The Nashville Predators. Ugh.
One of the biggest problems with covering a 30-team league is that whenever you have to do a piece that has to mention every team, you inevitably hit 15 or so that aren’t on a coast, in Toronto, or owned by a cheap-pizza magnate. In other words: you don’t know anything about them.
Only the most well-traveled know much about the Nashville Predators. But never fear! With you in mind, Predlines presents:
Nashville Predators For Dummies
Nashville is a city located in a state called “Tennessee.” This state is located in a region called “The South.” The South is not known as a hockey hotbed…unless you’re talking about the ice during the playoffs! (Because it gets hot there!) People in Nashville don’t generally grow up playing in hockey. It’s totally weird that they even have a team.
Trust me. Nobody ever gets tired of this joke. Ever.
The Nashville Predators – now that’s a funny name, isn’t it? Couldn’t they have gone with “the Cowboys” or “the Elvises”? “Predators” is a lot like that old NBC show with Chris Hansen where they go after the pedos. If your word count is a little light, toss in a joke about that – always helps to pad out a Nashville story. Bonus points for finding a way to use “To Catch A Predator” in your headline. (Pro Tip: Use “To Catch A Predator” as the entire headline.)
OMG, like, who designed that thing?
You know what’s almost as funny as the Predators’ name? The color of their uniforms! It’s YELLOW! Can you believe that? If you’re light on words and you’ve already met your Chris Hansen quota, just hit the yellow jerseys and you should be fine.
Before Alexander Radulov returned to Nashville, they hadn’t scored a goal since he left. (PHOTO: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports)
The Ballad Of Rads The Russian
There was once a Russian player named Alexander Radulov who played in Nashville. He violated his contract and left to play in the KHL, the second-best league in the world, where all the teams have boatloads of money and burn effigies of Gary Bettman in their boardrooms as sacrifices to the dark gods of hockey. (Not so different from here in that regard.) Then Radulov came back to Nashville to save the team and take them to the playoffs. It was a whirlwind romance, but then he got drunk late one night and Nashville lost to Phoenix.
What’s that? Oh, sorry. Phoenix is a city located in a state called “Arizona,” which is in a region called “The Southwest.” The Southwest is not known as a hockey hotbed…
Ryan Suter is a Very Talented Player, which is why he left for Minnesota. (PHOTO: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)
The Ballad Of Shea And Ryan
There was once another player – not a Russian, this one, but an American named Ryan Suter. He played for Nashville his whole career, most of it alongside another player, a Canadian named Shea Weber. Both of these guys are Very Talented Players, so the real hockey franchises were ready to snap them up once they hit the open market.
Suter signed for $100 million in Minnesota and is going to have an excellent season because he’s a Very Talented Player. Weber almost got away to Philadelphia where he could have contended for the Cup. Then Nashville matched Philly’s offer sheet, dooming Weber, a fearsome leader with a strong will to win, to 14 years of being a Very Talented Player on a team that will finish 12th in the Western Conference every season.
If you’ve hit all of these not-at-all-tired points about the Nashville Predators and you’re still light on words, you have a few more aces in the hole. Just mention something about no big free-agent signings, or a small market, or country music and cowboy boots, or how the team hasn’t scored a goal since 1999. That ought to carry you along to the next safe harbor in Toronto or New York, where you’ll hopefully be able to recuperate before venturing back into this strange, uncharted territory again come playoff time.