History: Franchise Timeline

The following timeline is of important events in Nashville Predators franchise history. Please visit the all-time transactions page for a complete listing of trades and acquisitions.

December 18, 1996:
The state-of-the-art $160 million Nashville Arena opened with Amy Grant's Tennessee Christmas.

June 25, 1997:
Leipold Hockey Holdings, LLC granted a conditional franchise by the NHL Board of Governors.

July 1, 1997:
Jack Diller named first president of the Nashville Predators.

July 9, 1997:
David Poile named first general manager in franchise history.

August 6, 1997:
Barry Trotz named as Nashville's first head coach and Paul Gardner named assistant coach.

August 19, 1997:
Tom Ward appointed executive vice president, business operations.

September 25, 1997:
Craig Leipold and Jack Diller unveiled the saber-toothed tiger logo at the downtown First American building, the site of a saber-toothed tiger discovery in August, 1971.

September 27, 1997:
The Ice Breaker Bash kicked off season ticket sales at the Nashville Arena and attracted over 12,000 hockey fans for three hours of hockey demonstrations, displays and interactive games.

November 13, 1997:
Craig Leipold and Jack Diller unveiled "Predators" as Nashville's name (as selected by fans) at the Wildhorse Saloon in front of inaugural season ticket-holders and fans.

February 12, 1998:
Head Coach Barry Trotz and assistant coach Paul Gardner unveil the Predators' inaugural home and away jerseys in front of 2,000 fans at Cool Springs Galleria.

March 4, 1998:
Hockey Tonk Jam at the Ryman Auditorium - Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and others from the music industry performed at an invitation-only event to raise awareness for the Predators. The event included Delbert McClinton's debut performance of Hockey Tonk (The Predators Song), written by Harlan Howard and Pat Alger.

May 4, 1998:
The National Hockey League officially announced the Nashville Predators as the 27th franchise in league history.

June 1, 1998:
The Predators make their first player transaction, obtaining forward Marian Cisar from Los Angeles for future considerations.

June 4, 1998:
The Predators sign their first free agent, defenseman Jay More.

June 19, 1998:
Brent Peterson named as an assistant coach.

June 25, 1998:
WTN (99.7 FM) was named the Predators' flagship radio station.

June 26, 1998:
The Predators select 26 players in the NHL Expansion Draft, including Mike Dunham, Greg Johnson, Scott Walker, and Tomas Vokoun.

June 27, 1998:
The Nashville Predators became the 27th NHL team to participate in the NHL Entry Draft. The Predators, with the second overall pick, selected David Legwand .

July 6, 1998:
Predators sign free agent Tom Fitzgerald and name him first captain in franchise history.

October 10, 1998:
The Nashville Predators host the franchise's first NHL game vs. the Florida Panthers. In front of a sellout crowd of 17,298, Ray Whitney scored the only goal of the 1-0 game and the Panthers' Kirk McLean earned the shutout. 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).

October 13, 1998:
The Nashville Predators defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 to net the first victory in franchise history. Andrew Brunette notched the first goal in franchise history at 5:12 of the first period.

January 15, 1999:
Predators goaltender Tomas Vokoun records the first shutout by a Predators goaltender, saving 31 shots in a 2-0 win against Phoenix in Nashville.

January 24, 1999:
Sergei Krivokrasov becomes the first Predator to appear in an NHL All-Star Game. He played for the World Team in the game played at Tampa Bay and did not register a point.

January 30, 1999:
The Predators record the franchise's first overtime victory, a 3-2 win at New Jersey.

February 1, 1999:
Predators open their practice facility at Centennial Sportsplex.

February 19, 1999:
Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche records the first hat trick at the Nashville Arena in a 4-4 tie with the Predators.

April 17, 1999:
The Nashville Predators closed out their inaugural season with a 4-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils. The Predators drew a total of 664,000 (16,202, 94% capacity) and amassed a 28-47-7 record.

May 25, 1999:
The Nashville Predators Foundation awards 37 grants totaling $170,000 to Nashville and Middle Tennessee-based community service and charitable organizations. The Foundation has awarded more than $2 million since its establishment in 1998.

