The name and logo pays tribute to the fossils found in May 1971 when construction workers were busy working on the First American Center came across the bones of a saber-toothed tiger.
Peter Laviollette 2014/15-
Bridgestone Arena 1998/99-
1998/99: The idea of hockey in Nashville first got wide attention in 1995 when the New Jersey Devils were threatening to move to Music City, while trying to get renovations to their arena in the Meadowlands. However, after the Devils won the Stanley Cup that season it was clear the state of New Jersey was going to keep their team. However, the NHL would be coming to Nashville as they city was awarded an expansion team, as the NHL began a four team expansion in three seasons n 1998. The team, which would be called Predators, played their first game on October 10th, losing to the Florida Panthers 1-0 before a sold out crowd of 17,298 at the Nashville Arena. The Preds would get their first win 3 days later as they beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2, with Andre Brunette northing the first goal in Predators history. The Predators would go on to complete their first season by finishing in last place in the Central Division with a record of 28-47-7.
1999/00: In their second season the Predators would show flashes of brilliance as they ran off an impressive eight game unbeaten streak between December 18th and January 1st. However, they would still not challenge for a playoff spot as they finished in last place with a 28-47-7-7 record, as Cliff Ronning led the team in scoring with 26 goals and 36 assists.
2000/01: The Predators started the season in the land of the rising sun splitting a two game series with the Pittsburgh Penguins in Tokyo. When the Predators returned to the states they rolled a four game unbeaten streak including a win over the Detroit Red Wings on the road in overtime on a goal by Cliff Ronning. The Predators would play solid hockey at times with several stirring comebacks and dramatic wins in overtime including on December 23rd in New York when David Legwand recorded the first overtime penalty shot goal in a 3-2 win over the Rangers. However, the Predators would be a non-factor in the playoff race again finishing in third place with a record of 34-34-9-3.
2001/02: The Predators would continue to play inconsistent hockey running off an 11-game unbeaten streak at the Gaylord Entertainment in November and December, but falling short of the playoffs again as they finish in 4th place with a record of 28-41-13-0, as the Predators struggled to score goals with only one player Denis Arkhipov scoring 20 goals.
2002/03: The Predators would stumble out of the gates posting an awful record of 2-10-4-4 in the first 20 games. In a move to shake the team up Goalie Mike Dunham is traded to the New York Rangers for Rem Murray and Tomas Kloucek, as Thomas Vokun is established as the number goaltender after backing up Dunham for four years. The move would pay off as Vokun posted a solid 2.20 GAA as the Predators climbed back into the playoff race by posting a record of 25-15-5-1 between November 27th and March 7th. However, the Predators would not win another game in the final 4 games as they went winless in their final 15 games to finish in fourth place with a record of 27-35-13-7, as the Predators continued to fail to find the first player to score 30 goals in a single season.
2003/04: The Predators would get off to a solid start and found themselves in the playoff chase for the first time in franchise history as they held a 16-14-4-2 record at the end of December. In January the Predators would make their move posting a 9-3-2-0 record. After struggling through the first half of February the Preds began to look to improving their team acquiring Steve Sullivan from the Chicago Blackhawks. Sullivan would have an immediate impact scoring a hat trick in his first game against the San Jose Sharks on February 18th, as he recorded 10 points in his first three games with Nashville. The Predators also would acquire Brad Bombardir and Sergei Zholtok from the Minnesota Wild. The added strength would help as the Predators made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history with a record of 38-29-11-4. In the playoffs the Predators were matched up against the President Trophy winning Detroit Red Wings. After losing the first two games on the road Music City got its first taste of playoff hockey as Thomas Vokun stopped 41 of 42 shots in a 3-1 win. In Game 4 Vokun was even better stopping all 41 shots as the Preds evened the series with a 3-0 win. However, as the series shifted back to Detroit the playoff tested Red Wings regained control with a 4-1 win. Hoping to force a seventh game season came to an end in Game 6 at home as they were held to just 15 shots in a 2-0 loss.
