Friday Flashback:  Nashville Predators’ First Game

The 2016 Nashville Predators’ season starts tonight as a sellout crowd is expected for their opening night against the Chicago Blackhawks.  My wife and I attended the opening game last year and we were hooked.  We are Predators’ fans now.  People who are not from Nashville are puzzled that hockey has been so well-received in the Music City.  The games are often sold-out and the atmosphere is electric when you get to go to a game in person.  We found that out first-hand last year.

The Predators played their first game on October 10, 1998 against the Florida Panthers in front of a sellout crowd of 17,298.  The Predators lost 1-0.   The starters for the Predators were:  Andrew Brunette (LW), Greg Johnson (C), Sergei Krivokrasov (RW), Joel Bouchard (D), Bob Boughner (D) and Mike Dunham (G).

The Predators finished their first season with a record of 28-47-7.

Why are they called the Predators?

In May of 1971, excavation began at the downtown Nashville site of what today is the 28-story First American Center.  Construction workers drilled through 20 feet of solid rock before coming to a soft muddy area.  Further digging revealed a cave containing the nine-inch fang and a foreleg bone of a saber-toothed tiger which had been extinct for at least 10,000 years.  Tests revealed that it could have possibly been one of the last of its breed to exist.

The team released the logo for the franchise before a name was selected.  In a name-the-team contest to go along with the logo, the results narrowed down to Fury, Tigers, Attack and Predators.

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