The Nashville Predators made two big announcements on Thursday.
Nashville and the NHL announced that the Predators’ home city will play host to the 2023 NHL Draft and the 2023 NHL Awards.
According to NHL.com, these two events have not been held in the same city since 2006 when the Vancouver Canucks were the host. Nashville has never hosted the NHL Awards and has not had the draft in town since 2003.
These announcements continue the ascent of hockey in Nashville, as the Predators hosted the 2022 Stadium Series against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Nissan Stadium.
The Predators will be hosting two marquee events in 2023.
Nashville has one of the NHL’s most exciting and passionate atmospheres thanks in large part to the team’s recent success.
The Preds have been a virtual lock to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the lockout back in 2005. Only three times since then have the Predators failed to reach the postseason. In total, that makes for 14 playoff appearances, including the team’s current eight-season playoff streak.
Nashville will once again be one of the league’s more exciting teams this season, as the Preds have enjoyed a productive offseason. The Predators’ biggest shortcoming, not only in the last few years, but in the franchise’s history, has been winning once in the playoffs.
This year, though, the Predators are poised to make their deepest run since falling in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Offensive stars, like Filip Forsberg, will be ready to light the lamp while the team’s stellar defense stifles the opposition.
The excitement that I expect will surround the Predators this season will make the NHL’s year-end events even better. Don’t expect the home crowd to have a rooting interest in the top pick at the draft, but it’s possible that they could have some award winners to cheer for at the NHL Awards.
It’s hard to go wrong with the city of Nashville, and the NHL got it right by sending two of its biggest events to Tennessee.