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J is for Jethro

The Nashville Predators are already being lauded as an early pick for Western Conference leadership this year (along with Anaheim), but today they took a bold step in validating those predictions by signing free agent J.P. Dumont to a two-year contract. This gives the Preds unrivaled depth up front, with Jason Arnott, Steve Sullivan and Paul Kariya supported by a bevy of 20-goal scorers like Scott Hartnell, Martin Erat, and Dumont. Toss in Josef Vasicek, David Legwand, and the highly anticipated Alexander Radulov, and it looks like Nashville is ready to shake off the image of gritty, overachieving scrubs that they've had in years past. Instead of fighting for 2-1 victories and relying on Tomas Vokoun to outplay the other goalie every night, the Preds should have enough firepower to make other teams adjust their gameplans.

Worse news yet for rivals like Detroit is that this deal still leaves Nashville waaaaaaaay under the salary cap, meaning that they'll have the flexibility to fill those few missing pieces (like a bruising defenseman) close to the trading deadline if they're in a position to contend for a Cup. A real giant could be in the making down in Music City... 

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How I'm Trying To Make Money Sports Blogging

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I considered diving into the world of internet marketing myself, but I felt that my friends would hate me for bugging them about stuff. I mean, it's pretty low-risk high-reward, so it's tempting. I wouldn't mind reading about tips on how to maximize impact of blogging in general to make it a legitimate income source. Trying to make money at sports blogging can be a very touchy subject - for the vast majority of us, this is an activity we pursue to both exercise our creativity and share our love of the game, whether it's hockey, football, badminton, whatever, with fellow fans. Mixing that personal conversation with a commercial message can turn people off, especially if it becomes too intrusive for the reader.

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Where are my tickets, Mr. Holland?

While working on a piece about the 10th anniversary of the great Colorado/Detroit game at Joe Louis Arena, I caught myself reflecting on some of the great games I've had the fortune of seeing in Detroit during the 1990's, through a variety of means. Then another thing came to mind - when I'm in attendance, the Red Wings win. I'm on a huge personal winning streak here, so perhaps the Red Wings front office would want to bolster their chances during the upcoming playoffs and make sure I'm in the house for those critical games? I can make myself available...

June 4, 1995: Detroit takes Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals from Chicago, 3-2 (although the Hawks put one of the goalpost as the final horn sounds). Wow, has it been that long since the Blackhawks achieved anything? Ticket courtesy of a college buddy who had a spare.

October 13, 1995: The Wings pummel the Edmonton Oilers in their home opener, 9-0. After the painful Finals sweep against New Jersey the…