by Forechecker on 09/23/08 at 11:02 AM ET
Last summer, the Nashville Predators fan base was in full-blown crisis mode, trying to hold on to a team that not only Jim Balsillie but seemingly most NHL commentators wanted to move out of town. This fall, however, with a local ownership group in place and several core players signed to new, long-term contracts, the focus is on energizing the fans, building new corporate partnerships, and establishing a fresh start for what should be a competitive NHL franchise for years to come. Today, “Our Team Nashville” is hosting an all-day radiothon and fan rally at the Sommet Center, but the mood is entirely different from that rally of a year ago.
The day will be jam-packed with activities, from a rookie game with Atlanta to a live concert (this is Nashville, after all), with player appearances, a high-school exhibition game and even a public skate on the Sommet Center sheet after the rally. For the broader fan base that hasn’t had a chance to stop by the early days of training camp, it’s the official kickoff for hockey season. With the Tennessee Titans and Vanderbilt Commodores off to exciting starts, spirits are high in Nashville, and the Predators hope to get off on the right foot as well. For more background, check out John Glennon’s piece in the Tennessean.
Unfortunately I can’t make this year’s event, as I work too far from downtown to stop by during the day, and parent-teacher conferences for all three of the Little Forecheckers have my evening filled. I look forward to seeing the reports trickle in during the day and into the evening, though. Opening Night is getting closer and closer…
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