July 16, 1999:
Dr. Richard W. Oliver, an economics professor at the Owen School of Business at Vanderbilt University, unveils an economic study estimating the Predators having an $82 million impact in 1998-99 and projects a $470 million impact over a five-year span.

August 4, 1999:
Nashville Predators owner Craig Leipold and Gaylord Entertainment CEO Terry London announce a partnership in which Gaylord Entertainment purchases the naming rights to the downtown arena for $80 million. The arena is named the Gaylord Entertainment Center.

November 10, 1999:
Rob Valicevic registers the first Predators hat trick in a 4-2 win at Chicago.

November 18, 1999:
Kimmo Timonen takes the first Predators penalty shot, scoring against Montreal's Jeff Hackett. The Preds won 6-1 over the Canadiens at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.

March 12, 2000:
The Predators help crown the Tennessee state high school hockey champion in the inaugural Predators Cup, held at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.

March 30, 2000:
The Nashville Predators Foundation awards grants totaling over $200,000 to Nashville and Middle Tennessee-based community service and charitable organizations.

October 7-8, 2000:
The Predators open the 2000-01 season with a two-game series against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Saitama Super Arena outside of Tokyo, Japan. Both games finished with a score of 3-1, with the Predators winning the first and the Penguins the second. The two games drew the two largest crowds ever to witness hockey in Japan (13,849 for the first game, 13,426 for the second).

December 23, 2000:
Predators center David Legwand recorded the first overtime penalty shot goal in NHL history in a 3-2 Predators win at Madison Square Garden. The goal, which came 3:17 into overtime, was scored against Rangers' goalie Kirk McLean.

March 23, 2001:
General Manager David Poile is one of three recipients of the 2001 Lester Patrick Award, an honor presented annually "for outstanding service to hockey in the United States."

March 30, 2001:
The Nashville Predators Foundation awards 61 grants totaling $210,000 to Nashville and Middle Tennessee-based community service and charitable organizations.

November 21, 2001:
The Predators unveil the first alternate jersey in franchise history. The gold-colored jersey featured an animated saber-tooth tiger logo on the crest of the jersey and a pair of tiger skulls on the shoulders.

December 6, 2001:
The Predators record their 100th victory as a franchise with a 4-2 win over Ottawa. Nashville became the second-fastest expansion team of the 1990's to reach the century win mark.

January 10, 2002:
The National Hockey League announces that the Nashville Predators and the Gaylord Entertainment Center will host the 2003 NHL Entry Draft on June 21 and 22, 2003.

March 8, 2002:
The Predators announce the Playoff Pledge, a unique resolve to make the playoffs this season or next or the price increase for 2002-2003 full season tickets will be refunded.

April 4, 2002:
The Nashville Predators Foundation awards 56 grants totaling $185,000 to Nashville and Middle Tennessee-based community service and charitable organizations.

October 9, 2002:
Predators center Greg Johnson named captain, the second captain in franchise history.

December 12, 2002:
Original Predator Mike Dunham traded, giving the number one goalie job to Tomas Vokoun.

January 12, 2003:
Predators right winger Scott Walker named interim captain to replace the injured Greg Johnson. Walker serves as captain until January 25th.

March 1, 2003:
Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz coaches his 392nd game with the Predators, establishing a new league record for most games coached by a team's original coach since the NHL's first expansion in 1967. Trotz passed Predators broadcaster Terry Crisp, who coached the Tampa Bay Lightning for 391 games to begin their franchise.

March 28, 2003:
The Nashville Predators Foundation awards 53 grants totaling more than $150,000 to Nashville and Middle Tennessee-based community service and charitable organizations.

June 19, 2003:
Peter Horachek named assistant coach for the Predators and Brent Peterson promoted to associate coach.

June 21-22, 2003:
The Predators host the NHL Entry Draft at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.

November 21, 2003:
Scott Hartnell scores the 1,000th goal in franchise history. The goal was an overtime winner, giving the Preds a 4-3 victory at Anaheim.

April 7, 2004:
The Predators skate in their first-ever playoff game, losing 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Adam Hall scored the Predators' first playoff goal when he tallied just 16 seconds into the game.

