Jump to content
×

Ducks Hockey Forum Coyotes Hockey Forum Bruins Hockey Forum Sabres Hockey Forum Flames Hockey Forum Hurricanes Hockey Forum Blackhawks Hockey Forum Avalanche Hockey Forum Blue Jackets Hockey Forum Stars Hockey Forum Red Wings Jackets Hockey Forum Oilers Hockey Forum Panthers Hockey Forum Kings Hockey Forum Wild Hockey Forum Canadiens Hockey Forum Predators Hockey Forum Devils Hockey Forum Islanders Hockey Forum Rangers Hockey Forum Senators Hockey Forum Flyers Hockey Forum Penguins Hockey Forum Sharks Hockey Forum Blues Hockey Forum Lightning Hockey Forum Maple Leafs Hockey Forum Canucks Hockey Forum Golden Knights Hockey Forum Capitals Hockey Forum Jets Hockey Forum

News Ticker
  • News Around the NHL
Honest Bender

20 Predators in 20 Years

Recommended Posts

In this thread, i'll highlight 20 notable players in the 20 year history of the Nashville Predators. They will be presented in order of first appearance. But I'll start off with some honorable mentions, and some non-players who have to be noted, each photo has been carefully chosen to best represent their contribution to the team...

 

 

 

David Poile

1997 - Present

Predators-David-Poile-GM-of-the-year.png

 

NHL hockey in Nashville begins and ends with David Poile. Everyone that will be included in this thread has been put in place by the hand of David Poile. He has grown the game here, from the early days where he and Trotz themselves were in the community organizing pickup games in the streets for kids and teach the rules of the game, pumping up the community for the inaugural season ticket drive, and handing out gear for an unknown team at every stop. Now one of the most respected names in the league, Poile has won the Lester Patrick trophy and the General Manager Of The Year award. 

 

Barry Trotz

1997 - 2014

BarryTrotz.jpg

 

Much like Poile, Barry Trotz laid the foundation for Nashville's NHL identity. Although he was never able to lead the team out of the second round of the playoffs, Trotz personally worked in the community to build a fanbase, and on the ice he coached a team that played a hard working style and endeared themselves to the new fans in Nashville.

 

 

Peter Laviolette

2014 - Present

636317556080920291-NAS-Stanley-Cup-Preda

 

 

Transforming the Predators identity after Trotz, "Lavy" has gotten the most out of the Predators transition to a more skilled team and lead the club to their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final in 2017. While he likely won't have the longevity of Trotz, or endear himself to the community in the same way, he was the right coach at the right time. 

 

Mike Dunham

1998 - 2003

th?id=OIP.I0FRf5_zEcAKWsbt8jhS-wD5Es&pid

 

Dunham was the first name that most hockey fans in Nashville heard. He was the first building block in the foundation of Poile's plan. While he didn't become the star that he was projected to be, he was more than adequate for those early seasons and helped the Predators to be one of the most respectable expansion franchises in league history. 

 

Patric Hornqvist

2008 - 2014

Edmonton+Oilers+v+Nashville+Predators+I_

 

Hornqvist was the last pick of the draft in 2005, and he carried that chip on his shoulder into the NHL. He is a feisty net front presence, always causing havoc around the crease and banging in the dirty goals. By the time he left, Hornqvist had worked his way into the leadership group. A fan favorite during his Predators tenure, Hornqvist later scored the Stanley Cup clinching goal against the Preds as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

 

P.K. Subban

2016 - Present

636118979982999312-PK-Charity-013.jpg

 

It's never easy when a team trades the face of their franchise, a captain beloved by an entire city. But when the Predators traded Shea Weber to Montreal, they got the incredible P.K. Subban in return. Subban is a dynamic player on the ice, contributing at both ends of the ice as well as the locker room. What really stands out is his larger-than-life personality and his incredible contributions off the ice. Subban immediately jumped into Nashville charities and reached out with his own foundation, he became an instant sensation around town and as great as he is as a hockey player, he will probably be best remembered for bringing smiles to the faces of so many people outside of the rink.

