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Thursday afternoon notes: Sharks regain some bite

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Besides a few more takes on the Alexander Radulov saga, this afternoon's hockey notes are loaded with injury updates. The San Jose Sharks get a key player back tonight, Sidney Crosby prepares for his first game in months, and in Washington, one star works towards game-readiness while another left practice after taking a big hit...

Only 5 more home games left... take the OTF Discount and save on tickets!

Nashville Predators News

Alex Radulov wants to play for Nashville Predators, but KHL team won’t yet terminate contract | Puck Daddy
Well, the first part of that headline is good news. The rest? We'll see. There's a little more detail here than in the Sport-Express article we linked to this morning.

Why the KHL needs to step in and split Radulov and Salavat Yulaev | The Predatorial
Should the KHL step in to free up the logjam and allow Radulov return for this playoff run? I'm not quite sure they'd do it for the sake of KHL/NHL relations, but if it frees up him to instead sign with St. Petersburg SKA over the summer (as mused by @SlavaMalamud), that might work.

On Radulov, and What He Means to KHL and NHL - Puck Worlds
SB Nation's international man of hockey mystery lays out the big-picture implications of the Radulov story.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

Havlat will be back in lineup tonight against Nashville | Working the Corners
Well... this just made things a bit more interesting. Havlat has scored a ton against Nashville in his career.

New York Rangers profess their apathy toward Sidney Crosby’s return for Penguins | Puck Daddy
Did anyone seriously expect anything different? Are the Rangers supposed to pump up Crosby's tires, as it were?

As Backstrom takes steps toward recovery, Ovechkin’s collision gives Capitals a scare - The Washington Post
Ovie slammed into teammate Mike Knuble in an unexpected collision. Those are often the most dangerous, because either or both guys are unprepared to take the hit.

Canes Now - Pitkanen: 'It's been a long time, too long" | blogs
One reason why Carolina has had such a tough time this season is that they've missed defenseman Joni Pitkanen. He may finally be close to game readiness.

No Help for Ed : Tom Benjamin's NHL Blog ::
Are the days of independent media over? It certainly does seem to be the rule that outlets with privileged access are much less harsh with any criticism than outsiders.

The NHL's Most Interesting Name: 2000s Part III - Arctic Ice Hockey
A current Predators lands on the list...

Jerkfaces, It's A Setback - Second City Hockey
The loss of Jonathon Toews to Chicago is a potential season-killer. They'll still probably make the playoffs, but won't have much hope there.

No more Mr. Nice Carlyle - The Globe and Mail
Since the coaching change in Toronto hasn't exactly led to a jump start, it's time to prepare for an off-season player purge.

Awesome: Pint ‘o beer St. Patrick’s Day jerseys for the Chicago Express | Puck Daddy
Very, very cool stuff here.

It's Official: Florida Panthers 'JetBlue' Third Jerseys No More ... Cats Wearing Third Sweaters One More Time | On Frozen Pond
This is a great idea. The Florida Panthers are retiring their 3rd jersey in style.

5 non-sanctioned games pro hockey players consistently play throughout the season | Backhand Shelf
Oh, to have ice time for fun stuff like this. As a rec-league player, it's pretty much "get on the ice, finish your game, move on."

This street legal "Zamboni" probably only appeals to people who read hockey blogs | Backhand Shelf
Now THIS is the way to travel to a game...