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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rick D hates our Nashville Predators

I recently ran across an article titled “Why the Nashville Predators Are the Worst Team in the NHL” by a gentleman named Rick D on Yahoo’s Associated Content page. This guy really lays it on thick about his hate for the Nashville Predators. He starts the column off saying “I hate the Nashville Predators. The entire concept of the team - an ice hockey team based in Nashville, Tennessee which had no professional team at the time - makes me shake my head in disgust toward Gary Bettman and those involved in the team's creation every time I think about it.” All I could say was wow. I mean, has this guy ever even been to our city? Does he know that in the short time that the Predators have been here, they have been one of the most successful expansion franchises in the NHL? He obviously doesn’t know much about our professional sport teams because the Tennessee Titans were the first professional team in the state of Tennessee.

So in response to Rick D, I feel like it is only right that I defend our dear city and the franchise. No way is this loon going to get a free pass to talk about our team. This is for all the fans of the Nashville Predators who don’t have outlet to voice their opinion. Let’s do some fact checking and give the five reasons that Nashville is a great hockey town.

1. The Predators are one of the most successful expansion franchises in the league - The Predators won their 100th victory as a franchise on December 6, 2001. With that win, Nashville became the second-fastest expansion team of the 1990s to reach the 100-win mark. The Predators have also made the playoffs five of the past six years. Do you how many storied franchises like the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Edmonton Oilers or the Boston Bruins would do for that type of playoff run?

2. The Predators really have NOT had a big name player – The Preds have had names such as Paul Kariya and Peter Foresberg. But if you look closely at the stats, those players names carried more weight than there performances. Peter Foresberg for example read as follows below:

read as follows below:

17 games 2 goals 13 assists totaling 15 points and a plus minus ratio of + 5
Not exactly setting the league on fire with those numbers.
Paul Kariya on the other hand did have two solid seasons with the Preds his numbers:

2005-2006 : 82 games 31 goals 54 assists 85 total points and plus minus ratio of +6
2006-2007: 82 games 24 goals 52 assists 76 total points and a plus minus ratio of -6 .

Again, pretty good number but Kariya was not the leader of that team. His best years came when he was teamed with Teemu Selanne and was able to rely on him. Neither one of these so called stars were on the upside of their careers upon arrving in Nashville.

3. Tennessee has always been a Football state but – Tennessee will always be known as a football state thanks to the success of the Tennessee Vols and the Titans. However, with the recent success of the Predators, hockey in Nashville has taken off. In fact for this season the Predators attendance was higher than the Avalanche (13,947), Coyotes (11,989), Thrashers (13,607), Devils (15,546), Panthers (15,146) and the Blue Jackets (15,416). The Devils and Avalanche are in hockey markets and both have Stanley cup championships between them and we better attendance than both of those franchises.

4. Nashville has great fans – The attendance may not indicate it but the Predators have a loyal base of die hard fans. You can go anywhere in the city and find them. The best thing about them is their loyalty and dedication to the team. In 2007 when the team was rumored to be sold to billionaire Jim Basille then moved to Canada, the fans were outraged and came out in droves to keep the team here. They are deeply rooted in the community and provide donations to keep the game of hockey alive and well in the state.

5. The grassroots movement – As I stated above, The Predators have been making their mark in the community. They recently made a $150,000 donation to Williamson County’s own A-Game Sportsplex to help serve as a springboard for developing fans in Middle Tennessee. High School hockey in Middle Tennessee is also taking off with over 17 high school teams now. Nashville is quickly becoming a hockey town day by day. As with any expansion franchise, the Predators had to take their lumps initially and had to be built from the ground up. In a state such as Tennessee where football is king, it takes awhile for anything else to flourish. The success of the team as well as their contributions to the city of Nashville looks to be as good as it has ever been.

Now that we have the facts straight, let me address Mr. Rick D. Sir, you probably have never been to our city, so for you to make a biased and uninformative post about our us sir is wrong. Please stay in your city where your pathetic Detroit Lions have been one of the worst ran franchises in recent memory. Nashville is a great city for real fans of all sports. Your article was terrible and by looking at the comments you received, I’m sure you able to see that Predator fans are nothing to mess with. As you stated “Usually I try to avoid being so obviously biased in most of my articles, but the opportunity to get articles published on Yahoo! Sports was something I wasn't about to pass up, even if what they wanted was to be as biased as possible on purpose.” That sounds like to me this was more about ATTENTION and not the right INTENSIONS. So again Mr. Rick D, please know your facts before you jump on a team and city you thought would be ripe for the pickings. Hockey in Nashville is flourishing thanks to hacks like yourself.

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