 

 

That's it for the honorable mentions, I just wanted to give a small snippet on them because they are too important to leave out completely, tomorrow we'll start to get more in depth with the 20 Predators in 20 years!

Edited by Honest Bender
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 of 20

 

Cliff Ronning

1998-2002

 

725616501INNER-e1359577598638.jpg

 

 

GP: 301

G: 81

A: 145

Pts: 226

%: .751

PIM: 126

 

Ronning was acquired via trade early in the first season and instantly became the biggest scoring threat on those first teams. In fact, he led the team in scoring in each of the four seasons that he was with the Predators. He brought something rare to the first roster... experience. Ronning already had 11 seasons in the NHL and more than just his scoring prowess, he became a leader and a mentor. He showed many young players how to be a professional. As a smaller player, he was also instrumental in instilling the "Predators Way" of hustle and fighting for every inch of ice. Ronning left the team as the franchise leader in Goals, Assists and Points. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 of 20

 

Scott Walker

1998-2006

 

1397220063014-DN-20130920-SPORTS02-30920

 

GP: 410

G: 96

A: 151

Pts: 247

%: .602

PIM: 465

 

Scott Walker can only be described as the heart and soul of the Predators from 1998-2006. Walker epitomized the "Predators Way". Not only was he usually one of the primary scoring threats on the roster, but he hit, fought, forechecked with intensity, killed penalties, blocked shots and brought a general feisty approach to his play every night. His body suffered for his rough and tumble style, but Walker led the Predators in goal scoring and points multiple times. He wore an alternate's "A" and would wear a "C" whenever the captain was unable to dress. When we he was traded to Carolina in 2006, Walker was the franchise leader in Goals, Points and Penalty Minutes. He still ranks #7 in points on the franchise's all-time list despite the team's best years being in the 11 season's since he was traded. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 of 20

 

Tomas Vokoun

1998-2007

 

50883727.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=3&d=77BFBA

 

GP: 383

W: 161

L: 159

T: 35

OTL: 11

SO: 21

SV%: .913

 

Tomas Vokoun was an overweight, unmotivated goalie on the verge of becoming completely irrelevant as far as an NHL career goes when he was taken by the Predators in the expansion draft. Expected to be a project as the Predators had Mike Dunham and Eric Fichaud ahead of him, Vokoun actually ended up playing 37 games for the Predators in their inaugural season. Thanks to the work of goaltending coach Mitch Korn, Vokoun found his motivation with the Predators. He slimmed down and made improvements each season, and was a fan favorite to replace Mike Dunham well before he actually did. Vokoun brought a fiery unpredictability to the crease, not quite the unorthodox style of Dominic Hasek but certainly not any kind of traditional goaltending. In the days before the trapezoid rule, Vokoun would wander all around the defensive zone chasing down pucks, often in a footrace with opposing players that resulted in collisions. He assumed the starting role after the trade deadline in the 2002 season, and in 2003 carried the load solo for the first time and nearly led the team to their first playoff birth (it was derailed by an injury to leading scorer David Legwand). In the 2003-2004 season, Vokoun was spectacular in finally getting the club into the postseason and put up a great showing against the #1 Detroit Red Wings. Unfortunately, while he would maintain a high level of play in the seasons following the lockout, injuries would prevent him from being effective in the playoffs with the Predators. A freak blood clot incident, spurred from a childhood boiling water accident caused him to miss the playoffs all together in 2006 and a thumb injury kept him out of action for portions of 2007 and lowered his overall ability in the playoffs. Still, Vokoun left as the most popular player after the first 10 years and until very recently (Pekka Rinne) he led the franchise in every goaltending statistic. He also had a great off-ice personality that endeared him to the fans and community, appearing at the childrean's hospital often, starring in local commercials and attending many team signing events. One of the best memories is when Vokoun made a big save at what is now known as Bridgestone Arena, the song "Song 2" by Blur would play and fans would replace the Woo-Hoo lyric with Vo-koun. 

