Predators, Vanderbilt Athletics To Host Smashville Showdown On Sept. 19

Pictured (L-R): Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi and Vanderbilt baseball outfielder Enrique Bradfield Jr. Photo: Courtesy of the Nashville Predators

Nashville Predators players and student-athletes from Vanderbilt University will take part in the inaugural Smashville Showdown at Hawkins Field on Monday, Sept. 19, prior to the start of the team’s training camp and ahead of the 2022-23 NHL season.

The charity event, which kicks off at at 6 p.m. CT, will be comprised of two different events–a home run derby followed by a softball game with mixed teams of Predators players and Vanderbilt student-athletes. Predators Head Coach John Hynes and Vanderbilt Baseball Head Coach Tim Corbin will serve as the official coaches for the two softball teams, with mascots GNASH and Mr. C standing in as their assistants.

Tickets to attend the inaugural event are on sale now, with proceeds benefitting the Predators Foundation, the Vandy United Fund, and several local charitable organizations. Afterwards, the Predators Foundation will also auction off items worn and used by the participants in the event, including shirts, hats and bats.

“We are incredibly excited to collaborate with Vanderbilt University and bring our two organizations together for a unique project benefitting the local community,” says Predators Vice President of Community Relations Rebecca King. “It’s going to be a lot of fun for Predators fans to see their favorite players trade their hockey helmets for batting helmets and step up to the plate alongside Vanderbilt student-athletes, all while helping a great cause. We hope this event will make a big impact in our community and be a staple of our preseason schedule for years to come.”

“Needless to say, we are thrilled to collaborate with the Nashville Predators on what we both hope to make an annual event for the community,” says Vanderbilt Baseball General Manager and Chief of Staff Brooks Webb. “This has been a vision for several years now, and it will be an exciting evening watching some of the best from the Predators and Vanderbilt on Hawkins Field become a reality.”

Additionally, Predators broadcasters Chris Mason and Lyndsay Rowley, along with in-arena host Wayne D, will be live from Hawkins Field bringing fans closer to the action with on-field interviews during the event.

More information about the Smashville Showdown will be released in the coming weeks.

Preds Ownership Group Members Make $75,000 Donation To Crossroads Campus Nashville

The Preds Foundation presenting a check at Crossroads’ current location with Gnash and Stephanie Grane. Photo: Courtesy of the Nashville Predators

Nashville Predators ownership group members Bryan and Stephanie Grane, who are also the founders of the St. Rita Mercy Foundation, have partnered with the Nashville Predators Foundation empowered by SmileDirectClub to distribute a $75,000 donation to Crossroads Campus Nashville for a new expansion project.

“St. Rita Mercy Foundation is proud to support the great work being done by Crossroads,” Bryan says. “Their mission, to be a place of hope, healing and opportunity for young people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, aligns with our desire to assist the most vulnerable. With this donation, many lives will be positively impacted and futures changed.”

Crossroads Campus, an organization dedicated to ending the cycle of poverty for young people who have been impacted by economic inequality and other traumas, will use the donation money to help build a new facility in north Nashville.

“We are so grateful for the gift from Byran and Stephanie Grane that we received through the Predators Foundation in support of our expansion project on Buchanan Street,” says Crossroads Campus Chief Executive Officer Lisa Stetar. “With their help, we will greatly increase our impact by creating 22 additional units of affordable housing and expanding job training and employment opportunities for young people who have been impacted by inequity, time in foster care or other traumas.”

The Granes have also donated $75,000 to the Safe Haven Family Shelter, with more information to come at a later date.

Nashville Predators To Host 2023 NHL Awards, 2023 NHL Draft

The National Hockey League has announced that the city of Nashville and the Predators will host the 2023 NHL Awards and the 2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft.

This will be the first time both events have been held in the same city since 2006, when the NHL Awards and the NHL Draft both were held in Vancouver.

“We are thrilled to bring two of our marquee events – the 2023 NHL Awards and the 2023 NHL Draft – to Nashville, a special city that certainly knows how to throw a great party,” says NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “From the 2003 NHL Draft to the 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend to the 2017 Stanley Cup Final to the 2022 NHL Stadium Series game, the city, the Predators organization and the Country Music community have overwhelmed the NHL with their welcome and support every time Nashville has hosted a League event. We cannot wait to return next June to celebrate the stars of our game and introduce the next generation of NHL Players.”

The 2023 NHL Awards are scheduled for Monday, June 26, marking the first time the event has taken place in Nashville. The NHL Awards will again honor the best regular-season players in a wide range of categories, including most valuable player (Hart Trophy), outstanding goaltender (Vezina Trophy), outstanding defenseman (Norris Trophy) and outstanding rookie (Calder Trophy); the Ted Lindsay Award, which is presented annually to the “most outstanding player” in the NHL, as voted by fellow members of the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), also will be awarded.

