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Saturday's notes: Open practices start today at Nashville Predators Training Camp

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Excitement is in the air as Preds fans get their first look at the team this morning as they hit the ice at Centennial Sportsplex in the first open practice of Training Camp. There are jobs to be won up and down the roster, whether it's a battle for a Top 6 winger spot or a bottom-pair job on the blueline. Numerous careers stand at a turning point over the next few weeks, so expect the competition to be pretty heated.

So check your training camp schedule, print off the Blue/White/Silver team rosters, and head on down there! Oh, but don't forget to read your morning hockey news first...

Forechecker's Fantasy Hockey System ebook now available! | Hockey Gear HQ
Just in time for all of you eager Fantasy Hockey managers, I’ve compiled a free ebook to share my experience from years of playing fantasy sports, and the system I’ve developed over time that helps me draft a competitive team that is specifically tailored to the scoring categories used in that particular league. This is also where you'll find my offensive projections for the Nashville Predators prior to Opening Night.

Nashville Predators News

Hockey Night in Nashville: Smashville roundtable: Training camp edition
A bounty of bloggers speak to which aspect of training camp they're most looking forward to.

The 303:30 – training camp preview with Pekka Rinne and Barry Trotz | Section 303
Did Colin Wilson get his head on straight during the playoffs after being scratched against Anaheim? Barry Trotz speaks to that point during a media scrum included here.

Puck Daddy Season Preview 2011-12: Nashville Predators - Puck Daddy
The general point is on target, but there are a few groan-inducers here (calling the Preds out for trapping, saying "the future of the franchise" depends on building on last season's success, etc.).

Keep ‘Em Coming: How the Nashville Predators Can Roll Four Lines | The Predatorial
Jeremy proposes throwing Craig Smith right into the deep end, in order to give the Preds a dynamic 4-line attack up front.

Mike Fisher rehabbing from shoulder injury as training camp begins: Local fan’s tale - NHL - Yahoo! Sports
Joshua wants to see Mike Fisher get back to 100% before suiting up, rather than rush back for Game One.

Nashville Predators gladly return to ice - The Tennessean
It's true - when you've got a lot on your mind, just getting out there and playing can clear your head.

Predators begin training camp - FS TN
John Manasso draws a comparison to the mood heading into this training camp, and the one for the Atlanta Thrashers after the death of teammate Dan Snyder in 2003.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

SLAM! Sports - Lombardi aims to be healthy
Matthew Lombardi's goal to be ready for Game One may be unrealistic, but it's sounding more and more likely that he'll be back in action soon. We all understand why David Poile had to dump his contract, but it will naturally lead to "what might have been" questions if he returns quickly and plays well for the Leafs.

The Dark Blue Jacket: Part V: The Dark Blue Jacket's Definitive History of the CBJ
As this series comes up to the present day, Columbus fans have reason to believe that the team's best days are at hand.

Chicago Blackhawks: Patrick Kane pretty much ready - chicagotribune.com
The big question with the Blackhawks is whether their star winger will be 100% by Opening Night.

Flames hope for early spark - The Globe and Mail
Calgary finished at a pretty good pace last season, and if they come out of the gates early playing that way, could return to the playoffs.