Edited by Honest Bender

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4 of 20

 

Kimmo Timonen

1998-2007

 

115338772.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=3&d=77BFB

 

GP: 573

G: 79

A: 222

Pts: 301

%: .525

PIM: 348

 

Timonen joined the Predators in a blunder of a trade by the LA Kings at the 1998 expansion draft. In exchange for not selecting Garry Galley, the Kings traded Jan Vopat and Kimmo Timonen to the Predators. At the time Timonen was considered an undersized defenseman who would have difficulty developing into an NHL player. Despite his international success, the NHL was too big and rugged at the time for a player like Timonen. At least, that's what everyone said, Timonen had other ideas. His strength was in his skating ability and power, massive legs were the engine that propelled him to success. Timonen quickly worked his way up the depth chart and was a fixture on the first pairing as soon as 1999 (Galley was out of the league in 2001). It's hard to find a single flaw in his game, he had the skating of course, but also hockey smarts, positioning, superb passing ability and an effective shot. Five times he finished over 40 points and twice over 50 during his time with the Predators and another season with 33 points in 51 games (a 53 points pace). A leader of the blueline during his Predators tenure, Timonen was named team captain in 2006, though it would be his final season with the team before Craig Leipold sold off talent ahead of an attempt to sell the team. Timonen left the team as the franchise's leading scorer and games played leader. He still ranks 4th today and is second among Predators defenders in games, goals, assists and points.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great idea and Great list!

 

Keep up the good work ....looking forward to the rest of your list.... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Honest Bender said:

4 of 20

 

Kimmo Timonen

1998-2007

 

115338772.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=3&d=77BFB

 

GP: 573

G: 79

A: 222

Pts: 301

%: .525

PIM: 348

 

Timonen joined the Predators in a blunder of a trade by the LA Kings at the 1998 expansion draft. In exchange for not selecting Garry Galley, the Kings traded Jan Vopat and Kimmo Timonen to the Predators. At the time Timonen was considered an undersized defenseman who would have difficulty developing into an NHL player. Despite his international success, the NHL was too big and rugged at the time for a player like Timonen. At least, that's what everyone said, Timonen had other ideas. His strength was in his skating ability and power, massive legs were the engine that propelled him to success. Timonen quickly worked his way up the depth chart and was a fixture on the first pairing as soon as 1999 (Galley was out of the league in 2001). It's hard to find a single flaw in his game, he had the skating of course, but also hockey smarts, positioning, superb passing ability and an effective shot. Five times he finished over 40 points and twice over 50 during his time with the Predators and another season with 33 points in 51 games (a 53 points pace). A leader of the blueline during his Predators tenure, Timonen was named team captain in 2006, though it would be his final season with the team before Craig Leipold sold off talent ahead of an attempt to sell the team. Timonen left the team as the franchise's leading scorer and games played leader. He still ranks 4th today and is second among Predators defenders in games, goals, assists and points.

 

A fan favorite in Philly.  Was extremely happy he got his Cup victory with the Blackhawks ....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

5 of 20

 

David Legwand

1998-2014

 

cut.jpg

 

GP: 956

G: 210

A: 356

Pts: 566

%: .592

PIM: 474

 

David Legwand, the first draft pick in franchise history. The expectations were heavy on a kid who was drafted to be a franchise center. It's no secret that he didn't live up to that hype, but don't let the missed expectations distract you from the awesome career that he did turn out. A modest guy who never sought the spotlight, Legwand would do anything that the coaching staff asked of him. Which after retiring he would admit, along with David Poile and Barry Trotz, that upon being drafted he was asked to sacrifice some of his offensive talent in order to become a more defensively responsible center. And he was a very underrated defensive forward throughout his career. An efficient and speedy skater who suffered from Mario Lemieux complex, in which fans think his effortless stride meant that he wasn't trying hard enough. In many ways, especially in his early seasons, Legwand was misunderstood of Predators players by the young fanbase who assumed he should be putting up 100 point each season. A favorite critique of mine to hear from fans was "Poile should have drafted Lecavalier", which of course wasn't possible. 