“We want to thank and show our appreciation for the NHL, leadership from the City of Nashville and State of Tennessee and the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp for bringing the NHL Draft and NHL Awards to Nashville,” says Predators President and CEO Sean Henry. “Time and time again, our teams have come together to create new ways to present the biggest showcases in our sport by allowing the unique passion of our fans to shine through. It’s been more than 15 years since these two events were hosted in the same city in the same year – next June, we are penciling that week with Smashville as the center of the hockey world. It will let hockey fans worldwide celebrate the best in our game and welcome its future stars right here in the heart of Music City.”

The 2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft will be hosted by the Nashville Predators and will be held at Bridgestone Arena over two days: Wednesday, June 28 (Round 1, televised on ESPN, Sportsnet and TVA Sports) and Thursday, June 29 (Rounds 2-7, television information to be announced when available). NHL club executives, scouts and coaches will be present on the NHL Draft floor, while thousands of fans and hundreds of print, television and radio media are expected to attend.  It will be the second time the Predators have hosted the NHL Draft, and marks the 20-year anniversary of the 2003 edition, which was also held at Bridgestone Arena (then known as Gaylord Entertainment Center).

“It is an honor to bring the NHL Draft back to Music City and an even bigger opportunity to host it alongside the NHL Awards,” says Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp CEO Butch Spyridon. “As our partnership with the Preds and NHL continues to grow, we look forward to executing these two world class events next summer. Placed between CMA Fest and the city’s July 4th celebration will only strengthen our summer travel season.”

Preds Foundation, Metro Nashville Police Department, Greater Revelations Baptist Church Partner To Gun Buyback Event

The Nashville Predators Foundation empowered by SmileDirectClub is partnering with the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) and Greater Revelations Missionary Baptist Church to host a Gift Card for Guns event on Saturday, Aug. 20.

The buyback will occur in the parking lot of the Greater Revelations Church at 1027 12th Ave. North, Nashville from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. CT.

“By partnering with the Metro Nashville Police Department and Greater Revelations Missionary Baptist Church, we’re hoping to provide a judgement-free space for people in the community to surrender their guns,” says Nashville Predators Vice President of Community Relations Rebecca King. “Through this event, we hope to make our community a safer place by reducing the amount of gun-related incidents.”

Participants will have the chance to turn in their firearms to members of the police department with no questions asked and receive compensation in the form of a gift card.  The event will also feature Preds preseason vouchers and giveaway items. In addition to turning in firearms, participants are also encouraged to drop off unused or expired prescription and nonprescription medications. All medications collected at the event will be safely destroyed by MNPD.

“With the new school year now underway, this is the right time for parents, grandparents and guardians to think hard about firearms in the home that are unwanted or unsafe that could fall into the hands of young people,” says Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake. “Those guns can be brought to Greater Revelations Church on Aug. 20 and exchanged for a gift card, no questions asked. I am sincerely grateful to the Nashville Predators Foundation for partnering with us to enhance the safety of our community.”

In seven prior Gift Card for Guns days since 2011, a total of 658 firearms were turned in.  A record 198 guns were exchanged for gift cards in a November 2017 event also held at Greater Revelations Church.

Nashville Predators, American Red Cross To Host Statewide Blood Drive From Aug. 15-19

The Nashville Predators Foundation is teaming up with the American Red Cross for the fourth time this year to host a statewide blood drive from Monday, Aug. 15 to Friday, Aug. 19.

“We always look forward to partnering with the American Red Cross to host and generate awareness for the statewide blood drives,” says Nashville Predators Vice President of Community Relations Rebecca King. “So far in 2022 we have been able to collect enough blood to save over 7,000 lives, which is an incredible achievement. The need for blood remains critical so this initiative is very important to us!”

All presenting donors will receive two tickets to a 2022 Nashville Predators preseason game, a Preds and American Red Cross-branded foam puck (while supplies last) and will also be entered to win an autographed puck at each location.

To find the drive closest to you and to register, visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter the Sponsor Code PREDS19.

Predators Single-Game Tickets On Sale Beginning Aug. 15

Photo: Courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp

Nashville Predators single-game tickets for the 2022-23 season will be on sale beginning Monday, Aug. 15 at 10 a.m. CT.

Currently, Season Ticket Citizens have exclusive presale access to all Predators home games during the 2022-23 season and preseason through their MySmashvilleTix account. Single-game tickets will be available in multiple price levels, but are subject to availability by game and price level.

The 2022-23 home schedule includes 12 “Saturday Nights in Smashville,” featuring visits from the Flyers, Capitals, Rangers, Lightning, Blue Jackets, Senators, Panthers, Jets, Kraken and Blues. In addition to Saturday nights, Nashville plays at home 12 times on Tuesday, nine times on Thursday, four times on Monday, twice on Friday and once on Sunday. Throughout the 2022-23 season, the Nashville Predators will also offer fans a wide variety of single-game ticket and group promotions that will be announced on Aug. 29.

The Preds 2022-23 season will also feature 11 Gold games that were introduced as a result of input from Predators Season Ticket Citizens to keep Preds games Gold, as well as to maintain the exciting home ice advantage. These games will only be made available for purchase to fans who reside in the Nashville Predators television viewing area through single-game ticket sales and ticket package purchases. Single-game tickets to all Gold Games will be non-transferable and cannot be resold.

