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Can Sully Ride to the Predators Rescue?

Updates on the progress (or lack thereof) on the Steve Sullivan injury front are few and far between, but this morning's Toronto Sun includes a note from Timmins, Ontario, Sully's hometown, where the Predators sniper is co-hosting a charity golf tournament. Based on the comments he's giving, there's no certainly no cause for optimism that we'll see him playing hockey anytime soon:

Sullivan's back problems -- which forced him to miss the entire 2007-08 National Hockey League season -- have limited his efforts on the links to only chipping and putting.

"My back can't handle a full swing yet," he said yesterday.

Sullivan suffered a back injury during the overtime period of game against the Montreal Canadiens on Feb. 22, 2007.

In January, Predators general manager David Poile said the hope was for his star winger to return for the '08-09 season. But Sullivan concedes that his back hasn't been responding as well to treatment as team officials would like.

Ugh. With Alexander Radulov the leading contender for the Benedict Arnold Trophy, that leaves Nashville with only four proven top-six forwards, and most of the free agent market dried up. In order to fill out the Arnott and Legwand lines, one possibility might be to see if Jan Hlavac could be brought back; he seemed to mesh very well with Legwand and Erat, and that would leave the last spot on the Arnott line open to Vern Fiddler, Jordin Tootoo, or perhaps Jonas (err... Patric) Hornqvist if he's as ready for prime-time NHL action as is hoped...