2004/05: Season Cancelled Due to Lock Out
2005/06: Coming out of the Lock Out the Predators were looking stronger then ever as they added a genuine star in Paul Kariya. Kariya would be just as good as expected leading the team in points at 85. The Predators would come out of the gate smoking as they won their first eight games, winning by just one goal in their first four games setting a NHL record. With the continued emergence of Thomas Vokun in goal the Predators were solid well rounded team all season as they were one of the top teams in the Western Conference all season as they finished in second place with a solid 49-25-8 record, topping the 100-point mark for the first time in franchise history. Down the stretch the Predators would hit a bump in the road as Goalie was diagnosed with thrombophlebitis of the pelvis, a blood-clotting condition. While backup Chris Mason allowed the Predators to finish the regular season strong, the loss of Vokun would catch up with them in the playoffs. The Predators would capture Game 1 of their first round series against the San Jose Sharks, but that would be it as the Sharks ripped the Predators in the next four games to win the series in five games.
2006/07: After their strong but unrewarding season, the Predators looked to improve by signing free agent Jason Arnott, while the Predators stumbled briefly out of the gate by losing their first three games; they quickly found their stride winning nine of their next ten games, as they battled the Detroit Red Wings, once again for the Central Division. Despite the success on the ice the Predators continued to struggle at the box office, as they team still losing money was put up for sale. Despite a possible ownership change the Predators played strong hockey all season, adding Peter Forsberg an experienced playoff winner in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers. With a 51-23-8 record the Predators would post the second best record in the Western Conference setting an all-time franchise record with 110 points. However, they would have to settle for second again as the Red Wings finished with 113 points. In the first round the Predators were matched up against the San Jose Sharks again losing the opener 5-4 in double overtime. The Preds would quickly recover winning the next game 5-2 to even the series. However, in San Jose the Predators would struggle losing both games, as they found themselves in a 3-1 hole again. Even returning home would not help them dig out as they lost in five games for the second straight year. The offseason would be a turbulent one for the Predators as rumors of a move to Hamilton plagued a potential deal with Jim Balsillie. Meanwhile another ownership group interested in moving the team to Kansas City also made inquires to buy the team from Craig Leipold, who has expressed his desire that team remain in Nashville.
2007/08: As rumors of the Predators moving hung around Nashville all season, the Predators who a season earlier had considered themselves Stanley Cup contenders began the season with a roster that was missing several key players, as the team was forced to cut payroll, as the team was up for sale. Among the players the Predators lost were Goalie Tomas Vokun, Captain Kimmo Timonen, Scott Hartnell, Paul Kariya, and Peter Forsberg. With lowered expectations the Predators got off to a rough start losing six of their first eight games. However, the Predators would not go down without a fight as they continued to remain competitive as they entered the New Year with a record of 18-18-2. With Dan Ellis taking over the goaltending duties the Predators stayed in playoff contention all season. Down the stretch Martin Erat played the role of hero scoring a hat trick in a key 5-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on March 4th. Ellis meanwhile had back to back shutouts in late March over the Columbus Blue Jackets, which helped the Predators sneak into the playoffs with the eighth seed, as they posted a record of 41-32-9. In the playoffs the Predators faced the Detroit Red Wings, who had the best record overall in the NHL. After losing the first two games on the road, the Predators over came an early 2-0 deficit for a 5-3 win in Game 3, powered by three unanswered goals in the final four minutes. The Preds would even the series with a 3-2 win in Game 4, as Dan Ellis stopped 39 of 41 shots. As the series shifted back to Detroit, the Predators continued to give the Wings a fight, as Dan Ellis kept them in the game stopping 52 of 53 shots as they game went to overtime tied 1-1. However, in Overtime Ellis would not be able to stop a shot by Johan Frazen who scored 1:48 into overtime. That would take the steam out of the Predators as they would end up losing Game 6 at home 3-0. The Wings who won the series in six games would go on to win the Stanley Cup.
