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02-29-2012, 09:51 AM
Qui Gon Dave
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Cheshire, England
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Originally Posted by Shea Weber View Post is my personal favorite....
Thanks for those, I'll keep an eye on them

Originally Posted by gopreds9 View Post
Personal experiment time!

Im curious what your pre-conceived ideas of the Predators are. How are we seen by other fanbases? Do you still hear quips about our attendance in Montreal and Buffalo? If you bring up the Preds to the average fan in a "traditional market", what response do you get?

Im excited to see how your ideas change!
I think currently in the Habs fan base, Nashville are fairly well respected right now and in the past couple of years a number of the fans are quite informed on your team. I think there are a few things that help raise awareness of what goes on with your team in the Habs fanbase and earn you some respect.

For starters, having Trotz and Poile remain as coach/GM for so long gets you some respect. The team may not have made the playoffs for a number of years at first, but since then you have been there regularly. Ownership could have cast either aside in the hopes of better results quicker but they stuck with them and have encouraging results to show for it. They clearly trust them to get the best out of the players/staff and take them to the next level. To a fan of another team (at the very least to me) that says they made good decisions hiring them and don't want to meddle with the team so it's all being run well. It may have taken a while to get out of the first round of the playoffs but from an outside perspective, it looks like things will improve before they get worse.

Speaking of a well run team, you seem to be at good in the drafting department. I don't really know your system in much detail, but you keep replacing players from with your org and you are good at drafting and developing talent for the back end. Seriously, without knowing the specfics, it's as if you have a factory. I'm not sure how you have fared with skilled forwards (you seem to have struggled a bit in that regard but I'm not sure how many of those types you have had in the past) but you seem to have a steady stream of two way forwards and energy guys coming through as well. Your system seems to mirror the Habs in that respect. We are good at the draft and developing, maybe even great, except for getting/developing high end forwards. Goalies, dmen and two way/depth guys we have had bucket loads of lately. So it's another plus for your org and points towards it being run well, earning respect.

You've also been able to keep hold of some players for a while now (Legwand, Erat, Tootoo). They cold have gone elsewhere to seek better results but they obviously see enough in the city, the org and the fans to stay on for the future. And now you are trying to do the same with the higher profile section of your core (Weber, Suter, Rinne). It all suggests that your team is a good environment to play in and I think more fans are starting to pick up on that in recent years.

And you have also added a couple of Habs in recent years. Cube and SK both had their detractors in Montreal but they also had some loyal fans who followed them once they moved on. On the Habs board, you sometimes pick up on things those fans have observed of your team and city. And now you've added a couple more guys from the Habs so that will continue.

As far as the perception of your fanbase and attendance, I think in recent years that has improved around the Habs fanbase. Recent playoff runs (especially last year) really highlighted how good a crowd you have these days (I'm not sure how it compares to a few years ago) and I think it was a similar case for Carolina a few years earlier. Plus, when we finally get to play in Nashville, our fans don't buy 2/3rds the tickets like in some places. As a target for Habs fans jibes, some of the south east division teams and the Isles will always be picked out before you guys and the same for a couple more teams out west where attedances seem to evaporate in the south. There may still be some ill informed folks who lump you into the mix with teams who struggle for attendance, on ice success or identity but I think a lot of the fanbase (at least on here) sees the Preds as a team coming into their own.

Ask a Habs fan about Nashville and I think they could point out certain things about the identity of your team and city. It's music city. You have guitar strings on the numbers of your jerseys and a plectrum on your shoulder. Although you don't have a huge threat up front, the team builds from the back with strong goaltending and strong defence. You have a passionate crowd that can make some noise. That is the Nashville way, it seems. You have your own way that can be identified. Ask a Habs fan to do the same for, say, Columbus and I think the majority of the answers won't be so clear cut or positive. And as I said before, it looks like your org is on the way up, not stagnant or on the way down and that is a credit to the hockey community in Nashville and the Preds org. Honestly, I think you've got a good rep in Habs land that seems to improve a bit each year.

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