The full list of Gold games are available at NashvillePredators.com/GoldGames.

Predators Add Nino Niederreiter To Two-Year, $8 Million Contract

The Nashville Predators have added another major forward by signing Nino Niederreiter to a two-year, $8 million contract.

Niederreiter posted 44 points (24 goals-20 assists) in 75 games for the Carolina Hurricanes in 2021-22, his 12th professional season. Niederreiter finished the year as the team’s third leading goal scorer and had the fifth-most points among forwards, his ninth time surpassing the 25-point mark since his in 2010.

Prior to being acquired by Carolina, Neiderreiter spent six seasons with the Minnesota Wild and skated in 434 games with the team. There, he posted 228 points (110 goals-118 assists) while exceeding 30 points every year with the team and recording a career-best eight-game point streak (7 goals-2 assists) during the 2017-18 season.

During his 2016-17 season, Niederreiter obtained career bests in points (57), goals (25), and assists (32), making him the team’s third-leading goal scorer; one goal behind his once again teammate Mikael Granlund.

The Swiss native also played with the New York Islanders and the Minnesota Wild, tallying up 181 goals and 187 assists in 732 career games. He has appeared in the Stanley Cup Playoffs every year since 2014, playing in 82 games and posting 30 points (15 goals-15 assists).

Niederreiter has represented his native Switzerland in nearly a dozen world championships at multiple levels, many times playing alongside Predators Captain Roman Josi. The duo earned silver medals playing together at the 2013 and 2018 World Championships.

Predators Bulk Up Roster With String Of Free Agency Signings

The Nashville Predators have made a string of free agency signings, bulking up their roster after re-signing Filip Forsberg to a max contract.

These signings including re-signing Cole Smith, as well as signing Mark Jankowski to a one-year deal, defenseman Roland McKeown to a two-year deal and adding goaltender Kevin Lankinen to a one-year, $1.5 million contract.

List of Nashville Predators’ recent signings:

Jimmy Huntington (forward) – Accepted qualifying offer

  • Scored 13 goals, 22 assists and 35 points during the 2021-22 campaign, which he spent split between Milwaukee and Syracuse.

Devin Cooley (goaltender) – Accepted qualifying offer

  • Spent a majority of his first full professional season with Milwaukee in 2021-22. He suited up in 24 AHL games, going 9-10-4 with a 3.06 goals-against average.

Jordan Gross (defenseman) – Two-year, $750,000/$775,000

  • Spent 2021-22 with the Colorado Eagles where he earned a spot on the AHL’s First All-Star Team and won the Eddie Shore Award for most outstanding defenseman. He recorded 65 points (10 goals, 55 assists) in 61 games.

Kevin Gravel (defenseman) – Two-year, $750,000/$775,000

  • Played in an AHL career-high 59 games for the Stockton Heat in 2021-22. He recorded 14 points (3 goals, 11 assists). He picked up three assists in 13 Calder Cup Playoff games, helping the Heat reach the Western Conference Final.

Roland McKeown (defenseman) – Two-year, $750,000/$775,000

  • McKeown hit the 20-point mark for the fourth consecutive AHL season in 2021-22, tallying three goals and 20 points in 61 games for the Colorado Eagles. He made eight assists in nine Calder Cup Playoff games for Colorado, which reached the Pacific Division Finals.

Kiefer Sherwood (defenseman) – One-year, $750,000

  • He played in 11 NHL games for the Colorado Avalanche in 2021-22, tallying two points (1 goal, 1 assist). He spent the bulk of last season in the AHL with the Colorado Eagles, being named to the Second All-Star Team after leading his team and finishing fifth in the league in points with a career-high 75 (36 goals-, 39 assists); his 36 goals were also a career high and were the third-most in the AHL.

Mark Jankowski (forward) – One-year, $750,000

  • He spent 2021-22 in the Buffalo Sabres’ organization, suiting up in 19 NHL and 32 AHL games. With the Sabres, Jankowski tallied five points (2 goals, 3 assists.) At the AHL level, Jankowski had 10 goals and 27 points while adding seven points in 10 Calder Cup Playoff appearances for Rochester.

Cole Smith (forward) – One-year, $750,000

  • He skated in eight NHL games for the Predators in 2021-22, dishing out 21 hits while averaging 8:50 of ice time. He spent the majority of last season with the Milwaukee Admirals, where he appeared in 59 games and posted 41 points (21 goals, 20 assists), the fourth-most on his team.

Kevin Lankinen (goaltender) – One-year, $1.5 million

  • Lankinen appeared in 32 games for the Chicago Blackhawks last season, starting 29 of them, and recorded an 8-15-6 record with a 3.50 goals-against average and .891 save percentage. During his rookie campaign, Lankinen posted a .909 save percentage and ranked among the league’s leaders in saves with 1,095 (third); shots against with 1,204 (third); and games played with 37 (seventh). Lankinen finished 13th in Calder Trophy voting in 2020-21 and was the fourth-highest placing goalie.