2008/09: Off the ice the Predators ownership situation remained murky, as new owner Del Biaggio ran into legal trouble over a multitude of unpaid loans, culminating in him filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. While an FBI investigation was launched when it was alleged loans he used to buy his stake in the team through fraudulent means. On the ice the Predators played mediocre hockey all season, as they dug a deep hole in the Western Conference playoff chase with a 21-24-3 record at the end of January. However, with the return of Steve Sullivan who missed nearly two years with a back injury the Predators made a late push for the playoffs, posting a 10-4-1 record in February. However, due to their ownership issues, the Predators were forced to be bystanders at the trade deadline, and were unable to make any improvements for the stretch run, as they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2003 with a record of 40-34-8.
2009/10: After missing the playoffs, the Predators looked to rebound by adding some size with Marcel Goc, who was acquired from the San Jose Sharks. However, in the early going things did not look good for Nashville as the Preds got off to a slow start, losing seven of their first ten games. The Predators began to turn things around in November as they went on a seven game winning streak, earning wins against top notch teams like the Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils thanks to the stellar play of Goalie Pekka Rinne, while Patric Hornqvist was in the midst of a breakout 30 goal season. The Predators continued to play solid hockey until the end of January when they lost all four games during a tough road trip. However, by the time the Olympic Break arrived the Predators were in playoff position at 32-23-5. After the break the Predators were helped by the arrival of Colin Wilson who had 11 points in his first 15 games after being called up from Milwaukee. Spurred by a six game winning streak the Predators locked up a playoff spot and finished with a solid 47-29-6 record. In the playoffs as the seventh seed the Predators had a tough draw with the Chicago Blackhawks. However, when the series started the Predators were up to the challenge winning the opener 4-1 at the United Center behind four third period goals, including two by J.P. Dumont. It marked the first time ever the Predators won a playoff game on the road. After a 2-0 loss in Game 2, the series shifted to Nashville, where the Preds again had a big effort winning 4-1. However, once again the Blackhawks responded with a 3-0 shutout win in Game 4 to even the series. In Game 5 the Predators had a chance to come within a game of their first series victory as they held a 4-3 lead with Marian Hossa serving a five minute major in the closing moments of the third period. However, the Blackhawks pulled the goalie and tied the game on a shorthanded goal by Patrick Kane with 14 seconds left in regulation. The Preds were unable to score on the power play, before Hossa emerged from the box and scored the game winner at 4:07. The Blackhawks would go on to win the series in six games 5-3 as Jonathan Toews gave them the lead for good with 31 seconds left capping a seven goal first period. There would not be another goal until John Madden clinched the series with an empty netter in the final seconds of the third period.
2010/11: After a strong but unrewarding trip to the playoffs, the Predators looked to take the next step as the season began. In the off-season, the Predators would make several moves including trading Goalie Dan Ellis, to clear the way for Pekka Rinne to be the full time starter. In the deal that sent Ellis and Dustin Boyd to the Montreal Canadiens, the Predators would receive Sergei Kostitsyn. The Predators would play well early, as they did not lose a game in regulation until October 28th. As October became November, the Predators would lose five straight as they posted a 10-8-5 record during the first two months. In December, the Predators would start off winning eight of their first nine games. However, they would endure another five game losing streak as they entered the New Year with a record of 18-13-6. January would be a good month for the Predators, as they won nine games. However, they took another step backward in February as they posted a 5-6-2 record. On February 10th, the Predators looked to improve for the stretch run as they acquired two-way forward Mike Fisher from the Ottawa Senators for draft picks. The deal was especially popular in Nashville, as Fisher is married to Country Star Carrie Underwood. The deal would pay off as the Predators finished strong, posting a solid 44-27-11 record to capture the fifth seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. In the playoffs the Predators would face the Anaheim Ducks in the first round Mike Fisher would get off to a fast start, with two goals and an assist to lead the Predators to a 4-1 win in Game 1 on the road. After a 5-3 loss in Game 2, the series shifted to Nashville where the Predators took advantage of