April 11, 2004:
The Predators defeat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in Nashville, the first-ever playoff victory in franchise history.

September 15, 2004:
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the league's 30 teams would lock out players as the collective bargaining agreement expired.

February 15, 2005:
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman officially announced the cancellation of the 2004-05 NHL season.

July 22, 2005:
The NHL announced that the Board of Governors unanimously approved the new collective bargaining agreement, officially ending the lockout.

August 5, 2005:
The Predators announced the signing of free-agent forward Paul Kariya, the first First Team NHL All-Star to sign with Nashville.

October 5, 2005:
After nearly 18 months of inactivity, the Predators returned to NHL action with a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks in front of a capacity crowd at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.

October 8, 2005:
In their second game of the 2005-06 season, the Predators won their first shootout, a 3-2 victory over Anaheim. Paul Kariya scored the game-deciding shootout goal against his former team.

March 18, 2006:
Nashville defeated Calgary 9-4 at the GEC for its 40th win of the 2005-06 season, the first 40-win season in franchise history. The Predators ended the season with a record of 49-25-8 and led the NHL with 32 home wins.

April 18, 2006:
Paul Kariya netted a hat trick as part of a four-point game in Nashville's 6-3 win over Detroit in the team's regular-season finale. Kariya finished the season with 31 goals and 85 points, both franchise records. Steve Sullivan also netted 31 goals, and he and Kariya became the first Predators to score 30 or more goals in a season.

February 15, 2007:
The Predators acquired legendary center Peter Forsberg from the Philadelphia Flyers for the 2007 stretch run.

April 5, 2007:
With a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues, Nashville hit the 50-win mark for the first time in franchise history.  The club would end the 2006-07 regular season with a record of 51-23-8 for a franchise-record 110 points.

April 11, 2007:
In their third trip to the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Predators went to sudden death overtime for the first time in Game 1 of their first-round series against the San Jose Sharks.  After rallying from a two-goal deficit to tie the contest at 4-4, Nashville was ultimately upended by the winning goal from San Jose’s Patrick Rissmiller at 8:14 of the second overtime period.

May 18, 2007:
The Predators and the Middle Tennessee-based Sommet Group entered into a multi-year naming-rights agreement, thus renaming the Nashville Arena as the “Sommet Center.”

August 1, 2007:
Predators owner Craig Leipold announced that he had signed a letter of intent to sell the Nashville Predators and Powers Management (the company that manages the Sommet Center) to a Nashville-based ownership group led by David Freeman, CEO of 36 Venture Capital.

September 12, 2007:
Jason Arnott is named the fourth captain in franchise history.

November 29, 2007:
The National Hockey League's Board of Governors approved the proposed sale of the Nashville Predators to Predators Holdings LLC.

December 1, 2007:
David Legwand notched three points (1g-2a) in the third period of a 5-4 shootout win at Montreal. His first point (a goal) was the 302nd of his NHL career, moving him past Kimmo Timonen into sole possession of first place on the franchise's all-time scoring list.

December 7, 2007:
Predators Holdings LLC., completed its purchase of the Nashville Predators and Powers Management (the company that operates the Sommet Center) for $193 million from Craig Leipold and took over the day-to-day operation of the Predators and the Sommet Center.

December 11, 2007:
The Predators' new ownership group, led by Chairman David Freeman, introduced Ed Lang as the organization's President of Business Operations and David Poile as President of Hockey Operations/General Manager.

January 27, 2008:
Captain Jason Arnott represented Nashville in the 56th NHL All-Star game in Atlanta, becoming the fourth Predator to represent the club in the mid-season classic.

April 3, 2008:
The Predators clinch their fourth consecutive playoff birth.

November 4, 2008:
Head Coach Barry Trotz became just the 10th coach in NHL history to coach 750 games with a single team.

January 25, 2009:
Defenseman Shea Weber became the first Predators draft pick  to represent the club in an All-Star game.

June 18, 2009:
Steve Sullivan became Nashville's  first NHL award recipient, winning the Bill Masterton Trophy, given to the player who "best exemplifies the qualities of perserverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey." Sullivan returned on January 10, 2009 from a 23-month absence due to injury.