 

It wasn't until later in his career, well past his prime that he majority of Nashville fans really appreciated Legwand and his contributions. He left the team in 2014, traded to his hometown Detroit Red Wings for Call Jarnkrok who is still with the team. At the time of the trade, and still to this day, Legwand is the franchise leader in Games Played, Goals, Assists and Points. He also earned the distinction in 2000 of becoming the first player in NHL history to score on a penalty shot in overtime. 

 

Legwand's story arc follows the same path of the team as a whole, being the first draft pick, as Legwand went so did the team. After honing his defensive game for the first few years, he started to add to his offensive output. In the 2002-2003 season, Legwand was finally enjoying what could be considered a true breakout. This season was significant because when the team was founded in 1997, owner Craig Leipold in an effort to sell the required number of season tickets, laid out the "5 Year Pledge", which said that the team would make the playoffs in their 5th season or he would freeze any increases in ticket prices. That year the Predators were approaching the 8th seed late, Legwand had 48 points in 64 games. In a key matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks,  the Predators won in overtime, extending a great run of 9-2-0 over 11 games to move into that final playoff spot. However in that game Legwand injured his shoulder and would miss the remainder of the season. There has never been a more obvious sign of his impact on the team as the club went just 1-13-4 in his absence and failed to qualify for the playoffs. Known as "the Legwand Effect" indeed the team saw similar W/L results throughout his tenure regardless of the players around him.

 

Following the lockout, the team acquired center Jason Arnott to be the #1 and later brought in Paul Kariya. With the SAD (Sullivan-Arnott-Dumont) line leading the way, the team was finally able to slot Legwand into a more appropriate #2 role and give him skilled wingers, known as the 9-10-11 line (Kariya - Legwand - Erat). Legwand enjoyed the best statistical seasons of his career managing 89 points in 122 games under that configuration, including a career high 63 in 78 during the  06-07 season. For comparison, the most offensively dynamic line that most people consider when they think of the Predators is the current Forsberg - Johansen - Arvidsson unit (JoFA) where Johansen and Arvidsson led the team with 61 points each last year. 

 

But as memorable as his statistical contributions were, it was the things that most fans wouldn't notice which made him a favorite of the coaching staff. Legwand of course was molded directly by Trotz to be a two-way player and never complained once about it. He was offered the captain's C and several times an A and declined multiple times until near the end of his tenure because he didn't seek the spotlight. He led the team onto the ice for warm-ups each night and directed the warm-up routine for much of his career. Legwand was a real professional who was always tasked with a mentorship role for rookies coming in, rooming with them and teaching them the NHL life and he always retrieved the puck for teammates on firsts and milestone goals and points. 

 

Even if it took 15 years for most fans in Nashville to appreciate him, it's impossible to imagine those first 15 years of Predators hockey without David Legwand. He didn't have a hall-of-fame career, he won't have his number retired by the team, and his franchise records will surely be passed in just a few years, but what he meant to the team while he was here is something that will never be surpassed or forgotten.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Most Liked Posts in This Topic