Bobby Ryan's suspension with a 4-3 win as Fisher's goal with 9:39 left was the difference. The Ducks would bounce back to win 6-3 in Game 4, with three unanswered goals in the third period to even the series. Back in Anaheim, Game 5 would go to overtime as Shea Weber tied the game 3-3 with 35.3 seconds left. Less than two minutes into overtime Jerred Smithson would score to give the Predators a 4-3 win and a chance to win the series in Nashville. Game 6 would be tied 2-2 after two periods. In the third period Nick Spaling would give the Preds the lead for good as David Legwand, the last original Predator scored an empty netter to seal the victory that sent Nashville to second for the first time in team history. In the second round the Predators would face the Vancouver Canucks, losing 1-0 in the opener. Trailing 1-0 late in Game 2, the Predators forced overtime on a goal by Ryan Suter, with 1:07 left in regulation. The Predators would win the game in double overtime on a goal by Matt Halischuk. Game 3 in Nashville would also go to overtime, but it would end in frustration for the Predators as Ryan Kesler's power play goal gave the Canucks a 3-2 win. Kesler was later show to get away with holding on the play that led to the winning goal. The Predators would also win Game 4 in Nashville 4-2. However, the Predators would not go down without a fight as Joel Ward scored twice in the third period to lead the way to a 4-3 win in Game 5. In Game 6 the Predators would allow two early goals, and spend the rest of the way fighting back. Unfortunately they would fall one goal short, losing 2-1 as the Canucks went to the Western Conference Finals.
2011/12: After winning their first playoff series in franchise history the Predators looked to continue the momentum as the tweaked their logo and uniform, adding a new alternate logo incorporating the Tennessee State flag into a guitar pick. After winning the first two games on the road, the Predators struggled in their home opener, losing to the Phoenix Coyotes 5-2. Free Agency was a concern for the Predators, as Goalie Pekka Rinne, Defenseman Shea Weber and Defenseman Ryan Sutter were set to hit the market in the off-season. On November 3rd, the Predators took care of Rinne, signing him to a seven year, $49 million deal, that night Rinne, celebrated by blanking the Coyotes 3-0. During most of the first half the Preds had their ups and downs, highlighted by a five game winning streak in December. Heading into the New Year, the Predators held a record of 20-14-4. The arrival of 2012 would be good for the Predators, as they won 11 of 13 games in January. However, struggles on the road in February led to the Predators making moves as the trade deadline approached. On February 17th the Predators picked up Defenseman Hal Gill from the Montreal Canadiens for Blake Geoffrion, Robert Slaney, and a 2012 2nd round draft pick. They would later add Andrei Kostitsyn from the Habs, while also picking up Paul Gaustad from the Buffalo Sabres. In March, the Predators saw the return of Alexander Radulov who had spent the last four seasons playing in the KHL in Russia. Radulov had seven points in nine games as the Predators finished the season strong, posting a record of 48-26-8, setting a new franchise best at 104 points. The key for the Predators successes was the play of Pekka Rinne, who had a solid 2.39 GAA, while Martin Erat, David Legwand and Mike Fisher all had 50 point seasons.
2012 Playoffs: In the playoffs the Predators would face a tough test right away against the Detroit Red Wings. Game 1 would see Shea Webber land a devastating hit on Henrik Zetterberg, cracking his helmet, as the Predators took the opener in Nashville 3-2. The Red Wings would rebound to win 3-2 in Game 2. However, as the series shifted to Detroit, the Predators took over, winning the next two games as Pekka Rinne continually frustrated the Red Wings, stopping 41 shots in a 3-2 win in Game 3, and 40 shots in a 3-1 Game 4 win. The Predators would go on to win the series in five games, winning 2-1 at home as David Legwand had a goal and an assist in the clincher. The Predators would face the Phoenix Coyotes in the second round, and lost an overtime heartbreaker 4-3 in Game 1. The Coyotes would also beat the Predators 5-3 in Game 2 to take a 2-0 lead. Making maters worse Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kosttitsyn were caught in a bar drinking after the 1 AM curfew, leading the team to suspend both players for Games 3 and 4. The return to Nashville would help the Predators take the third game 2-0, as Pekka Rinne stopped all 32 shots. However, despite another strong effort from Rinne, the Predators would suffer a 1-0 loss in Game 4, as the Coyotes went on to win the series in five games. Following the season the Predators would sign Shea Weber to a 14 year contract worth $110 million, matching a deal offered by the Philadelphia Flyers. However, Ryan Sutter would leave to join the Minnesota Wild, while both Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kosttitsyn were not offered contracts.
