Who is Closer to a League Championship, Predators or Titans?

NASHVILLE, TN - JANUARY 03: Nashville Predators celebrate a goal scored by Mattias Ekholm #14 (second from left) against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at Bridgestone Arena on January 3, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - JANUARY 03: Nashville Predators celebrate a goal scored by Mattias Ekholm #14 (second from left) against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at Bridgestone Arena on January 3, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

Whenever the Tennessee Titans bow out of the Super Bowl race every year, many local fans shift their focus more to the Nashville Predators.

Unfortunately, both franchises have a lot to prove before being realistically considered for their first league championship in either franchise’s history.

Neither the Predators nor Titans have won their respective league’s coveted championships. The Predators joined the NHL in 1998, and the once Houston Oilers and now Tennessee Titans have never won a Super Bowl.

The Titans needed to win their final regular season game on Saturday night to get into the playoffs. They lost in heartbreaking fashion, and it feels all too familiar to the local NHL team.

We’ve asked this question in the past on this site when the Titans bow out and the Predators become more of a focus in the Nashville sports market:

With nearly 300 votes so far, the Predators are narrowly winning the fan vote in terms of which franchise is further away from a league championship.

Honestly closer than I expected when putting this poll out there fresh after the Titans were eliminated by losing the lead on a fumble recovery for a touchdown by the Jacksonville Jaguars. A crushing way to get eliminated from postseason contention.

In hockey comparison, it would be like the Predators giving up a shorthanded goal inside one minute in regulation to lose by one and being knocked out of contention for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

We threw the baseball choice out there for fun, and it’s coming in strong with 15 percent of the vote. Not much faith in the Predators out there from the local fanbase.

How far away are the Nashville Predators from Stanley Cup Contention?

For a frame of reference, it usually takes a long time for an NHL expansion franchise to even become relevant. The Vegas Golden Knights broke the mold in 2018 by going to the Stanley Cup Final in their expansion season.

The Seattle Kraken started off with the more normal expansion season with just 60 points, but are rebounding nicely in their sophomore season sitting in third place currently in their division

The Nashville Predators went through five seasons of gradually building the roster into a playoff contender before finally cracking into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in their sixth season as a franchise.

It took another six seasons before the Nashville Predators won their first playoff series. The magical run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2017 changed everything and raised the expectations among local fans.

In historical context, the Predators are still in that window of being a relatively young franchise in terms of winning their first Stanley Cup. Here’s a look at some franchises who took a while to win their first Stanley Cup:

Teams Who Took the Longest to Win First Stanley Cup

  1. Vancouver Canucks- 52 Seasons, Zero Stanley Cups 
  2. Buffalo Sabres- 52 Seasons, Zero Stanley Cups
  3. St. Louis Blues- 50 Seasons, 1st Stanley Cup in 2018-19
  4. Arizona Coyotes- 43 Seasons, Zero Stanley Cups
  5. LA Kings- 43 Seasons, 1st Stanley Cup in 2011-12
  6. Washington Capitals- 42 Seasons, 1st Stanley Cup in 2017-18
  7. San Jose Sharks- 31 Seasons, Zero Stanley Cups
  8. Dallas Stars/Minnesota North Stars- 31 Seasons, 1st Stanley Cup in 1998-99
  9. Ottawa Senators- 30 Seasons, Zero Stanley Cups 
  10. Florida Panthers- 29 Seasons, Zero Stanley Cups
  11. Carolina Hurricanes- 25 Seasons, 1st Stanley Cup in 2005-06
  12. Nashville Predators- 24 Seasons, Zero Stanley Cups 
  13. Pittsburgh Penguins- 24 Seasons, 1st Stanley Cup in 1990-91

Moral of the story here is it takes a long time, usually, to even sniff a Stanley Cup. The Blues finally broke through after 50 seasons, and the Canucks are still trying to win their first to lead the list of misery.

For the sake of this debate over Titans or Predators, this list regarding first Stanley Cups makes you feel like the Predators will win one sometime after humans have started colonizing Mars.

The Titans/Oilers franchise, to be fair, has 63 seasons under its belt in the NFL with zero Super Bowls. If the Predators go this long, I think everyone in Nashville will become fans of cricket or badminton and give up on hockey.

Next. Juuse Saros Back as an All Star after Epic Night. dark

Seriously speaking, I have to think as bad as it seems for the Nashville Predators, they are slightly closer than the Titans. This isn’t me being prisoner of the moment. My argument is the Predators are still such a young franchise in the grand scheme of things and they have Juuse Saros who is that elite goaltender that can be lightning in a bottle for a Stanley Cup.

The Titans do not have an elite franchise quarterback and much deeper roster issues. Yes, you have to win fewer games to get to the big one, but I see the Titans going in a much more downward spiral than that of the Predators currently.

A general manager crisis has already happened for the Titans as they fired their GM just a month ago. The Predators have GM questions and calls for change, but David Poile remains the franchise’s only GM in team history.

To be frank, both franchises are far away. For the sake of this argument, I’m riding with the Nashville Predators. They’re right on the cusp of a ninth-consecutive playoff berth and hockey can be weird in the playoffs. The good kind of weird.

As for the Titans, they’re in a crossroads of having to clean house. Many Predators fans want the same thing so honestly, so flip a coin.