    • 2
      Post
      4 of 20   Kimmo Timonen 1998-2007     GP: 573 G: 79 A: 222 Pts: 301 %: .525 PIM: 348   Timonen joined the Predators in a blunder of a trade by the LA Kings at the 1998 expansion draft. In exchange for not selecting Garry Galley, the Kings traded Jan Vopat and Kimmo Timonen to the Predators. At the time Timonen was considered an undersized defenseman who would have difficulty developing into an NHL player. Despite his international success, the NHL was too big and rugged at the time for a player like Timonen. At least, that's what everyone said, Timonen had other ideas. His strength was in his skating ability and power, massive legs were the engine that propelled him to success. Timonen quickly worked his way up the depth chart and was a fixture on the first pairing as soon as 1999 (Galley was out of the league in 2001). It's hard to find a single flaw in his game, he had the skating of course, but also hockey smarts, positioning, superb passing ability and an effective shot. Five times he finished over 40 points and twice over 50 during his time with the Predators and another season with 33 points in 51 games (a 53 points pace). A leader of the blueline during his Predators tenure, Timonen was named team captain in 2006, though it would be his final season with the team before Craig Leipold sold off talent ahead of an attempt to sell the team. Timonen left the team as the franchise's leading scorer and games played leader. He still ranks 4th today and is second among Predators defenders in games, goals, assists and points.
    • 1
      Post
      In this thread, i'll highlight 20 notable players in the 20 year history of the Nashville Predators. They will be presented in order of first appearance. But I'll start off with some honorable mentions, and some non-players who have to be noted, each photo has been carefully chosen to best represent their contribution to the team...       David Poile 1997 - Present   NHL hockey in Nashville begins and ends with David Poile. Everyone that will be included in this thread has been put in place by the hand of David Poile. He has grown the game here, from the early days where he and Trotz themselves were in the community organizing pickup games in the streets for kids and teach the rules of the game, pumping up the community for the inaugural season ticket drive, and handing out gear for an unknown team at every stop. Now one of the most respected names in the league, Poile has won the Lester Patrick trophy and the General Manager Of The Year award.    Barry Trotz 1997 - 2014   Much like Poile, Barry Trotz laid the foundation for Nashville's NHL identity. Although he was never able to lead the team out of the second round of the playoffs, Trotz personally worked in the community to build a fanbase, and on the ice he coached a team that played a hard working style and endeared themselves to the new fans in Nashville.     Peter Laviolette 2014 - Present     Transforming the Predators identity after Trotz, "Lavy" has gotten the most out of the Predators transition to a more skilled team and lead the club to their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final in 2017. While he likely won't have the longevity of Trotz, or endear himself to the community in the same way, he was the right coach at the right time.    Mike Dunham 1998 - 2003   Dunham was the first name that most hockey fans in Nashville heard. He was the first building block in the foundation of Poile's plan. While he didn't become the star that he was projected to be, he was more than adequate for those early seasons and helped the Predators to be one of the most respectable expansion franchises in league history.    Patric Hornqvist 2008 - 2014   Hornqvist was the last pick of the draft in 2005, and he carried that chip on his shoulder into the NHL. He is a feisty net front presence, always causing havoc around the crease and banging in the dirty goals. By the time he left, Hornqvist had worked his way into the leadership group. A fan favorite during his Predators tenure, Hornqvist later scored the Stanley Cup clinching goal against the Preds as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.   P.K. Subban 2016 - Present   It's never easy when a team trades the face of their franchise, a captain beloved by an entire city. But when the Predators traded Shea Weber to Montreal, they got the incredible P.K. Subban in return. Subban is a dynamic player on the ice, contributing at both ends of the ice as well as the locker room. What really stands out is his larger-than-life personality and his incredible contributions off the ice. Subban immediately jumped into Nashville charities and reached out with his own foundation, he became an instant sensation around town and as great as he is as a hockey player, he will probably be best remembered for bringing smiles to the faces of so many people outside of the rink.     That's it for the honorable mentions, I just wanted to give a small snippet on them because they are too important to leave out completely, tomorrow we'll start to get more in depth with the 20 Predators in 20 years!
    • 1
      Post
