several young players who have the ability to make an impact, but consistency could be an issue because of the relative lack of experience. Cam Atkinson is a rookie who has made the opening night roster and could prove to be an impact player.

Defensively bringing in James Wisniewski after a career-high 10 goals and 51 points will help, but he’ll miss the first eight games of the regular season due to a suspension. While part of the deal with him was his “edge”, with new sheriff Brendan Shanahan in town those players (especially with prior suspensions) have been put on notice.

Radek Martinek is another blueliner who will likely end up paired with Marc Methot in what head coach Scott Arniel envisions as his “shutdown pair”. At 35 it will be interesting to see how Martinek handles the 82-game schedule given his injury history but he will definitely be counted on in big situations for the Blue Jackets.

In net, the Blue Jackets have a former Calder winner in Steve Mason who has never quite returned to form after his spectacular rookie season. But Mason will have a new goaltending coach this season, and perhaps a new approach will help his game. To be frank, if Mason doesn’t shoulder the load well this season the Blue Jackets don’t have much behind him. Former Pred Mark Dekanich has played all of 50 NHL minutes and veteran journeyman Curtis Sanford has been pressed into duty as the backup since Dekanich is out with a high ankle sprain until November. If Mason struggles, it will be a very long year for Columbus.

POSTED ON Wednesday, 10.05.2011 / 9:30 AM
By Tom Callahan - Nashville Predators / Tom Callahan's 2011-12 Season Blog
Our season preview continues with a look at the Central Division, turning our attention today to the Chicago Blackhawks with a preview from Hawks radio voice John Wiedeman.

Say goodbye to the Stanley Cup hangover!

After enduring a semi-dysfunctional season where the magic of the 2009-10 Stanley Cup Championship campaign slowly faded into oblivion, the Chicago Blackhawks are poised and ready to jump back into the fight for the NHL's Western Conference Championship. Off season changes weren't as plentiful as those that took place in the abbreviated summer of 2010, but the Blackhawks did take advantage of additional salary cap space to make several significant, thought-provoking and possibly controversial moves.

With the focus beginning on the crucial area between the pipes, Corey Crawford will be back in net as the unquestioned Blackhawks starter after supplanting veteran Marty Turco during last season. Turco was not resigned for this season but instead, the Blackhawks signed veteran free agent Ray Emery to a training camp tryout. Emery, who backstopped the Ottawa Senators to the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals only to see his club go down in 6 games to Anaheim, will compete for the backup position with the Blackhawks. Most recently, Emery was in net for the Anaheim Ducks who lost to the Nashville Predators in last season's playoffs. Emery's main competition comes from Czech Republic native Alexander Salak, who was acquired by the Blackhawks from the Florida Panthers along with Michael Frolik at last season's trade deadline. Salak finished last season by leading Farjestad to the Swedish Elite League championship. Widely thought to be the best goaltender in European hockey, Salak will test his skills against North America's top shooters.

The Chicago blueline has been bolstered with two key additions. At the NHL Draft in late June, slick-skating, offensively minded D-man Brian Campbell was dealt to the Florida Panthers for center Rostislav Olesz and in doing so, freed up a little under 4 million dollars in cap space. When July 1st rolled around the Blackhawks didn't make a huge splash as they did in previous summers where they signed the likes of Campbell and Marian Hossa, but they did sign two defensemen with a penchant for playing it physical. Steve Montador was signed as a UFA from the Buffalo Sabres and Sean O'Donnell was inked to a UFA deal as his time with the Philadelphia Flyers is now officially over. Montador will give the Blackhawks a right-handed shot who can play in all situations and who could give the Blackhawks between 18 to 22 minutes of average ice time per game. His plus/minus stats and penalty minutes reflect a tough yet stabilizing presence for the Blackhawks D-corps. His right handed shot will give Head Coach Joel Quenneville additional options when formulating power play strategy and take the pressure off of Brent Seabrook, who has had to supply most of what was needed from the right point in the past few seasons. O'Donnell is a tough, experienced veteran blueliner who throws huge hits, fights, plays defensive defense, makes the safe play and is a calming, undeniably big brother-like presence in the dressing room. As he enters the 2011-12 season at age 39, O'Donnell might well be looking at his last shot at another Stanley Cup Championship as he won the Cup with Anaheim in 2007. In addition to the signings of Montador and O'Donnell, the Blackhawks signed Sammy Lepisto to a UFA deal from the Phoenix Coyotes, after electing not to resign previously acquired defenseman Chris Campoli who then became an unrestricted free agent. Lepisto gives the Blackhawks depth, stability and experience at the defense position, one that is now considered to be of strength rather than weakness. Rounding out the blueline corps will be incumbents Duncan Keith, Niclas Hjalmarsson, Nick Leddy and John Scott. Keith will look to recapture the form he used during the 2009-10 season where he not only won a Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman, but a Gold Medal with Team Canada at the Olympics in Vancouver and a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks. Leddy will be playing in his 2nd season and his outstanding play during his rookie campaign is believed to have been a big reason why super talent Brian Campbell was considered expendable. Hjalmarsson is the Blackhawks shot blocking machine as his body will attest when the game is over. His steady defensive play never receives the notoriety it should, but has been a crucial ingredient in the Blackhawks success in the past 3 seasons. John Scott is listed as a defenseman but will probably be inserted into the lineup as a forward as well, as the hulking giant can play both positions.

