"The Southerners of the Ice": The Nashville Predators History, The Music City It's A Hockey City Too

Atualizado: 28 de Nov de 2020

First of all I want to apologize for the English, I didn't study the language, everything I learned was by myself, so I apologize, mainly for the grammar.

There is real hockey in Nasvhille and the mobilization in the city of music has been enormous over the years. With southern and non-traditional NHL traditions, how could the hillbilly of the country music understand or want to enjoy hockey? Throwing catfish on ice (let the radicals know that the animals are already dead, they are just traditions). The "Smash Car" moment is a super fun moment created by fans during Playoff games. It's crazy on game days at Bridgestone Arena, it's arguably the warmest franchise in the NHL.

Broadway in Stanley Cup Finals 2016/17

It all started when the city of Nashville decided to build an arena to host an American sports league (I don't know the exact date). At first, a relocation of the New Jersey Devils to the future Nashville Arena was growing, but it did not last long when Gary Bettman announced that Nashville would likely be a serious candidate for a forthcoming expansion.

The planned arena was opened on 12/18/1996 and the initial attempt was to bring the Sacramento Kings from the NBA, but it also didn't materialize, so the city decided to go after a hockey team.

In January 1997, a group led by a Wisconsin businessman, Craig Leipold made a formal presentation to the NHL requesting an expansion franchise, probably Nashville. When Bettman and the league officials visited Nashville to tour the arena, thousands gathered in the arena square to greet them. In June, the league formally granted conditional franchises to Nashville, Columbus, Ohio, Atlanta and Minneapolis.

On 06/25/1997, the NHL Board of Governors grants a conditional franchise to Leipold Hockey Holdings. On July 1, 1997 Jack Diller is named the first president of Nashville.

The Nashville team would be scheduled to start playing in 1998 if it met the NHL requirement to sell 12,000 tickets for the season before March 31, 1998. Of the four cities, Nashville was the only one with a completed arena and therefore started to play first. A month later, Leipold appointed former Washington Capitals general manager David Poile as the franchise's first general manager. When former Capitals general manager David Poile was hired by the newly established Nashville, he decided to bring Barry Trotz along to become the team's first head coach, former Portland Pirates head coach Barry Trotz, who was appointed in 6 of August.

Poile was a successful hockey player at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, still holding the record for most hat-tricks in his career at age 11. Poile began his career in the NHL as an administrative assistant with the Atlanta Flames expansion in 1972. Five years after joining the Flames organization, he was appointed assistant general manager.

Poile left Flames to become the vice president and general manager of Washington Capitals. He served in that position for fifteen years. During his time in Washington, he was quite successful and capital accumulated a record 594-454-124 under his control.

After working in Washington, Poile took over the Nashville Predators expansion in 1997 and remains today. He was already proving to make many astute moves and created a competitive team with a limited budget.

Barry Trotz previously coached the Baltimore Skipjacks and Portland Pirates at AHL, with whom he won an AHL championship in 1994. That same year, he won the Louis AR Pieri Memorial Award, which is awarded to the outstanding AHL coach as voted by AHL Broadcasters and Writers. Trotz has always participated actively in broad activities, even before the team started playing, Trotz was involved in the Predators expansion process, scouting players and helping to design the team's facilities at Nashville Arena.

On September 25, 1997, Leipold and team president Jack Diller held a press conference unveiling the franchise's new logo, a saber-toothed tiger (Smilodon floridanus). The logo was a reference to the partial fossils of the animal found under downtown Nashville in 1971 during the construction of the First American National Bank building, now the UBS Tower.

First Logo

In contrast, where the name is chosen first and then the logo, to choose the name the franchise held a vote among fans to decide. Three candidates were selected from 75: names "Ice Tigers", "Fury" and "Attack". Leipold added his own suggestion to the vote, "Predators". On November 13, Leipold revealed at a news conference that his suggestion had won and that the new franchise would be known as the Nashville Predators.


At the debut of Trotz and Predators in the 1998-99 NHL season, the team won 28 games, the third largest for an expansion team to date. He holds the record for most games trained by the first coach of an NHL expansion franchise, previously held by Terry Crisp for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Coincidentally, Crisp now works as a radio and TV broadcaster for the Predators.

