Alexander Radulov is back, folks, and the Nashville Predators' drive to the playoffs can now well and truly get underway. WKRN aired footage of his arrival at the airport in Nashville, accompanied by his North American agent Jay Grossman (in the jacket, with glasses, walking a ways behind Rads):
There will be a press conference at Bridgestone Arena this morning at 9:30 a.m. (streamed live on the Preds' website), so feel free to use this as a "Press Conference thread" once that gets rolling. Afterward, he'll skate with the team in practice. This morning on 102.5's The 1st Quarter, Barry Trotz indicated that he'll likely start on a line with David Legwand and Patric Hornqvist. We'll have more on line combos later today, for those of you who've wanted to chew on those questions.
And now, on to your morning hockey reading...
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Nashville Predators News
Counseling Session- "The Trap" - Predlines
Dan didn't see last night's game being as bad as the scoreboard indicated.
Darcy Hordichuk reflects back on his friendship with Alexander Radulov - Nashville Predators Examiner
Hordi recalls his glory days with Rudi.
Will Radulov the Renegade destroy the chemistry on the Predators? | Edmonton Journal
One Edmonton scribe calls foul.
Finally! Radulov arrives in Nashville | The Tennessean
Optimism is riding high in the Preds' dressing room.
Nashville Predators Set Franchise Record For Sellouts In A Season With 21 - Nashville Predators
Pretty awesome stuff. Assuming they sell out Saturday vs. Winnipeg and the home finale, that's at least 23.
Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey
NHL: The NHLPA's Donald Fehr brings invaluable experience to the bargaining table - ESPN
Before labelling him the Prince of Darkness, read this profile of the NHLPA leader.
Rangers-Devils staged brawl earns rave reviews - The Globe and Mail
While a portion of the hockey world looks to reduce or ban fighting, the NHL can't deny the broad-based fan interest in brawls like the recent one between the Devils & Rangers.
Dallas-born Austin Smith ready to pursue a career in the NHL - The Dallas Morning News
He's like a Texas version of Blake Geoffrion (OK, without the lineage).
Coach Vigneault’s time in Vancouver is nearing end - The Province
Yup, someone actually wrote a newspaper column saying that Alain Vigneault should be fired after this season.
A Canucks Supporter Goes Undercover as a Lightning Fan, Part 2 " SMUG NATION
Wherein the clandestine Canadian takes in a Toronto beatdown of the Lightning.
The 10 Most Offensively Gifted Enforcers in the NHL - The Hockey Writers
Two Preds make this list.
The NHL's Most Interesting Name: Wrapping up the 2000s - Arctic Ice Hockey
Ending with a Nashville Predator? That's nice.
A quick conversation with Bill James, the baseball stats king, about hockey stats | Edmonton Journal
James concludes this interview with an observation about stats & love. Yup, really.
Leafs fans now chant ‘Fire Burkie' - The Globe and Mail
I imagine that since he just made a head coaching change, Brian Burke has bought himself a little more time to turn things around in Toronto.
One-on-One With CapGeek.com Founder Matthew Wuest | The Hockey Writers
Meet the man behind one of the most useful hockey sites around.
Shane Doan’s blatant elbow to Jamie Benn’s head sparks melee; suspension next? (VIDEO) | Puck Daddy
Yup, that was certainly blatant.
Radulov My Czech Zadek: Hemsky Pots Hat Trick In Oilers Win Over Predators - The Copper & Blue
Even Ales Hemsky knows good luck when he sees it.
Flash a-ah: Hawks 5 - Blue Jackets 1 - Second City Hockey
The Blackhawks are within arm's reach of Detroit after clobbering Columbus.
San Jose turns in back to back regulation losses, fall 5-2 to the Los Angeles Kings - Fear The Fin
The Sharks are stumbling to the finish, squandering opportunities to make up ground.
Flames at Avalanche Recap: Colorado Burns The Flames 2-1 In Overtime; Climb To Seventh In The West - Mile High Hockey
This was a critical matchup featuring two teams fighting for a playoff berth, and Colorado took home the prize.
Hat-trick hero James Neal, Penguins turn on the flair, soar past Jets 8-4 - PensBurgh
Sidney Crosby had four assist last night. That makes nine in the four games since he's returned to the Pittsburghlineup. That's just sick.
Panthers withstand barrage; top Flyers 2-1 - Litter Box Cats
The Florida Panthers have now won 5 straight, and are on the way to their first division title.
New York Islanders 5 (EN), Toronto Maple Leafs 2: Pouncing on the Infirm - Lighthouse Hockey
John Tavares tallied three assists to lead the Islanders to victory.