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.
Hockey first appeared in Middle Tennessee in 1962 in the form of the Eastern Hockey League’s Dixie Flyers. One of the first tenants of the Municipal Auditorium, the Dixie Flyers played for nine seasons before folding in 1971. A decade later, Nashville Sounds owner Larry Schmittou made a second attempt at minor league hockey in Nashville when he brought the Nashville South Stars to town for the 1981-82 season.
While featuring Bob Suter (Miracle on Ice team member and father of Nashville Predator Ryan Suter) as well as several of the parent club Minnesota North Stars’ prospects, the franchise folded after just two seasons. In 1989, the ECHL Nashville Knights, perhaps the most popular of the minor league franchises, came to town. Coached by Predators assistant Peter Horachek, the Knights featured a potent offense that in 1994 set an ECHL record with 16 goals in one game.
The Predators picked up their first-ever away win in the postseason on April 16, when they beat the Blackhawks 4-1 at the United Center. The two clubs sparred back and forth, splitting both sets of home games to have the series level at 2-2 heading into the nationally televised Game 5.
Game 5, however, resulted in a loss. Forward Marian Hossa hit defender Dan Hamhuis from behind with 1:03 left in regulation, and the Predators holding a 4-3 advantage. On the ensuing power play, Chicago would get an odd-man rush, allowing Patrick Kane to score and send the game into overtime.
In overtime, Hossa scored at the end of his penalty to give the Blackhawks the win. The club lost Game 6 at the Bridgestone Arena by a score of 5-3, and the series by the tally of four games to two. The Predators finished with one of the worst power plays in the postseason, scoring just one goal and going 0-for-21 in the first five games.
David Poile traded captain Jason Arnott to New Jersey for winger Matt Halischuk and a draft pick, and acquired forward Sergei Kostitsyn from Montreal and former first round pick Ryan Parent from Philadelphia in exchange for impending free agents Dan Hamhuis, Dustin Boyd and Dan Ellis.
The club also signed 1999 second-round draft pick Jonas Andersson and Sodertalje forward Linus Klasen upon the opening of free agency. The club also confirmed the arrivals of Roman Josi, Anders Lindback and Atte Engren from overseas, and signed its first home-grown talent, Hobey Baker winner and Brentwood native Blake Geoffrion. On July 2, the Predators announced the signing of veteran forward Matthew Lombardi to a three-year, $ 10.5 million contract.
On July 9, the Predators announced that defenseman Shea Weber would become the club’s fifth captain. On September 19, it was announced that defenseman Ryan Suter and forward Steve Sullivan would serve as the team’s alternate captains.
The Predators traded forward Michael Santorelli to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a draft pick. The Predators also traded defenseman Ryan Parent and forward Jonas Andersson to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for defenseman Shane O’Brien and a forward prospect. The club also signed young defensemen Aaron Johnson, Brett Palin and Grant Lewis. The Predators also signed forward Jamie Lundmark.
On February 11, the Predators acquired 4-time 20-goal scoring, 11 year veteran, Mike Fisher from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2011 first round draft pick and a 2012 conditional pick. On February 25, the Predators traded defenseman Alexander Sulzer to the Florida Panthers for a conditional seventh round draft pick. They also placed foward Wade Belak on waivers.
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