June 27, 1998 The Nashville Predators became the 27th NHL team to participate in the NHL Draft. Predators select David Legwand as the second overall choice, our biggest star who leads the franchise in games, goals, assists and points with 956, 210, 356 and 566 respectively.


It was a long 5 years until our first appearance in the Playoffs, only in the 2003/04 season where we finished third in the Central Division and eighth in the Western Conference in a 38-29-11-4 campaign with a team that had David Legwand, Martin Erat , Kimmo Timonen, Scott Hartnell, Steve Sullivan, Dan Hamhuis and goalkeeper Chris Mason (current commentator FOX Sports Tennessee on broadcasts). 2004 was also the year that Predators selected Pekka Rinne in the Draft. After registering the best campaign this season, the next one was even better and in 2005/06 we continued to grow and with a newcomer who called attention participating in 28 games, none other than Shea Weber. Weber joined Timonen, Legwand, Peter Forsberg and Paul Kariya, the boy simply scored 40P 17G 23A in 2006/07 in a team that ended the 51-23-8 campaign which would be the best campaign of the franchise until the season 2017/18, but in the Playoffs we had never managed to go very far, but it was a great team that lived 4 years in a row going to the postseason.

In November 2001 they unveiled their first alternate, golden jersey that features an animated saber-toothed tiger logo on top and a pair of tiger skulls on their shoulders, and is worn until the 2006-07 season.



In February 2010 the arena was renamed Bridgestone arena and it was only in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons that we managed to reach the Western Conference Semi-Finals, the team already had names like Mike Fisher, Patric Hörnqvist, Jordin Tootoo and Pekka Rinne . The next two seasons were difficult but, coincidence or not, after Poile's decision to take new directions, new ways of thinking hockey bringing Peter Laviolette in 2014, Stanley Cup champion coach with Carolina Hurricanes and that's when the best years of the franchise began. The Nashville hockey scene was bidding farewell to names like Barry Trotz, David Legwand, Patric Hörnqvist and Nick Spaling, and having his first glimpse of names the dynamite Peter Laviolette followed by Filip Scoresberg, James Neal and Calle Järnkrok. It is undeniable that since the arrival of Laviolette the hockey seen in the Bridgestone Arena rink is another, exciting, new faces over time have joined the aforementioned, Viktor Arvidsson and Kevin Fiala, gradually saying goodbye to players like Paul Gaustad and Mike Ribeiro (although he performed very well at the games for all his off ice disorder), and a team started to form when we brought Ryan Johansen and added more balance and strengthened the team when Poile's boldness was present when bringing PK Subban by Shea Weber in a one-on-one exchange with Montréal. Clearly Weber is much more technical than PK, Weber still had physical problems due to his high age while Subban continued to grow and become one of the league's best defenders, both defending and petulant in the offensive zone, and the main factor, Subban had only completed 29 years. And the intriguing maneuver bringing Kyle Turris into an exchange involving three teams. We were then with an extremely balanced team, much younger and with absurd potential. But bringing Kyle Turris didn't work, committing the cap to $ 6M for 8 years but, which initially had given the perfect chemistry for the consistency of our second line with Fiala and Craig Smith. Making Bonino act for the third row and the depth of the team became so high that Freddy Gaudreau had a hard time after destroying his debut in the 2016/17 season Playoffs.



We have a person who runs this franchise in which we have immense confidence, our GM Daivd Poile, made the Predators become a fever in the city of country music and also made it a "City of Hockey", won over the residents of the city that today they love the franchise, giving much return to the league.

It is undeniable that after the Stanely Cup finals in the 2016/17 season it brought fans even closer to the franchise, everyone, children, adults, hockey fans or not, it was crazy on Broadway and all over Nashville and why not Tennesse. The number of children doubled wanting to learn to skate, growing even among adults. Also growth in looking for hockey lessons, stick handling and puck control. We still have our little school for children, and the demand has been fantastic.