2012/13: After losing Ryan Suter to the Minnesota Wild, the Predators made sure they kept one of their star defensemen by matching the offer sheet the Philadelphia Flyer had given Shea Weber, worth $110 million over 14-years, with a $68 million signing bonus. The start of the season would be delayed as the NHL got involved in another ugly labor battle, partly due to circumstances that led to Weber's record offer sheet. The lockout would wipe out half the season, with the season finally starting in January. Despite the loss of Ryan Suter the Predators still had one of the best defenses in the NHL, but Suter's abillity to start the offense was sorely missed as they struggled all season to find the back of the net. Despite their scoring struggled, the Predators stayed in the playoff chase for much of the first six weeks of the regular season, though five overtime losses illustrated missed points and opportunities to establish a firm playoff footing. This would come back to haunt them as they won just one of eight games on the road in March and entered April barely hanging at 14-14-7. Knowing the playoffs would be a longshot the Predators would ship to the San Jose Sharks for a draft pick, while Martin Erat and Michael Latta were sent to the Washington Capitals for Filip Forsberg. The Predators would post a 2-9-2 record in April as they finished last in the Central Division with a record of 16-23-9. The Predators were tie with the Florida Panthers for the lowest scoring team in the league as Shea Weber needed just 28 points to lead the team, with David Legwand being the only Predator to score as many as a dozen goals.
2013/14: would be a year of transition in Nashville, after a lockout shortened season in which the Predators missed the playoffs. The future was seen with the drafting of Defensemen Seth Jones with the fourth overall pick. Jones the son of NBA player Popeye Jones was concerned one of the best American prospect to hit the NHL draft in years, with the size and strength beyond his 19 years, Seth Jones has the potential to be one the best blue liners in the NHL for years to come. Seth Jones scored his first goal on November 12th as the Predators beat the New York Islanders 3-2 at Bridgestone Arena. Jones would end his rookie season with six goals and 19 assists, but a -23 showed there was room for growth. The Predators would play most of the season without Goalie Pekka Rinne who played just 24 games as he developed in infection in his surgically repaired hip. Without their starting net minder the Predators would spend much of the season threading water, as they went into the Olympic Break with a record of 25-24-10. The Predators would suffer a four game losing streak as March began and their playoff hopes were a long shot at best. At the trade deadline the Predators would deal David Legwand, who made his debut during the Predators inaugural season in 1999, as was a big part of the growth of hockey in Nashville, sending him to the Detroit Red Wings for Calle Jarnkrok and Patrick Eaves, along with a draft pick. With Rinne returning to the ice in March, the Predators made a late run for the playoffs, with a 6-0-1 record over their final seven games, but fell three points short of the postseason with a record of 38-32-12. The Predators would get strong seasons from Shea Weber (56), Patric Hornqvist (53) and Craig Smith (52) who each topped 50 points. Smith would also lead the team in goals with 24. Following the season the Predators would dismiss Barry Trotz, who coaches the Predators since their very first game in 1998 completing the transition to the next step in Nashville Predators hockey.