Up front, the Blackhawks top 5 forwards are as good as any in the NHL. That list begins with Captain Jonathon Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa and Dave Bolland. Toews will occupy the #1 center position and try to improve on a career season in 2010-11. Patrick Kane, who scored the possibly the most famous goal in Blackhawks history in Philadelphia against the Flyers in game #6 of overtime of the Stanley Cup Finals. Kane, whose goal ended a 49 year cup drought starting a celebration that helped produce the aformentioned Stanley Cup hangover, is coming off of off season wrist surgery but will be ready to play when the puck drops to start of the season. Versatile sniper Patrick Sharp inked a contract extension during the summer and is back in the Blackhawks fold for 5 more seasons, but will begin the campaign on the mend after an emergency appendectomy on September 13th. Sharp's return is expected to be in mid-October. Marian Hossa's injury-riddled season in 2010-11 was one he'd like to forget and will strive to put up Marian Hossa-like offensive numbers in 2011-12. And Dave Bolland has quietly but confidently elevated his game to the point where he should be a favorite for the #2 center position. When Bolland rejoined the Blackhawks in game #4 of their playoff series against the Vancouver Canucks, the Blackhawks surged, tying the series at 3 games apiece after it had been 3 games to none in Vancouver's favor. The all purpose Bolland could well be the most underrated player on the Blackhawks roster. The supporting cast that will comprise lines 3 and 4 could be decided among the following players: Michael Frolik; Andrew Brunette; Viktor Stalberg; Ben Smith; Brian Bickell; Rostislav Olesz; Daniel Carcillo; Jamal Mayers and possibly Jeremy Morin and Marcus Kruger. Of this list, Brunette, Olesz, Mayers and Carcillo are newcomers with all arriving via free agent signing or trade. Brunette is a known power play specialist and is known throughout the NHL as a guy who can create. Carcillo joins the Blackhawks after a 3-year stint with the Flyers and didn't waste a second in announcing his intentions to several players around the league. Known to be an irascible, quick-tempered player who can change the tone and flow of a game with a single body check, Carcillo also possesses an ability to play the game. Olesz is a former first round draft pick of the Florida Panthers who can show flashes of offensive brilliance but inconsistency has been his ally in his 6 year career. The move to Chicago could be a career altering experience for the youngster, as he'll be surrounded by talented players who can only help make him a better player. Mayers comes to the Blackhawks with abundant experience as a checking forward who wins faceoffs in all 3 zones and will play it any way an opponent wishes. At age 36, Mayers knows this might be his best opportunity to win a Stanley Cup as he is now reunited with the coach who brought him to the NHL back in the late 1990's in Joel Quenneville, who was then the head coach of the St. Louis Blues.

In summary, the general feeling among hockey people in Chicago is that health permitting, the Chicago Blackhawks should once again be a contender for the Western Conference title, along with the Stanley Cup. Unlike the summer of 2010, the Blackhawks players got quite a bit of much-needed rest and recuperatory time. The new Blackhawks players will be supremely motivated to make this season their best ever, as many know that this could also be their best shot at a Stanley Cup. And rest assured all of the Blackhawks will know that the expectation of winning is now more present among the members of the organization and fan base than at any time in franchise history. 2011-12 could well be another of the most memorable in Chicago Blackhawks history.

POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 3:27 PM
By Tom Callahan - Nashville Predators / Tom Callahan's 2011-12 Season Blog
As part of our season preview, I've reached out to my broadcasting cohorts from our Central Division rivals to get their insight to how things are shaping up in the division. Starting in order of finish from last season, we open with the defending Division Champs, the Detroit Red Wings from their radio voice Ken Kal.

There's a few new faces in the Red Wings organization this season both on and off the ice. Gone are Kris Draper, Bryan Rafalski and Chris Osgood. They retired during the off season.

Ian White and Mike Commodore are new additions on the back end. White is a right handed shooting defenseman and will likely take the place of Brian Rafaski. He will be teamed up with veteran Nicklas Lidstrom and will play the right point on the power play.
Commodore is a big defenseman that gives Detroit some size.

Mike Babcock has two new assistant coaches this season. Bill Peters spent the past three seasons with the Rockfors IceHogs and Jeff Blashill who spent last season as the head coach of the Western Michigan Broncos will join Babcock behind the bench.

One of the goals for the Red Wings this season is to cut down on the goals against and to play tighter "D" infront of Jimmy Howard and Ty Conklin.

Up front the Red Wings have two of the best 2-way players in the NHL in Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Both players are used in all situations and are very dangerous.

Johan Franzen (AKA The Mule) can score from anywhere on the ice, Todd Bertuzzi and Tomas Holmstrom are big bodies and make their presence known infront of the net.