In the 2017/18 season despite the playoff fiasco, we managed to break the record for the franchise's best campaign in the regular season that earned us our first Central Division title and the Presidents Trophy. We had signed with Bonino for $ 4.1M, way above for a player like him. It was a season of countless broken records, even Mike Fisher came out of retirement believing that this would be our year, but the Playoffs arrived and that team just disappeared. Our strongest point, the defense, succumbed to Winnipeg Jets, who lay down and rolled. Also in 2017 the Nashville Predators was elected by ESPN as the number one sports franchise.


We are known to be with the team regardless of the moment, the confidence in our GM is huge. In addition to everything Poile did to make Nashville breathe hockey, the Preds still do community work to make them envious. Making donations to hospitals, social campaigns and mainly work against domestic violence and protecting women.

These years have increased the numbers of demand absurdly. All this comprehensive work of all forms of the Preds and our GM has done and makes us united as one Predator, one body, unifying our chemistry, franchise, city-hockey, citizen-citizenship connection. Yes, guys, there is real hockey in Tennessee, there are hockey fans in Nashvile, and above all, there is Nashville to be recognized as a great center in the league. Yes, our beloved David Poile, brings countless returns to the NHL and in fact, we should have more recognition.

The team's regular season TV ratings at Fox Sports Tennessee grew 160% year on year, from 0.8 to 2.1 in the market. In addition, the combined ratings of the Stanley Cup Playoff TV increased 62% in the first round from 5.5 to 8.9% per year, while the second round grew 34%, from 8 to 10.7. Regular season flows at Fox Sports GO were up 238%.

The website nhl.com/Predators set records for monthly and annual page views, beating the previous monthly rise by 142%. We ended up in the Top Five on the NHL in page views, article readings and screen views in the 2017-18 campaign. We have broken all previous records for page views, visits, video views and application downloads defined in the past four years of high digital engagement with our fans. It was also in 2017 that ESPN elected Predators as the number one sports franchise, including values, fan experience and online access.

Another highlight, and worth mentioning, is that in a vote made in 2018 by players from across the National Hockey League, Bridgestone Arena was voted the most difficult Arena to play.

The Nashville Predators Foundation distributed 149 grants, totaling $ 607,639.32 (the largest single grant in the Foundation's history), exceeding the previous $ 515,000 high by almost $ 100,000 for community services and charity organizations based in Nashville and the Tennessee. The franchise maintains an active relationship with AMEND, an organization that fights domestic violence and women. David Poile in his words said that he wants to be part of the Predators together to make Nashville the safest city for women and girls.

Em janeiro de 2019 chegamos à 134 sellouts consecutivos.

Such a feat and intelligence of our David Poile, he is not the GM with the most wins in the NHL and was elected best GM in the 2016/17 season. In previous years, of difficulties and still with his feet on the ground always convinced in his work. I give myself the right to say that there is no Predator that does not like him. Your job towards the fans is to take your hat off. All his efforts to make the city of Nashville the hockey city that has become more and more, even far from the big centers. We hope he can be with us for a long time. He does a job behind the scenes with excellent contract moves, knowing how to intelligently manage all areas. It is the GM with the most league wins.

David Poile was introduced to the United States' Hockey Hall of Fame. "When you're doing your job in hockey, which is what you love, and I don't think you always think of any kind of recognition for what you're doing, but that's incredible," said Poile. "To be included in the US Hockey Hall of Fame is something I never thought of, and it's incredible to be included in every USA Hockey icon."

Poile has promised many changes since the start of the playoff failures:

How can we not talk about the biggest offseason move he made at our AHL affiliate Milwaukee Admirals. A new way of doing hockey, a new horizon on the sides of Wisconsin and a sensational transformation to make a barn for our prospects to develop. Baby Preds in good hands. Which in the second season yielded the best league campaign for Milwaukee Admirals.How can we not talk about the biggest offseason move he made at our AHL affiliate Milwaukee Admirals. A new way of doing hockey, a new horizon on the sides of Wisconsin and a sensational transformation to make a barn for our prospects to develop. Baby Preds in good hands. Which in the second season yielded the best league campaign for Milwaukee Admirals.

