Today I want to take a step back from the playoff grind and cover various aspects of the Nashville Predators organization that you may not know involving its history as well as its future.
Did You Know?
I am a trivia buff and consider anything that increases ones overall knowledge level to be a benefit. I am addicted to Wikipedia and often bounce from page to page learning as I go on topics that span the universe.
So in keeping with my love of knowledge, I thought I would offer up some interesting facts about the Nashville Predators that you may not know.
1) While the Predators have only been around for 12 years, hockey has been part of Nashville dating back to the early 1960′s. The Dixie Flyers played in Nashville from 1962 to 1971. They won 2 championship in the Eastern Hockey League while playing at the Municipal Auditorium. After the Flyers folded in 1971, it was 10 years before Nashville would experience hockey again. In 1981 the Nashville South Stars started up as the minor league affiliate for the Minnesota North Stars. The team was only around for one year but did have a link to the Nashville Predators. Bob Suter of the 1980 ‘Miracle on Ice’ team, and father of current Predator Ryan Suter, played his only year of professional hockey with the Nashville South Stars. After the 1981/1982 team, they left the CHL and joined the Atlantic Coast Hockey League for the 1982/1983 season where the franchise eventually folded. Seven years later, hockey was back in Nashville with the formation of the Nashville Knights. The Knights, part of the new East Coast Hockey League, played from 1989 to 1996 before moving to Pensacola where they became the Pensacola Ice Pilots. With the Knights moving out, the Nashville Nighthawks moved in for the 1996/1997 season. They changed their name to the Nashville Ice Flyers for the 1997/1998 season where they eventually folded when it was announced that the Nashville Predators would become the newest expansion team in the NHL. Twelve years later, the Predators are still in town.
2) Hall of Famers – No, I am not going to predict who on the current roster will become a Hall of Famer. And I am pretty sure that no previous Predator outside of maybe Paul Kariya has a chance at the Hall. But the Predators do have ties to the NHL Hall of Fame.
Bud Poile, father of current Nashville Predator General Manager David Poile, was elected into the NHL Hall of Fame in 1990 after six decades in various roles as a player, coach, and executive. He was the first General Manager of the Philadelphia Flyers and Vancouver Canucks as they joined the league in 1967 and 1973 respectively.
Blake Geoffrion may not be known right now, but his family is no stranger to the NHL and is considered royalty in Montreal. His grandfather was Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion who was elected into the NHL Hall of Fame in 1972 and whose #5 is retired for the Montreal Canadians. Blake Geoffrion’s great grandfather was Montreal Canadians legend Howie Morenz who was the first Montreal Canadian to have his number retired in 1937 and was one of the original members of NHL Hall of Fame when it opened up in 1945. So how does Blake figure into all of this? Well, Blake was selected in the 2nd round of the 2006 entry draft by the Nashville Predators. He is currently a senior at the University of Wisconson and is Captain of the hockey team. There is a good chance Blake may end up being the 4th generation to play in the NHL (his father played briefly as well in the late 70′s and early 80’s. Additionally, Blake, who was born in Brentwood Tennessee, could become the 1st player born in Tennessee to reach the NHL. It was also recently announced that Blake was one of 10 players up for the 2010 Hobey Baker award presented to the best player in college hockey.
3) So where did this Predator stuff come from and why a saber toothed cat for a logo? It might surprise some to find out that there is actually history behind the Predators name and logo. The history of the logo dates back to 1971 when ground was broken for the First American National Bank in downtown Nashville. During construction, a partial skeleton of a saber toothed cat was discovered. Years later the skeleton became the inspiration for the Predators Logo. As for the name of the team, there were committees and panels and public polls and the leading names where the Ice Tigers, Fury, and Attack. Fortunately, none of those got selected, and Craig Leipold submitted his own suggestion the Predators for the final vote.
4) Most of Pred Nation knows that David Poile, Barry Trotz, and David Legwand have been with the team since Day 1. But did you know that David Poile and his father Bud Poile are the only father-son combination to win the Lester B. Patrick trophy awarded to a player, coach, or executive for their contribution to hockey. Barry Trotz also holds the record for having the longest tenure of any expansion team’s first coach and just recently achieved his 400th win as coach of the Predators.
About the Author
Written by Mark Jasper