The Colorado Avalanche lost to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night. The result isn’t surprising. What is surprising is that I’m writing a hockey column for The USB because I make it my goal every year to say I’m going to write a bunch of NHL columns for the USB and then never do it. But 2016 has sucked, and here I am.
Steve Cook (noted Predators fan) and I (noted Avalanche fan) made a little wager on the game. Not for money, because Dustin keeps all of the USB profit for himself (although he did buy me an Oregon Ducks shirt for Christmas one year. It was two sizes too small), but for writing. The loser had to write about the winners team. More specifically, the loser had to give his all-time favorite players on the opposing team. The Predators have been around since 1997, have had two head coaches in their history, and hang no banners in their arena. It’s possible that they hang this column from the rafters just to prove that they’ve won something.
Here are my Top 5 Favorite Nashville Predators of All-Time
5. Paul Kariya
Kariya played two seasons in Nashville. Both of those seasons came after his one year stint in Colorado where he looked kinda like how Jarome Iginla looks for Colorado today. However, he found new life in Nashville and had two successful seasons with the Predators, helping them to the playoffs in both years.
Kariya is one of my all-time favorite players, but I couldn’t put him any higher than five on this list just due to his lack of longevity in the Music City.
4. P.K. Subban
I already know what you’re saying. “Kariya couldn’t be higher because he only played two seasons, but you’ve got a guy who who has barely played 20 games over him?” Yes. It’s my list, I’ll make up the rules as I go. Subban is also under contract until 2022 and Nashville isn’t trading him anytime soon.
I love P.K. Subban. I know that Nashville fans are a bit sad that Shea Weber is tearing it up in Montreal and the Predators are struggling a bit right now, but Subban is the real deal on the ice. More importantly (not really, because nothing matters except on-ice performance. Just go with it), he’s the real deal off the ice. The NHL does a great job of limiting personalities. Sidney Crosby is boring. Shea Weber was boring. Subban is awesome. He’s charismatic and knows how to market himself and his team.
3. Filip Forsberg
I just like his last name. You’ll see.
2. Mike Fisher
The man married Carrie Underwood. He’s never been an elite hockey player, but he’s always been a consistent forward and a good leader. But he’s not ranked this high if he’s not married to Carrie Underwood.
1. Peter Forsberg
My favorite player of all-time played 17 games for the Predators. But he’s my favorite player of all-time, he’s the reason I watch hockey, and he was a member of the Predators for 17 games so he qualifies for this list and he’s #1.
I remember when the Flyers traded Forsberg to the Predators. It was a message to the league that the Preds were trying to “win now’ because Forsberg, despite being just past his prime, was still a force in the league. I immediately became a Predators fan during the playoffs (The Avs didn’t make it that year. They won’t make it this year either, so I may become a playoffs Preds fan again) and was disappointed that they lost in five games.
Very few remember Forsberg in Nashville (although they did have his picture in the media room as late as 2012), but acquiring him, one year after signing Kariya, was a message to the rest of the league. It showed that Nashville, less than 10 years after their inaugural season, were ready to be contenders. While they’ve only won three playoff series in their history, they’ve consistently made the playoffs and could finally get over the hump this season.