We need to start from the beginning of the changes that David Poile imposed on the branch. With successive failures year after year, Poile began to drastically change the conduct of Ads, aiming mainly at the development of young people, since our GM always made a point of saying that "the road to Nashville goes through Milwaukee", but this was not happening . Without stretching, Milwaukee used to be a kind of "asylum", even a joke, so to speak, since veteran Preds players were always sent to Milwaukee, such as Harry Zolnierczyk, Bobby Butler and even Mike Ribeiro.

So Scott Nichol became the new GM and Karl Taylor the new coach in the 2018/19 season just to start. Both bring great experience with youth development.

David Poile: "Karl is highly recommended to us with a diverse set of skills to train and develop players, and we are happy to promote him to a position where he will take care of our main prospects. We always say that the road to Nashville goes through Milwaukee and we are confident that Karl will continue with that legacy. "

It doesn't stop there, there were many exchanges, all for the development of young people. Rob Scuderi was hired as a new defender development coach, Sebastien Bordeleau as attacker development coach and Dave Rook as goalies development coach. Our prospects will have more coverage and more information about the game, they will be being watched much more closely. They will have nutritional, social monitoring and everything involving a complete development of an NHL athlete.

Another point to talk is that after the failure of the partnership with Norfolk Admirals (ECHL) as a subsidiary, still with rejection from the people of Norfolk who would like to have the Chicago Blackhawks, the failure was such that when we needed to send a player to save time ice or improve some aspects we worked together with Atlanta Gladiators who are affiliated with Boston Bruins. But then after just a year we got a new affiliation and this time a Susseco affiliation with ECHL closing a deal with the Florida Everblades.

David Poile nailed it by sealing his Everblades affiliation: "We are incredibly excited to have the Florida Everblades as a development subsidiary," said Poile. "Led by President and GM Craig Brush, the Everblades have established themselves as one of ECHL's best franchises and have a proven track record of player development. They have been a model of consistency in their league and we look forward to seeing they play an active role. on the success of the Nashville Predators and the Milwaukee Admirals "

Our beloved GM, David Poile, announced on Tuesday (04/06/2019) the hiring of a new technical assistant, Dan Lambert, who trained the team of the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL.

Lambert is 49 years old and took his team to the conference finals, ending the regular season with a record of 40-21-2-5. In two seasons he obtained 81-46-5-8 and very well offensively finishing as the sixth best attack in 2017/18 and third in the following season.

One of the main purposes of this contract is to improve our power play, which was simply ridiculous and non-existent, being the worst in the league with 12.9% of use in the 2018/19 season. Dan Lambert achieved considerable results in power play, leading the previous season with 29.1% (81-278), the second best among Canadian leagues (WHL, OHL and QMJHL), in addition, this record is the sixth best in the last 10 years. In this post-season, he finished with 36% (13-36).

In January Poile decided to change Head Coach Peter Laviolette for an inexperienced and very weak John Hynes and things only got worse. In fact, Laviolette seemed to have lost the team's hand, but it was he who led us to our conquests and with a much lower team, bringing John Hynes would not be the solution because our problems were different and not the coach. He gave us all we have, Western Conference Champion, Stanley Cup finals, Presidents Trophy and a Central Division Back-to-Back.

The young Hynes has spent time with the New Jersey Devils and holds a record of 150-159-45 as a coach in five seasons with the Devils. Hynes managed to take the Devils into the postseason for the first time since 2011/12, helped Taylor Hall win the Hart Trophy in 2017/18. Before joining New Jersey, Hynes coached the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins for five seasons from 2010 to 2015, led the Penguins to five consecutive Calder Cup playoffs, including two Eastern Conference finals in 2012/13 and 2013/14 in addition to being appointed coach at AHL in 2011.

David Poile: "John Hynes is a brilliant young coach, a great leader and has a history of developing young players, effective in motivating successful veterans. We love the coaching curriculum and are confident that he has learned at every stop in his career. and has the best skills to get the most out of our team."

John Hynes: "This is a tremendous opportunity to join an organization with a successful history, a team with immense talent and a phenomenal fan base. This organization has a solid foundation, from its owners and executives to the entire front team -office, and I'm excited to come in and try to maximize the skills of this team ".