July 8, 2010:
Shea Weber is named the fifth captain in franchise history.

August 10, 2010:
Jeff Cogen was named the team's first-ever Chief Executive Officer and Sean Henry was named the franchise's President/Chief Operating Officer.

January 30, 2011:
Captain Shea Weber participates in his second straight All-Star Game, forming a pairing with future Hall-of-Famer Nicklas Lidstrom to post a +6 rating while racking up four assists, becoming just the second defenseman in All-Star Game history to amass four helpers.

February 10, 2011:
The Predators acquire center Mike Fisher from the Ottawa Senators for a first-round selection in the 2011 Entry Draft and a third-round selection in the 2012 Entry Draft. He would post eight points in the club’s final seven regular-season contests to secure a playoff berth, then lead the team with six points in six games during their first playoff series victory in franchise history.

February 26, 2011:
Brentwood, Tenn., native and Predators 2006 second-round pick Blake Geoffrion makes his NHL debut, becoming the first Tennessee native, and first fourth-generation NHLer to appear in the League. He scored his first goal two games later at Edmonton, and became youngest player in franchise history to notch a hat trick in his 11th career game on March 20 at Buffalo.

April 20, 2011:
General Manager David Poile is the first of four in the organization to earn a nomination for the 2011 NHL Awards, becoming the finalist for the GM of the Year Award in each of its first two years of existence. Two days later, Pekka Rinne is nominated for the Vezina Trophy, followed by Shea Weber being named a finalist for the Norris Trophy three days later. Head Coach Barry Trotz caps the parade to Las Vegas with his second straight Jack Adams nomination four days later, giving Nashville the second-most nominees at the Awards show.

April 22, 2011:
Nashville’s spring of “firsts” begins as Jerred Smithson scores at 1:57 of extra time to lift the Predators to a 4-3 victory at the Honda Center in Anaheim. It was the Predators’ first playoff overtime victory, first Game Five victory and first time winning three games in a playoff year. Two nights later in Game Six, the Predators would top the Ducks 4-2 at Bridgestone Arena to win their first playoff series in franchise history.

April 30, 2011:
Predators rookie forward Matt Halischuk ends the longest game in franchise history at 14:51 of double overtime, putting a shot over Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo’s glove for a 2-1 win at Rogers Arena. The win tied the series at one game apiece.

May 3, 2011:
The Nashville Predators play their first game in the month of May before a sellout crowd of 17,113 at Bridgestone Arena.

November 3, 2011:
On his 29th birthday, goaltender Pekka Rinne signed the largest contract in franchise history (7 years/$49 million) then proceed to shut out the Phoenix Coyotes that night, stopping 35 shots in a 3-0 victory.

November 12, 2011:
The franchise plays its 1,000th regular season game against the Montreal Canadiens. David Poile became the first general manager in NHL history to record 1,000 games with two separate franchises (Washington from 1982-97) while Barry Trotz became just the fourth coach to spend 1,000 games behind the bench of a single franchise.

December 15, 2011:
The Nashville Predators/Bridgestone Arena and Bridgestone Americas, Inc. announced a five-year extension on the naming rights for Bridgestone Arena, keeping the Bridgestone brand name on Nashville’s downtown arena through 2019.

January 29, 2012:
The defensive duo of Shea Weber and Ryan Suter represent the Predators at the 2012 All-Star Game, marking the second time in franchise history that two players have been named to the game. It is Weber’s third consecutive All-Star Weekend appearance.

March 22, 2012:
The Nashville Predators announced the results of a study that found the team and Bridgestone Arena generate an annual economic impact of approximately $410 million and support more than 2,350 jobs annually.

March 30, 2012:
Nashville recorded the 500th regular season victory in club history with a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. The Predators hit the milestone in 1,062 games, the fewest in the post-1990 expansion era. David Poile became the first GM to guide two separate clubs to 500 wins, and Barry Trotz became just the fifth bench boss to post 500 wins with a single team.

April 5, 2012:
The Predators round out the home portion of their 2011-12 schedule with their 25th sellout of the season, setting a franchise record for sellouts in a single campaign.

