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Thursday afternoon notes: Preds getting healthy, Montreal GM fired

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Outstanding news leads off this afternoon's hockey notes - a trio of regulars are expected to return to the lineup in time for tomorrow's showdown at Detroit, a game which should prove pivotal in determining which team gets home-ice advantage in the 1st round of the playoffs.

That's all well & good, but we've got two appearances by Andre the Giant, too, so follow on after the jump...

Nashville Predators News

Predators to be at full strength against Red Wings | The Tennessean
Erat, Josi, and Tootoo available tomorrow? Now things will get really interesting. It may take a game or two to work the kinks out, but seeing a healthy lineup is thrilling.

Nashville Predators Economic Impact Report - February 2012
As posted online by the Tennessean, feel free to dig into the details of the analysis the Preds presented to the city as supporting material for their arena lease negotiations.

Paul McCann - Thoughts for an Off-Day
Among other items, Paul has the podcast for last night's SlapShot Radio posted.

It’s time for the Predators to Run This Town again… | Section 303
They probably need to make a new version with the gold jerseys, but yeah.

Preds counting on Radulov in playoffs - FS Tennessee
Bygones are bygones, it's time to focus on the road ahead.

Anthony Bitetto, who just signed his entry-level contract with the Preds, took to Twitter to express his excitement:

I couldn't help thinking of this after reading that, though:

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

Pierre Gauthier Fired as Canadiens GM - Habs Eyes On The Prize
This is about the least surprising news ever.

Should Julien BriseBois, Pierre McGuire or Patrick Roy Replace Pierre Gauthier As Habs G.M.? | Edmonton Journal
...and here are a few possible replacements.

EA Sports giving fans opportunity to vote for NHL 13 cover athlete | Puck Daddy
Fire up those browsers and start voting, folks. Who should represent the Predators in this battle for the NHL 13 cover? Pekka Rinne, or David Legwand? Seriously, that's the matchup they picked.

Dallas-born Austin Smith one of three finalists for Hobey Baker Award - The Dallas Morning News
Wow, he really is like the Texas version of Blake Geoffrion.

Flyers vs. Maple Leafs preview: Eric Lindros has completely stolen this show - Broad Street Hockey
The Big E on ice?

Sh7rks Gameday: Seven Sins of Internet Hockey Fans - Battle of California
Forget the game preview, Megalodon brings the funny here.

The Premiere of Anaheim Calling TV - Anaheim Calling
Congrats to Jen for bringing SB Nation's Anaheim blog into the wonderful world of video.

2012 IMG World Congress of Sports Recap: Part 1 | The Business of Sports
Really cool stuff here about sports business trends from college to pro.

Brooks Orpik is right: The Pens need to out-defend, not out-gun opponents - PensBurgh
Do the Pens need to tighten up their game?

Goon ::
Roger Ebert, who is perhaps my favorite read on ye interwebs, provides his review of "Goon".

Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, and the 25th anniversary of 'WrestleMania III' - Grantland
Totally unrelated to hockey, sure, but I was there in the Silverdome with 93,192 other nuts 25 years ago, 9th row ringside. A fun read here on the glory days of pro wrestling (although the original WrestleMania will always stand out to me).