He is young, knows how to work develpment with players, as has been the profile of our coaching staff, such as Dan Lambert (assistant coach), Da Hinote and Todd Richards along with Karl Taylor (coach of Milwaukee Admirals). I welcome this choice, rather than bringing guys like Mike Babcock and so on.

With recent desapointing in recent years and mostly the last elimination for Arizona Coyotes, our GM has exposed his disappointment with the players, calling the defeat "unacceptable" and promised roster changes for next season.

David Poile: "My position now on trends in the past two years in the regular season and the playoffs that are not going in the right direction. I believe we have a lot of good players, but they have not come together to produce the results we all want. It is very clear to me that we need to make changes" Poile Said: "We need to get back to our identity. We need to start playing, as we used to, the 'Predator Mode', the 'Predator Culture'. We have to play with more passion, more determination, we have to have that attitude of refusing to lose. My job is to evaluate, and work with John Hynes to identify how we can improve and play in the way he believes will lead to success. I have to provide John with some players that fit his beliefs and All I can say at the moment is that all options are on the table to make our team better for the 2020-21 season."

Dan Muse is no longer a technical assistant and Dan Hinote was hired for his position.

John Hynes said of his new companion: "Dan Hinote's character, personality, as well as his coaching experience, will be a great option for our team and players. As a player, Dan brought energy and leadership to his teams, winning a Stanley Cup with Colorado in 2001, and his experience as a coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets and the USA Hockey National Team Development Program will be of great value to our organization. "

Poile said that Hinote will be a great triumph for the team and the changes should also happen in our coaching staff: "We are going to make some changes. Including myself and our management group we also have to manage better. For John and his coaching staff is that they have the best to train the players and for the players it is that they have to play better. All three groups have to do this to be where we want to be. "

To complete the coaching staff, Todd Richards, Stanley Cup winner with Tampa Bay Lightning and the Presidents Trophy in the 2018/19 season, was hired.

David Poile: "We are extremely pleased to be able to bring Todd and his extensive coaching experience to our team. He not only has an experienced resume, but also a winner, and added to it last season by winning the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay He started his professional career in our organization with the Milwaukee Admirals, and we are happy to have him back with us to complete John Hynes' coaching staff. "

He began his professional training with Milwaukee Admirals - Nashville's top affiliate - as a 2002-06 assistant, winning the 2004 Calder Cup and helping guide Milwaukee to a winning record in all four seasons, including two Western Conference titles. He helped develop the current Predators goaltender, Pekka Rinne, and many other longtime players on the Nashville NHL roster, such as Shea Weber, Dan Hamhuis, Jordin Tootoo, Martin Erat and Scottie Upshall. After the 2005-06 season, Richards moved on to become the head coach of AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins, where he posted a 98-49-5-8 record and led his team to the 2008 Calder Cup final. .He began his professional training with Milwaukee Admirals - Nashville's top affiliate - as a 2002-06 assistant, winning the 2004 Calder Cup and helping guide Milwaukee to a winning record in all four seasons, including two Western Conference titles. He helped develop the current Predators goalkeeper, Pekka Rinne, and many other longtime players on the Nashville NHL roster, such as Shea Weber, Dan Hamhuis, Jordin Tootoo, Martin Erat and Scottie Upshall. After the 2005-06 season, Richards moved on to become the head coach of AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins, where he posted a 98-49-5-8 record and led his team to the 2008 Calder Cup final.

Poile still promises to give young people opportunities on the roster for next season, Eeli Tolvanen, Rem Pitlick, Alex Carrier and Yakov Trenin are likely to be on the list for next season and that a second row with Tolvanen and Duchene can bear much fruit. In addition, he also left on the air that Philip Tomasino could be considered to have said he was ready for the NHL, the young man was the fourth highest scorer in the OHL registering 100P 40G 60A. Eeli Tolvanen will be on loan at the KHL Jokerit until Training Camp for the next season begins, Trenin on loan from SKA St. Peterburg and Afanasyev to CSKA Moskva.

My ideal lineup for next season:

Forsberg - Johansen - Arvidsson

Sissons - Duchene - Tolvanen

Tomasino - Kunin - Grimaldi

Järnkrok - Pitlick - Trenin

Josi - Ellis

Ekholm - Fabbro

Farrance - Carrier

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