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Friday fun: Buzz builds in Nashville as the opener approaches

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The Nashville Predators' season opener is just one day away, and the hockey conversation around town is really starting to roll now; take a gander over at the FanPosts in the right sidebar to see some fine contributions made in recent days, or the discussion surrounding the Alexander Radulov situation from last night. One definitely gets the sense that Nashville fans are ready for that first puck to drop in Dallas.

After the jump, we've got updates on the team as they fly out this morning, word of a new hockey movie in development, and the never-ending dream of Barry Trotz to get point-per-game production out of Martin Erat...

Predators News

Erat out to erase doubts about taking his game to a new level - Nashville City Paper
Barry Trotz continues to demand more offensive production from Martin Erat, but really, is there any reason to believe he'll get it? What makes this year different than the last two?

Predators goalies await decision calmly - The Tennessean
John Glennon checks in with Dan Ellis and Pekka Rinne as they wait to see how gets the start in Game #1.

Predators shootout participants may surprise you - Nashville Predators Examiner
Jim Diamond writes about the shootout at the end of Thursday's practice, and some of the unexpected names that might show up in the shootout for Nashville this season.

Preds goalies: 1A + 1B = 0 - thinktrain
Rob Robinson worries about Barry Trotz's handling of the Nashville goaltenders.

Measuring the Impact – Steve Sullivan | Hockey Independent
David Singleton tries to assess the impact that Steve Sullivan had on the Predators lineup last season.

The View from 111: Predators Face Off Luncheon- The Season Kickoff
Mark writes up his experience at the annual luncheon event held by the Preds, and shares what the team's leadership had to say to the assembled fans.

Jordin Tootoo misses Thursday practice; questionable for Saturday's opener - Nashville Predators Examiner
Jim Diamond reports that the Preds might be without #22 for the opening game in Dallas.

Around the NHL

Opening night wrapup - All Things Avs
Adrian Dater shares all the scoop from Joe Sakic Night in Denver, during which the Avalanche clobbered the Sharks 5-2.

Thursday practice update - Andrew's Dallas Stars Blog
As we look forward to tomorrow's opener at Dallas, two key Stars are questionable for the big game.

Kevin Smith turns his camera on the love of hockey - - NHL Insider
Kevin Smith wants to make "the Forrest Gump of sports movies that just happens to take place in the world of hockey." I'm in...

Fire & Ice: Brendan Shanahan no longer on Devils
Future Hall of Famer Brendan Shanahan has left the New Jersey Devils, after the emergence of younger players took away his chance at a prominent role.

Spector's Hockey - The Blackhawks Dilemma
Lyle Richardson outlines the difficult choices facing Chicago next summer, with several players eligible for new contracts, and a falling salary cap.

Down Goes Brown: 2009-2010 Season Preview: The Central Division
Definitely the cleverest preview of the Central Division that you'll see...

Red Wings have company now |
Mike Russo writes about the incredibly competitive Central Division, from his perspective in Minnesota.