April 20, 2012:
With a 2-1 victory at Bridgestone Arena, the Predators eliminate the Detroit Red Wings in five games of their Western Conference Quarterfinal Series. Not only is it the shortest series victory in franchise record, but marks the first postseason win over the team long looked to as toast of the Central Division. It also made the Predators the only team in the Western Conference to advance to the second round in both 2011 and 2012.

June 20, 2012:
For the second consecutive season, four members of the organization are finalists at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas. Mike Fisher became the second award winner in franchise history, earning the NHL Foundation Award which recognizes an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey – commitment, perseverance and teamwork – to enrich the lives of people in his community. Both Pekka Rinne (Vezina) and Shea Weber (Norris) are finalist for awards given to the top players at their respective positions, while David Poile is nominated for the GM of the Year Award for the third straight campaign.

July 24, 2012:
The Predators matched the 14-year, $110 million offer sheet to captain Shea Weber, in a decision described as most important hockey transaction in franchise history. It was the second largest contract in NHL history.

January 6, 2013:
On the 113th day of a work stoppage that began on Sept. 16, 2012, the NHL and NHLPA reach agreement on a 10-year contract. The sides agree to play an abbreviated, 48-game schedule in 2012-13, to begin on Jan. 19, 2013.

March 28, 2013:
The Predators sell out Bridgestone Arena for the 29th consecutive time, establishing a franchise record for consecutive sellouts. The Preds finished the 2012-13 season by filling Bridgestone Arena to capacity 20 times in 24 home games, with an average attendance of 16,974 (99.2%), highest in franchise history.

April 23, 2013:
The Nashville Predators announce the formation of the Nashville Predators Alumni Association. Stu Grimson was named the Association’s President, with J-P Dumont, Dan Keczmer and Jayson More serving as Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer respectively. The Alumni Association is active in multiple areas of the organization.

May 20, 2013:
The Nashville Predators Foundation’s philanthropic pursuits reached new heights with the largest grant allocation in the organization’s history with 113 grants totaling $405,000 distributed to area charities. The Predators Foundation has awarded more than $3.5 million since its 1998 inception.

May 21, 2013:
Phil Housley, the all-time leading scorer among U.S.-born NHL defensemen, is named an assistant coach.

January 9, 2014:
Bridgestone Arena officially opened the SoBro entrance at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Demonbreun, one of several stages of renovations done to continually improve patrons' experiences in the building. The SoBro entrance is home to Tavern '96, Bridgestone Arena's first outside accessible restaurant featuring indoor and outdoor seating, food and more than 60 beer options.

March 1, 2014:
Spearheaded by the generosity of Predators Captain Shea Weber and goaltender Pekka Rinne, the Predators Foundation announced the rebranding of the Nashville Predators Pediatric Cancer Fund at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt to the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund. As part of the 365 Fund, Weber and Rinne purchased two suites at Bridgestone Arena and will host patients and families from the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital.

April 10, 2014:
The Nashville Predators and Scott Hamilton announce the formation of the Scott Hamilton Skating Academy at the Ford Ice Center. Hamilton will serve as active principal in the Academy, helping develop the curriculum for learn-to-skate and figure skating programs.

May 6, 2014:
Peter Laviolette, a Stanley Cup winner with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, is named the franchise's second head coach. Kevin McCarthy also joins the organization as an assistant coach.

May 7, 2014:
The Nashville Predators Foundation's philanthropic pursuits reached new heights with the largest grant allocation in the organization's history with 114 grants totaling $410,652 distributed to area charities. The Predators Foundation has awarded more than $4 million since its 1998 inception.

September 12, 2014:
Ten months after the Nashville Predators and Metro Nashville Government broke ground on the new recreation center and ice rink development at Global Mall at the Crossings in Antioch, Tennessee, Ford Ice Center celebrated its grand opening. Ford Ice Center, named in partnership with the Mid-South Ford Dealers, is a component of a public-private partnership between the Nashville Predators and Metro to help continue the growth of hockey and all forms of recreational ice skating in Middle Tennessee.