Dan Cleary and Jiri Hudler can score. Valtteri Filppula is a playmaker who is creative with the puck and Darren Helm continues to impress everyone with his speed and is really improving with his touch around the net. Helm, Drew Miller and Patrick Eaves are grinders and very effective on the penalty kill. Justin Abdelkader is a hard worker who adds muscle to the team with his hard nose play.
Detroit signed Fabian Brunnstrom to a two-way deal on October 3rd. Brunnstrom played for Dallas in the past. He scored a hat trick in his first pro game with the Stars. Cory Emmerton who played most of last season in Grand Rapids will get a chance to show his game to the fans this season.

The Red Wings have depth on the blueline with 7-time Norris trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom, Ian White, Nicklas Kronwall and Brad Stuart and Jonathan Eriksson. Jakub Kindl is ready for "the show" after developing his game in the minors. Detroit has not missed the playoffs since Nicklas Lidstrom has been with the team.

The Red Wings have qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs in 20 straight seasons plus they've won 4 Stanley Cups (97-98-02-08) during that span. Winning the Central Division title won't be easy this season. This could be the best division in hockey. Detroit, Chicago, Nashville, St. Louis and Columbus are all improved. It's very possible that 4 teams could qualify for the playoffs from the Central!
Let the games begin!

POSTED ON Tuesday, 09.20.2011 / 10:11 AM
By Tom Callahan - Nashville Predators / Tom Callahan's 2011-12 Season Blog

I looked in the mirror before leaving this morning. Something is definitely different. Oh wait, that’s a suit with a shirt and tie. It’s time to fly…


Our first broadcast of the year is tonight and we’re going to do the game from Baltimore as Nashville takes on Washington a day after playing a pair of games in Florida against the Panthers. Nashville split those games and pretty much used everyone in camp to play the doubleheader. I like the very effective bit of being able to get two games in and evaluate as many guys as possible early in the proceedings.

Tonight’s game, which airs live on 102.5 The Game starting at 5 pm (click here to listen live) with our new one-hour pre-game show, will be like yesterday’s in that I expect defense and goaltenders to be rusty, young forwards to miss high and wide as they try to pick those corners and impress the brass, and one or two guys will stand out for both teams. I’m also looking forward to seeing more from the Caps, who did make a few big moves in the off-season and collected former Pred Joel Ward in the process. I’m going to have a chat with him on the pre-game if he’s available.


Yes, we’re going to one hour this year for our pre-game show. This is yet another wonderful advantage of being on The Game! We can do wall-to-wall Predators this year AND get in a look around the league, filling you in on more than just our team and division. We’ll have more time for guests and really can expand things to give you more hockey with more detail. I’m excited for this! I will host the first half hour, joined at the midway point by Willy Daunic, who will return to the Predators again this year as host. Thanks for listening!


It’s looking like the battles are starting already for ice time. Blake Geoffrion had 1-1-2 yesterday in the late game, and Jordin Tootoo (2A), Sergei Kostitsyn (3A) and Colin Wilson (1-2-3) also had strong games in split squad action. This should be one of the more interesting and competitive camps of late.


I’m looking forward to bringing an exciting season of hockey to all of you this year – new jerseys, simplified color scheme, and some pretty good team confidence coming off last season’s playoffs. I’m also thinking this could really be the year we start looking at the 2009 draft class almost like we see 2003, only for FORWARDS. That’s right, I said it. Yes, Ryan Ellis was our first pick in that draft but I think it’s the forwards who have the chance to make an impact and over the next several seasons you’ll see guys like Zach Budish, Taylor Beck, Michael Latta and Craig Smith begin to make an impact. I also like Gabriel Bourque as well. It doesn’t hurt that both Ellis and Mattias Ekholm are competing for an opening night spot on defense. Mark my words, two or three years from now this draft will be a major jackpot for Nashville.

Okay, that’s just my random thoughts for now. Until next time, keep your stick on the ice!

POSTED ON Friday, 09.16.2011 / 2:11 PM
By Tom Callahan - Nashville Predators / Tom Callahan's 2011-12 Season Blog
Today had a familiar feeling to it as I entered Centennial Sportsplex early in the morning. The ice was fresh, the lights weren't quite on yet, and players and personnel alike were slowly filtering into the complex. Today was Day One of training camp. A time of hope and smiles and fresh coffee and fresh gear.

Right now everyone is equal. You play your way in right now. Starting with fitness testing today, the players will sink or swim each on his own merit. And for the rest of us we once again prepare for story lines we didn't anticipate to develop.

It was good to see the smiles on the faces around the room and guys who have genuinely looked forward to coming back to work so to speak. A few jokes and many handshakes were exchanged. And the buzz slowly settles in with the promise of another chance to win it all.

Yes, it is that time. For the next six months or so, life revolves around a little black disc. And it couldn't come at a better time.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

And to everyone on the twittersphere, feel free to send questions to me through Twitter with hashtag #PredsRadio.

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1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67


S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
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