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Nashville Predators
Hockey current event.svg 2010–11 Nashville Predators season
Nashville Predators
Conference Western
Division Central
Founded 1997
History Nashville Predators
1998–present
Home arena Bridgestone Arena
City Nashville, Tennessee
275px
Colors blue, gold, silver, steel, orange[1]

                   

Media Fox Sports Tennessee
WBUZ (102.9 FM)
Owner(s) United StatesPredators Holdings LLC
(Thomas Cigarran, chairman)
General manager Canada David Poile
Head coach United States Peter Laviolette
Captain Canada Shea Weber
Minor league affiliates Milwaukee Admirals (AHL)
Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL)
Stanley Cups 0
Conference championships 0
Division championships 0

The Nashville Predators are a professional ice hockey team based in Nashville, Tennessee. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). They play their home games at Bridgestone Arena, formerly known as Sommet Center, Gaylord Entertainment Center and Nashville Arena.

Franchise HistoryEdit

First attempt to bring NHL hockey to NashvilleEdit

In 1995, rumors began to circulate that the New Jersey Devils would be relocating to the planned Nashville Arena, but Nashville offered a $20 million relocation bonus to any team that would relocate and the Devils attempted to terminate their lease with New Jersey before finally restructuring it to stay.

1997-98: The NHL Expansion and the Nashville Predators' inaugural seasonEdit

After the attempt to get the Devils, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman noted that Nashville would probably at least be considered in upcoming expansion.

The arena was opened in 1996, and after an attempt to bring the NBA's Sacramento Kings did not go through, the city instead went after a hockey team.

In January of 1997, a group led by Wisconsin businessman Craig Leipold made a formal presentation before the NHL requesting an expansion franchise. When Bettman and the league officials visited Nashville to tour the arena, thousands gathered on the Arena plaza to greet them.

In June, the league granted conditional franchises to Nashville, Columbus, Ohio, Atlanta, Georgia and Minneapolis Saint Paul. The Nashville team would be scheduled to begin play in 1998 if they met the NHL requirement of selling 12,000 season tickets before March 31, 1998.

Of the four cities, Nashville was the only one with a completed arena, and therefore began play first. A month later, Leipold named former Washington Capitals general manager David Poile as the franchise's first general manager.

On August 6, 1997, Portland Pirates head coach Barry Trotz was named the franchise's first head coach. Mitch Korn was named the first goaltending coach for the franchise.

On September 25, 1997, Leipold and team president Jack Diller held a press conference where they unveiled the franchise's new logo, a saber-toothed cat (Smilodon floridanus).

The team's logo was a reference to a partial Smilodon skeleton found beneath downtown Nashville in 1971 during construction of the First American National Bank building (which is now called the UBS Tower).

Once the logo was unveiled, the franchise held a vote among fans to choose a name. Three candidates were culled from 75: Ice Tigers, Fury and Attack. Leipold added his own submission to the vote: Predators.

On November 13, 1997, Leipold revealed at a press conference that his submission had won out and that the new franchise would be known as the Nashville Predators. At one point, rumors began to circulate that the team would move before the first puck ever hit the ice.

One rumor had Leipold trading franchises with the Edmonton Oilers with the Oilers moving to Nashville and the Nashville expansion franchise moving to Houston, Texas. Leipold shot this rumor down, saying: "[t]here is no chance."

When awarded a franchise, the city of Nashville paid 31.50% of the $80-million fee to join the league.

The city has engaged an affiliate of the team to operate the arena and that agreement protects the city against annual arena operating losses over approximately $3.8 million. The $15 million payroll of the team was the lowest of the NHL.

On October 10, 1998, the Predators took the ice for the first time and they lost 1-0 at home to the Florida Panthers. It was the only sold out game of the Predators' first five bouts in Nashville.

Three nights later, on October 13, 1998, they defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3–2 for their first win. Forward Andrew Brunette scored the first goal for the team.

Team informationEdit

The team practices at Centennial Sportsplex. For the 2007–08 season, the Predators updated their jerseys with new striping. The logo was left unchanged, and the colors were left unchanged. Nashville was added to the 'away' jerseys above the logo.

Fan traditionsEdit

Fans of the Nashville Predators have modified a tradition of the Detroit Red Wings to show their support: on occasion, a fan will throw a catfish onto the ice. The Tennessean[2] newspaper in Nashville cites the first instance of this on October 30, 2003. At least four catfish were thrown onto the ice after the first Nashville goal on November 13, 2003.

Section 303 is a section of fans at the Bridgestone Arena colloquially known as "The Cellblock". The group refers to themselves as "the loudest section of the loudest arena in the NHL".[3] The fan-based organization has been recognized by the Predators' front office. A large banner was produced by the front office for posting on the wall behind the section.

The mascot of the Predators is Gnash, a blue saber-toothed cat. Introduced in 1998, his trademark includes stunts, such as very fast rappels, zip lines and a pendulum swing that takes him under the scoreboard and just inches off the ice.

Season-by-season recordEdit

File:Nashville Predators Alternate Logo.svg

This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by the Predators. For the full season-by-season history, see List of Nashville Predators seasons

GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime Losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Records as of April 7, 2007.

Season GP W L OTL Pts GF GA PIM Finish Playoffs
2005–06 82 49 25 8 106 259 227 1489 2nd, Central Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 1–4 (Sharks)
2006–07 82 51 23 8 110 272 212 1155 2nd, Central Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 1–4 (Sharks)
2007–08 82 41 32 9 91 227 224 1015 2nd, Central Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 2–4 (Red Wings)
2008–09 82 40 34 8 88 207 228 982 5th, Central Did not qualify
2009–10 82 47 29 6 100 225 225 710 3rd, Central Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 2–4 (Blackhawks)

Notable playersEdit

Current rosterEdit

Template:Nashville Predators roster

Team captainsEdit

Honored membersEdit

Hall of Famers: The Predators do not have a Hockey Hall of Fame member from their team.

Retired numbers: The Predators have not retired any numbers. However, Wayne Gretzky's number 99 was retired league-wide at the 2000 NHL All-Star Game on February 6, 2000.

First-round draft picksEdit

Main article: List of Nashville Predators first-round draft picks

Franchise scoring leadersEdit

These are the top-ten point-scorers in franchise history. Figures are updated after each completed NHL regular season.

Pos = Position; GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game; * = current Predators player

Player Pos GP G A Pts P/G
David Legwand* C 704 152 255 407 .58
Martin Erat* LW 552 123 229 352 .64
Kimmo Timonen D 573 79 222 301 .53
J.P. Dumont* C 318 83 165 248 .78
Scott Walker RW 410 96 151 247 .60
Steve Sullivan* LW 273 90 151 241 .88
Greg Johnson C 502 93 145 238 .47
Jason Arnott C 275 107 122 229 .83
Cliff Ronning C 301 81 145 226 .75
Scott Hartnell LW 436 93 118 211 .48

NHL awards and trophiesEdit

Lester Patrick Trophy

Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Franchise individual recordsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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