Nashville Predators History
The Nashville Predators franchise was founded in 1998, and the team has been a strong
competitor in the Western Conference of the NHL ever since. Talk of bringing an NHL team to Nashville began in 1995 when Nashville
Arena was built and the city offered 20 million dollars to a team willing to relocate. This drew the attention of the New
Jersey Devils but that move never happened. It did, however, get the ball rolling and the area was granted a team during the
league's next expansion. It was not until the 2003-2004 season that the Predators finally made their first trip to the playoffs,
and since then they have been regular participants. The past few years have seen the Predators fall just short of making the
playoffs, but if all goes well the rest of the season they could be in the postseason this year. Home games at Bridgestone
Arena are always great during the regular season, but the intensity gets ratcheted up when it comes playoffs time. Over the
years, Nashville fans have gotten used to seeing their favorite team in the playoff mix, and that's not something that's likely
to change any time soon.
About the Team
The Nashville Predators are currently in seventh place in the
Central Division of the Western Conference, but only a few points separate them from the Winnipeg Jets and the Dallas Stars
who are right ahead of them in the division standings. If all goes well for the rest of the regular season, the Predators
could end up making a big move up the division standings and possibly into the playoffs. Leading goal scorer Crag Smith, and
leading points and assists man David Legwand are setting the pace for the Nashville offense that has seen significant improvements
from last season. Captain Shea Webber leads the defense in hopes of keeping the puck safely away from goalie Pekka Rinne who
is one year removed from consecutive nominations for the Vezina Trophy. Whether or not the Predators are able to make the
playoffs this season, they have shown marked improvement during the 2013-2014 season and have given fans plenty of hope for
the future. As the Predators make another push toward the postseason, you won't want to miss out on any of the big-time, hard-hitting
action that fans have been witnessing for years now.
Hockey fans in general are some of
the most passionate sports fans around, but nothing quite matches the fanaticism surrounding the NHL playoffs and fans of
the Nashville Predators are some of the most dedicated and vociferous fans in the entire NHL. On game day at Bridgestone Arena
the fans file in and take their seats and that is when the cheering and chanting begins. As the clock winds down closer and
closer to the dropping of the puck the crowd works itself into a frenzy. Finally both teams are ready for face off and the
excitement really begins. Thunderous, bone rattling hits, incredible displays of speed and agility, powerful slapshots, and
tremendous saves set the arena on fire for the following three periods of world class college hockey. By the time the final
buzzer sounds your voice is hoarse and your palms are stinging from clapping and giving high fives and you will already be
planning a return trip. Everything is ratcheted up a notch during the NHL playoffs and the further teams advance the more
intense the competition becomes. If you thought regular season NHL games were exciting, just wait until you experience an
NHL playoff game live and in person.
NHL Western Conference Central Division
The Central Division is currently
made up of seven teams: the Chicago Blackhawks, the Colorado Avalanche, the Dallas Stars, the Minnesota Wild, the Nashville
Predators, the St. Louis Blues, and the Winnipeg Jets. The conference is a perfect mix of some of the oldest and most storied
franchises in the history of the sport in the Chicago Blackhawks and the St. Louis Blues, along with some of the newer teams
who joined the NHL in the NHL's expansion between 1998 and 2000 including the Minnesota Wild, the Nashville Predators, and
the Winnipeg Jets (who joined as the Atlanta Thrashers before moving to Winnipeg and taking the previous franchise's name).
The Blackhawks have been the most successful team in the division of late, having won the Stanley Cup in 2010 and in 2013.
Six Stanley Cup winners have come from the Central Division, two by the Chicago Blackhawks and four by the Detroit Redwings
who are no longer in the division.
Current goalie Pekka Rinne holds the franchise record for most
shutouts in a season with 7 which he achieved twice, in the 2008-2009 season and the 2009-2010 seasons. Paul Kariya holds
two Predators records, for most assists in a season with 54 and most points in a season with 85, both of which were compiled
in the 2005-2006 season. Jason Arnott scored the most goals in a season in 2008-2009 when he scored 33 goals.