2014/15: A new era began for the Nashville Predators as Peter Laviolette took over the coaching reigns from Barry Trotz. Trotz had been the coach for the Predators since their very first game in 1998. To help Laviolette the Predators made several improvements on offense, adding James Neal and Mike Ribeiro in the off-season. The Predators started the season strongly beating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in the season opener at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators would win five of their first seven games under Laviolette, losing twice in overtime. Nashville was even stronger in November, winning 10 of 13 games, including a perfect 6-0 record at home. While the Predators focused on improving their offense in the off-season, defense remained the key to their success. Led by Captain Shea Weber, Roman Josi and Seth Jones the Predators allowed fewer shots per game than any other team in the NHL. This made life easier for Goalie Pekka Rinne, who would be a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, with a record of 41-17-6, with a 2.18 GAA and a .923 save percentage. The Predators spent a good portion of the season in first place, as they entered the New Year with a record of 24-9-3, and posted a record of 17-6-4 between January and February. However, a goal scoring slump in March led to a five game losing streak that allowed the St. Louis Blues to take over the top spot in the Central Division. The Predators would hit another slump as the season ended losing their last six games as they finished in second place with a record of 47-25-10. Filip Forsberg having a breakout season, would lead Nashville in scoring with 63 points, highlighted by a team best 26 goals, while Mike Ribeiro led the team with 47 assists.
2015 Playoffs: The Predators who were a strong team at Bridgestone Arena all season, would have home ice in the playoffs as they faced the Chicago Blackhawks in the opening round. Things looked good early for the Predators as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period of Game 1, with Colin Wilson scoring twice. However, with Scott Darling relieving Corey Crawford in the second period, the Blackhawks would rally to tie the game and won in double overtime 4-3. Led by Craig Smith's two goals and one assists the Predators bounced back to even the series with a 6-2 win in Game 2. As the series shifted to Chicago, the Blackhawks took over winning 4-2 to take a 2-1 series lead in Game 3. The Blackhawks would also capture Game 4 in a triple overtime marathon, winning 3-2. With their season slipping away, the Predators got a third period hat trick from Filip Forsberg to beat the Blackhawks 5-2 in Game 5 at Bridgestone Arena. However, it would be the final game during the season in Music City, as the Blackhawks behind a third period goal by Duncan Keith eliminated the Predators with a 4-3 win Game 6 at the United Center. The Blackhawks would go on to win the Stanley Cup.
First Game Played October 10, 1998
Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: (615) 770-2300
Barry Trotz 1998/99-2013/14
Peter Laviollette 20014/15-Present
Bridgestone Arena* 1998/99-Present
*-Known as Nashville Arena 1998/99 , Gaylord Ent. Center 1999-2007 & Sommet Center 2007-2010
Stanley Cup Champions:
Stanley Cup FInals:
Playoff Appearences: (8)
2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015
Hall of Famers: (1)
Peter Forsberg C 2006/07
Jack Adams Award (Top Coach):
Calder Trophy (Top Rookie):
Masterton Trophy (Dedication): (1)
2009 Steve Sullivan RW
Lady Byng (Gentlemanly Play):
Selke Trophy (Defensive Fwd):
Norris Trophy (Defenseman):
Vezina Trophy (Top Goalie):
Hart Trophy (NHL MVP):
Retired Numbers: (1)
99 Wayne Gretzky (Retired by NHL)
Tom Fitzgerald 1998/99-2001/02
Greg Johnson 2002/03-2005/06
Kimmo Timonen 2006/07
Jason Arnott 2007/08-2009/10
Shea Weber 2010/11-Present
All-Star Games Hosted: (1)
All-Star Game MVP:
Conn Smythe (Playoff MVP):
2006/07 (51-23-8; 110 pts)
1998/99 (28-47-9; 63 pts)
On The Air:
Fox Sports Tennessee
WPRT (102.5 FM)
Willy Daunic and Stu Grimson-TV; Brent Peterson and Pete Weber-Radio
Minor League Afilliate:
Milwaukee Admirals (AHL)
Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL)
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©MMXV Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Hockey League. This site is not affiliated with the Nashville Predators or the NHL. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer's Sports Logos Page.
Page created on Page created on June 13, 2003. Last updated on October 22, 2015 at 11:25 pm ET.
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