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Weekend Notes: Lilja returns, Preds rest up for stretch drive

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While you're reveling in Team USA's spot in the gold medal game tomorrow, catch up on some hockey news from a busy weekend.

We've got several contract extensions, the return of Andreas Lilja, reviewing the USA-Canada rivalry, and more after the jump!

Pred Nation

Predators rest for march to playoffs | The Tennessean
In March, Nashville will play 17 games in 29 days, a stretch that could determine whether the Predators will make the playoffs. On Monday I'll completely break down the upcoming schedule, so watch for that.

Predators Top 20 prospects, Spring 2010 - Hockey's Future
The Predators continue to have one of the league's top farm systems, and Jonathan Blum has surpassed Colin Wilson as the top prospect in the organization.

Short Shifts Exclusive: Todd Richards
Our friends in Milwaukee got a chance to talk with Minnesota Wild head coach Todd Richards at a recent Admirals game.

Around the NHL

Rene Bourque Signs Multi-Year Extension With Calgary - SB Nation
A surprising move out of Calgary, considering that Rene Bourque isn't usually the type of player you give such an extension to.

Cal Clutterbuck Signed to 3 Year Extension - Hockey Wilderness
The Minnesota Wild have re-signed the NHL's leading hitter, Cal Clutterbuck to a three year extension. Just what everyone wanted to hear, I'm sure.

Kozlov requests trade due to reduced role  |
Expanding on Dirk's question from the other day, Chris Vivlamore reports that Slava Kozlov's trade request is from lack of playing time and consistently being a healthy scratch.

Red Wings place F Maltby on IR, activate D Lilja - NHL - Yahoo! Sports
Andreas Lilja is finally ready to return to action after his fight with Shea Weber, which was a year ago tomorrow. Great to see him back on the ice.

Does Peter Chiarelli have a trade already in place? - Stanley Cup of Chowder
Interesting news out of Boston, where there is heavy speculation that the Bruins already have a deal consummated. Is it Dan Hamhuis?

Some Sabres Could Be On The Move as NHL Trade Deadline Approaches - Die By The Blade
Buffalo has been rumored as a destination for Predators defenseman Dan Hamhuis. Check out Die By the Blade's list of guys that could be moved.

Winter Olympics

U.S. men's hockey team one win away from making more history - ESPN
While the "Miracle on Ice" comparisons are not very relevant for this group, I agree with Scott Burnside in that this run for the US men has been mind boggling.

Mason: A historic matchup in a rivalry for the ages
From Ryan Suter's uncle's hit on Wayne Gretzky in the 1991 Canada Cup to Canada downing the U.S. for gold at the 2002 Olympics, Gary Mason examines the history of the Canada-USA rivalry as the two meet again for Olympic gold on Sunday.

These 11 Olympians have been pleasant surprises - - All-Access Vancouver looks at 11 players who have been very pleasant surprises during the 2010 Winter Olymics, including Shea Weber.

MSNBC falls for fake Ryan Miller prank, offers on-air apology - Puck Daddy - NHL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
More NBC fail, this time buying a call from a guy that sounds nothing like the USA's all-everything keeper, and who also made several informational errors. Yeah, we didn't play Russia...