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The Skate of the Union 2011

July 14, 2011, 10:35 AM ET [ Comments]
Paul McCann
Nashville Predators Blogger •Predators Radio Network • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Skate of the Union event is an annual tradition for Pred Nation. An icy oasis smack dab in the middle of a steamy southeastern summer. Yesterday’s event was no exception… thousands of Pred fans came in to buy equipment, visit their seats, reconnect with their hockey family and get a look at the new home unis.

I like that this franchise is returning to the big event. Unveiling the new home jersey by utilizing the tallest building in Tennessee was a very nice touch as the reveal took place on the side of the AT&T building downtown. Amid a battle of the bands, autograph sessions, a plaza party and a very blunt Q&A with Pred Nation, this franchise is making all the right moves as it progresses past the years of questioning and uncertainty.

There was great coverage on this event in all the blogs and the mainstream media. It was nice to see so much of the media out for yesterday’s event as all four TV stations and many radio stations were out in force. As an aside… I find it interesting that the former flagship station for this team is working harder than they ever have to provide this team coverage, I just wonder why it took them losing flagship status to do it. I'm just sayin'...

One thing that got very little attention may be the establishment of an alumni group for the franchise. Part of yesterday’s event had an autograph session with Blake Geoffrion and Ryan Suter, along with these current Predators were Preds alumni Stu Grimson, Wade Belak and original Predator Scott Walker. Walker was in town for the event and got a chance to speak to us during the plaza party. He is now the head coach of the Guelph Storm, home of two of Nashville’s most prized prospects, Taylor Beck and Michael Latta. He had high praise for these two players, saying that he believes both will be in Predator uniforms very soon.

Given the fact that many former Predators live in the middle Tennessee, many returning to the area after their careers finish, like Steve Sullivan and JP Dumont have already said they would do, it makes good sense to develop this kind of alumni organization. It is part of building the traditions that ingrain a team into the community.

63 days till training camp opens.


Random Notes

- One of the undercurrents at yesterday’s SOTU event was the status of Shea Weber’s contract negotiations. Everyone wants this one taken care of quickly… to me, as long as it doesn’t go to arbitration, I’ll be OK with taking their time.

- The new logo and fonts are now being used on both NHL.com and nashvillepredators.com.

- OT: Once again, the US Women’s Soccer team is capturing the county’s heart… go get ‘em girls, you make us proud!

- Seeing Shane O’Brien go to the Avalanche is a mixed bag for me. Glad to see him get a contract, hate that he will still be in the west.

- Columbus can’t seem to buy a break. Kristian Huselius has torn a pec and will be out for up to six months. He injured himself while weight training, rehabbing from hip surgery.

- The St, Louis Blues are making some interesting signings, now inking Jonathan Cheechoo to a one year deal.

- The Nashville Scene is out with their 22nd annual “You are So Nashville If…” edition and I am flattered beyond words… Tara Adams submitted this (and got it published…)

You are so Nashville if the phrase “Thanks Paul!” became part of your vocabulary!

So cool! So let me say “Thanks Tara!”


You are invited to follow me on Twitter. Search for @PredPAPaul… Not only will I be updating when I get news or updates, but we are having a bit of fun by getting your input on Gnash introductions, weigh in on Twitter and who knows, we may use your introduction for the best mascot in the NHL at the next Preds game!
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