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The Nashville Predators are a professional hockey team in the National Hockey League (the NHL). The Nashville Predators play in the Central Division of the Western Conference with four other teams: the Detroit Red Wings, the Chicago Blackhawks, the St. Louis Blues and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Predators tickets will be a hot item during the 2014-2015 NHL hockey schedule.
Nashville Predators 2014-2015 Outlook
After missing the playoffs, the Nashville Predators fired Barry Trotz as its head coach after 15 years, although he was offered an unnamed position within the organization. On May 6, 2014 the Nashville Predators announced Peter Laviolette as their new head coach. This season also saw the departure of longtime Predator favorite David Legwand, when he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings at the trade deadline.
If Laviolette does indeed change the philosophy of this team, then their aggressiveness offensively will improve from the incredibly conservative system they previously played under. The Predators played back when they did not have the puck and waited for the opposition to make a mistake then capitalizing off of it. With a few more skilled forwards up front, the Predators should see a nice increase in goal production despite not having a top line center on the team. The strength of this team is in their defense and goaltending. Shea Weber is one of the better defensemen in the league, and Seth Jones projects to be right up there in skill alongside Weber. Rinne, when healthy, is one of the league’s best goaltenders and as we saw last year, is a major crutch for this team. When he was out, the Predators were very weak in goal and it cost them a playoff spot. If Rinne can stay healthy this year look for them to be back in the postseason.
The Nashville Predators franchise was founded in Nashville, Tennessee in 1998. The city of Nashville previously tried to lure the New Jersey Devils to re-locate to Nashville with a $20 million re-location bonus, but when New Jersey restructured its lease at its current venue (the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey), its attempts came to a halt, and the city re-focused its efforts on gaining an expansion franchise from the NHL. The Nashville Predators did not qualify for NHL post-season play during the franchise’s first 5 years. During the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 NHL seasons, the Nashville Predators finished in 2nd place in the Central Division of the Western Conference and advanced to the NHL playoffs. But each season, the Nashville Predators were eliminated by the San Jose Sharks 4 games to 1 in the Conference Quarterfinals.
The Nashville Predators have not retired any player’s numbers of their own. However, the NHL retired Wayne Gretzky’s jersey number #99 league-wide on February 6, 2000.
Nashville Predators TV/Radio
All Nashville Predators hockey games can be seen on the Fox Sports Tennessee television network in the greater Nashville area. ESPN has television rights to Nashville Predators hockey games based on the popularity of the game. Tune into the Nashville Predators flagship stations WGFX 104.5 or WRQQ 97.1 on your FM dial to catch each Nashville Predators hockey game on the radio.
The Nashville Predators play their home games in the Bridgestone Arena. The Bridgestone Arena opened in 1996 and is owned by the Sports Authority of Nashville and Davidson County and operated by Powers Management Company. Powers Management Company is a subsidiary of the Nashville Predators franchise. The arena was known as the Nashville Arena from 1996 through 1999 and as the Gaylord Entertainment Center from 1999 through 2007. The Sommet Group, a Franklin, Tennessee-based broad collection of companies, purchased the naming rights to the arena in May 2007 and the venue has been known as the Sommet Center since 2007 - 2010. Unlike the Gaylord parting-of-ways, Sommet Groups name was stripped from all signage inside and outside the arena as soon as the team was legally allowed to do so. The building briefly resumed using the Nashville Arena moniker until February 23, 2010, when it was announced that the Predators had signed a naming rights deal with Bridgestone. The arena became known as Bridgestone Arena.
In addition to hosting Nashville Predators NHL hockey games, the Bridgestone Arena hosted all of the home professional football games for the Nashville Kats of the Arena Football League from 1997 through 2001 and then again from 2005 through 2007 before the team permanently folded. The Bridgestone Arena holds a seating capacity of 20,000 devoted die-hard Nashville Predators fans. The Bridgestone Arena has played host to numerous memorable and historic concerts and special events during its brief 12-year history, including the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 1997, the U.S. Gymnastics Championships in 2004, and the Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Tournaments for the Southeastern Conference and Ohio Valley Conference in 2001, 2006 and 2010.
Nashville, Tennessee 37203