After 20 years of Nashville Predators hockey, many Canadian players suited up in the gold and blue.
136 to be exact. With big names such as Paul Kariya and P.K. Subban (who will not be listed here due to their short stints on the team) having played for the franchise, I will be listing off the five most influential Canadian players in Nashville Predators history.
Canada has always been the country to produce the most NHL players, so there is no surprise that there is an excess of talent on the list, which would make the top five almost anyone’s guess.
After all, Canada is the country that invented the sport and has the most Hall of Famers, and that talent extends to the Nashville Predators.
Without further ado, here are the Top 5 best Canadian players to put on a Nashville Predators sweater.
(Note: When I am giving rankings in stats, I am talking about Canadian players only, I used NHL.com to sort out every Canadian player in Predators history)
5. Greg Johnson
Greg Johnson was the type of player that everyone wanted on their team. He was loyal, he worked hard and he was a great leader, and the second captain in Nashville Predators history did just that.
Johnson was a part of the original 1998-99 Expansion Draft team and did not leave Nashville until his career ended in 2006.
Johnson is currently third in games played as a Nashville Predator, only trailing Shea Weber and Dan Hamhuis and added 93 goals and 145 assists for 238 points in that span, ranking 6th all time in points and 8th all time in goals.
Although his point totals weren’t the flashiest, with 18 goals and 44 points being his career highs in Nashville, that is not why Johnson is on this list.
Ever since arriving in Nashville, Johnson was a huge part of making the Predators the team that they are today, helping to create a culture of winning that instilled in everyone he played with.
The Nashville Predators would be a completely different team if they didn’t have Greg Johnson, which is why he is on this list.
Greg sadly passed away last Monday.
Yes, Jordin Tootoo wasn’t the most electric player when it comes to scoring, only totaling 125 in his eight years in the Music City, but he is one of the most recognizable names in Nashville Predators history.
Longevity definitely has something to do with that, as he is sixth in games played with 486. He also racked up the most penalty minutes with 725, with second place Scott Hartnell 99 minutes behind him.
Tootoo was an enforcer who wasn’t afraid to drop the gloves and the fanbase loved it. Opposing teams were scared to face him and that’s what mattered.
He was able to lay the body whenever he needed to, wracking up countless hits and setting the tone for the Nashville Predators, and that’s what made him so beloved by the fan base.
After all, you gotta know at least one person who owns a Jordin Tootoo Predators jersey.
3. Scott Hartnell
Scott Hartnell was another guy that set the tone for the Nashville Predators with his grit and fans loved him.
Hartnell was second in penalty minutes, just behind Jordin Tootoo, and he was also just behind Greg Johnson in games played with 498.
In Hartnell’s prime years, he wasn’t a bad scorer either with 25 being his best in his first six years as a Nashville Predator and later hitting 37 in Philadelphia.
All in all, Hartnell ranks fourth all time in goals and seventh all time in points. He was able to do it all, being both an enforcer and a goal scorer.
He was later traded to Philadelphia along with Kimmo Timonen in 2007, which was arguably one of the worst trades in franchise history, and was beloved there as well.
He came back to Nashville as a free agent in 2017 to wrap up his career, right where he belonged.
2. Mike Fisher
Mike Fisher was the face of Nashville Predators hockey upon arrival in 2011, right after he got sent there via trade.
He was an alternate captain since the 2012-13 season and later took over as captain after the departure of Shea Weber in 2016, leading the Predators to their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance in franchise history, where they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
He retired after that, to understandably spend time with his wife, Carrie Underwood, who also was one of the most influential figures in Nashville, surrendering his captaincy to Roman Josi, but came back to play 16 more games in the 17-18 season.
With his career looking like it is over Fisher ranks fifth out of all Canadian Predators in points, eighth in games played and second in goals.
In his best years, Fisher was able to put up 20 goals and 50 points a year, which is pretty good for a guy in his 30’s, as he arrived after his 30th birthday.
He even posted 18 goals and 42 points in his final complete season, at the ripe age of 38, which is definitely not a bad way to go out
He now continues to be a prominent figure in Nashville with his wife post retirement.
1. Shea Weber
No matter how you feel about him, Shea Weber will go down as one of the greatest Nashville Predators of all time.
Weber spent 11 years with the Nashvile Predators, as the 49th pick in the 2003 NHL Draft debuted in 2005 and racked up a franchise leading 763 games played, 166 goals, 277 assists and 443 points by a Canadian player. Yes, he leads in every single one of those categories,
Speaking of leading, Shea Weber was also a leader in the locker room, serving as captain from the 2010 season up until he got traded in 2016 for P.K. Subban.
He was recognizable from his 100 mph slap shot, being one of the only guys in NHL History who’s slapshot could even rival Zdeno Chara‘s, and he was also a pivotal part of the Predators defense.
He now serves as captain of the Montreal Canadians, but he should be remembered as one of the greatest players in Nashville Predators history.