Since 1998, only 11 players have represented the Nashville Predators in an NHL All-Star Game. Here is our list of the Predators greatest All-Stars.
In 1947, the NHL created the All-Star Game in order to show off its best and brightest stars to grow the game of hockey. This weekends iteration marks the 63rd All-Star event, as 44 of the NHL’s best players have invaded Amalie Arena, in Tampa Bay. Representing the Nashville Predators, in the franchises 20th season, will be both P.K. Subban and Pekka Rinne who will compete for the Central Division. In honor of the All-Star festivities this weekend, we want to recognize the Nashville Predators Top Five all time NHL All-Stars.
#5 James Neal
Former Predator and current Vegas Golden Knight, James Neal, finds himself in the fifth spot as one of the Nashville Predators’ all-time All-Stars.
As a Predator’s fan, you may be wondering as to how a former Predator, who only represented the club once, can be on the list. Well, Neal is on the list because of his performance in the 2016 event at Bridgestone Arena.
Not only was this event the first All-Star Game in Nashville, but it was also the first All-Star Game following the new 3 on 3 mini-tournament format. The NHL made the format change to make the event entertaining and Neal’s play was definitely that, as he scored a pair of goals. Not to mention, he also entertained the home crowd with a unique attempt in the Breakaway Challenge.
#4 Kimmo Timonen
At number four is former longtime Predator, Kimmo Timonen.
Unlike many of the other Predator All-Stars that are featured on this list, the Finnish blueliner did not have any great All-Star weekend moments. However, you can not discredit the fact that he was chosen three times and appeared in two All-Star Games. He also helped bring attention to the Predators, in their early years, by appearing as an All-Star. For these two reasons, he gets the nod.
#3 Filip Forsberg
Coming in at number three on the Predator’s list of all time All-Stars is Filip Forsberg.
Although the Swedish sniper has only competed in one All-Star Game thus far in his career, there is no denying that he deserves to be on the list, as he was extremely impressive.
After replacing the injured Evgeni Malkin at the 2015 event In Columbus, Ohio, Forsberg made the most of his opportunity to show off his talent, starting in the skills competition. In the first event he competed in, the NHL Skills Challenge Relay, he put on a great performance showing off his silky smooth hands with impressive stick handling. Then, in the Discover NHL Shootout, he dazzled the crowd with a ridiculous goal against Carey Price. In the actual All-Star Game, Forsberg finished off his great showing by adding two goals, en route to helping Team Toews win, 17-12.
Considering that Forsberg is only 23 years of age and that he continues to get better every year, he will definitely be attending more All-Star Games in the future. When that happens, expect Forsberg to climb up this list.
#2 Pekka Rinne
Current Nashville Predator and starting goalie, Pekka Rinne, makes it on the list in the second spot.
Since joining the Nashville Predators on a full time basis in 2008, the Finnish netminder has been one of the best goalies in the NHL and his resume proves that. Prior to the year’s All-Star event which he will be participating in, Rinne has been named an All-Star two other times. However, due to a knee injury in January 2015, just a week before the All-Star Game, he was forced to miss it. Although Rinne has only participated in one All-Star Game, the 2016 event in Nashville, he is still one of the franchises all time All-Stars. After all, he is the only Predators goalie to be selected to the unofficial mid-season event multiple times and sits tied for second most All-Star selections in franchise history.
#1 Shea Weber
When you think of the Nashville Predator’s greatest All-Star, there is no way that Shea Weber is not the first name that comes to mind.
Over the course of his tenure in Nashville, the Sicamous, BC, native made five consecutive All-Star Game appearances, starting with his first appearance in 2009 in Montreal. The streak finally came to a fitting end on home ice in front of Nashville fans in 2016. This impressive streak of five straight appearances is the longest in Predators history and makes him the only Predator to have represented the franchise in more than two All-Star weekends.
Just holding these records alone makes Weber the Predators’ greatest All-Star, however, he tops the list for something more. In his five All-Star weekends, Weber was a player that you needed to have an eye on, especially during the NHL Hardest Shot Competition. Weber didn’t win the event in his first three years, always narrowly losing, but in 2015 he finally won his first of two consecutive hardest shot competitions. In fact, he won the competition a third straight time after being traded to Montreal.
Although P.K. Subban and Sergei Krivokrasov did not make the list, they still deserve to be mentioned for their own reasons. Krivokrasov deserves a mention as he was the first player to represent the Predators in an All-Star competition. While Subban deserved to be recognized as both this year and last, he was voted by fans as the Central Division’s captain.