      5 of 20   David Legwand 1998-2014     GP: 956 G: 210 A: 356 Pts: 566 %: .592 PIM: 474   David Legwand, the first draft pick in franchise history. The expectations were heavy on a kid who was drafted to be a franchise center. It's no secret that he didn't live up to that hype, but don't let the missed expectations distract you from the awesome career that he did turn out. A modest guy who never sought the spotlight, Legwand would do anything that the coaching staff asked of him. Which after retiring he would admit, along with David Poile and Barry Trotz, that upon being drafted he was asked to sacrifice some of his offensive talent in order to become a more defensively responsible center. And he was a very underrated defensive forward throughout his career. An efficient and speedy skater who suffered from Mario Lemieux complex, in which fans think his effortless stride meant that he wasn't trying hard enough. In many ways, especially in his early seasons, Legwand was misunderstood of Predators players by the young fanbase who assumed he should be putting up 100 point each season. A favorite critique of mine to hear from fans was "Poile should have drafted Lecavalier", which of course wasn't possible.    It wasn't until later in his career, well past his prime that he majority of Nashville fans really appreciated Legwand and his contributions. He left the team in 2014, traded to his hometown Detroit Red Wings for Call Jarnkrok who is still with the team. At the time of the trade, and still to this day, Legwand is the franchise leader in Games Played, Goals, Assists and Points. He also earned the distinction in 2000 of becoming the first player in NHL history to score on a penalty shot in overtime.    Legwand's story arc follows the same path of the team as a whole, being the first draft pick, as Legwand went so did the team. After honing his defensive game for the first few years, he started to add to his offensive output. In the 2002-2003 season, Legwand was finally enjoying what could be considered a true breakout. This season was significant because when the team was founded in 1997, owner Craig Leipold in an effort to sell the required number of season tickets, laid out the "5 Year Pledge", which said that the team would make the playoffs in their 5th season or he would freeze any increases in ticket prices. That year the Predators were approaching the 8th seed late, Legwand had 48 points in 64 games. In a key matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks,  the Predators won in overtime, extending a great run of 9-2-0 over 11 games to move into that final playoff spot. However in that game Legwand injured his shoulder and would miss the remainder of the season. There has never been a more obvious sign of his impact on the team as the club went just 1-13-4 in his absence and failed to qualify for the playoffs. Known as "the Legwand Effect" indeed the team saw similar W/L results throughout his tenure regardless of the players around him.   Following the lockout, the team acquired center Jason Arnott to be the #1 and later brought in Paul Kariya. With the SAD (Sullivan-Arnott-Dumont) line leading the way, the team was finally able to slot Legwand into a more appropriate #2 role and give him skilled wingers, known as the 9-10-11 line (Kariya - Legwand - Erat). Legwand enjoyed the best statistical seasons of his career managing 89 points in 122 games under that configuration, including a career high 63 in 78 during the  06-07 season. For comparison, the most offensively dynamic line that most people consider when they think of the Predators is the current Forsberg - Johansen - Arvidsson unit (JoFA) where Johansen and Arvidsson led the team with 61 points each last year.    But as memorable as his statistical contributions were, it was the things that most fans wouldn't notice which made him a favorite of the coaching staff. Legwand of course was molded directly by Trotz to be a two-way player and never complained once about it. He was offered the captain's C and several times an A and declined multiple times until near the end of his tenure because he didn't seek the spotlight. He led the team onto the ice for warm-ups each night and directed the warm-up routine for much of his career. Legwand was a real professional who was always tasked with a mentorship role for rookies coming in, rooming with them and teaching them the NHL life and he always retrieved the puck for teammates on firsts and milestone goals and points.    Even if it took 15 years for most fans in Nashville to appreciate him, it's impossible to imagine those first 15 years of Predators hockey without David Legwand. He didn't have a hall-of-fame career, he won't have his number retired by the team, and his franchise records will surely be passed in just a few years, but what he meant to the team while he was here is something that will never be surpassed or forgotten.

About us

We are an enthusiastic community of HockeyFans who enjoy discussing the NHL and the great game of hockey in our Forums. Our members may write their own blogs, converse in chat, post pics in our gallery, join our fantasy hockey leagues and more. If you are looking for a friendly community to discuss hockey then register today and begin your conversation in our NET.

 

 Contact Us

 

Recent tweets

Like what we do? Help us keep doing it!
Supporting Members help keep HockeyForums Advertisement Free
×