Fans, experts and management all across the National Hockey League are paying close attention this season - and were last year too - to the Nashville Predators. We mean come on, the team is doing amazingly as general manager David Poile was recently named the GM with the most victories in the 100-year history of the NHL, as he won his 1,320th game as general manager March 1 in a 4-2 win at Edmonton, passing Glen Sather's 1,319 wins.
They are strong playoff contenders, and the fanbase is simply wild for hockey, bringing their love for music and a good party to each game. And you better believe NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has noticed the passion Predators fans had for their team during their Cinderella playoff run last year. So much, that now the league is considering a potential outdoor game in the Music City.
"We could see an outdoor game," Bettman said Thursday, according to Adam Vingan of the Tennessean. "I mean, there's scheduling issues, logistical issues. You have a college bowl game (Music City Bowl) that could interfere with a Winter Classic. We have to look at a lot of permutations, but Nashville has done an outstanding job any time we've held an event here, not the least of which was the All-Star Game.
"This has really become a destination city in a whole host of ways. I could envision us doing an outdoor game here. I can't give you a timetable and I can't exactly give you the specifics because there's a lot of things logistically we would have to work out. But it's something we have our eye on."
As Vingan explains in his report, the Predators are one of eight teams yet to play in an outdoor game in the history of the NHL. Meanwhile, the Chicago Blackhawks will play in their seventh outdoor game next season.
"As I say about all my children and grandchildren, I love them all equally," Bettman went on to say to Vingan. "But it's great to see what this franchise means to Nashville. it is phenomenal to see. You can feel the connection between Nashville and hockey and the Predators. We're proud to be here."
The Predators currently sit first in the Pacific division and first atop the Western Conference with 97 points, and are once again this year en route for another lengthy playoff run. Nashville twice has hosted league events — the 2003 draft and 2016 All-Star Game. The Predators' appearance in the Stanley Cup Final last season dramatically increased the city's profile as a successful market and it is expected to have the same result, or even more this summer.
This is the best way for the Predators to have all eyes on them and convince the NHL that they do deserve to host and take part in an outdoor games as fans in Nashville are expected to go all out to celebrate their team's success out in the cold with country music blasting.
And the catfish that are famously thrown on the ice will be kept at the right temperature out in the cold!