Subban grades Nashville an ‘A’ hockey market

Posted: 01/06/2017 in NHL, Sports
Tags: , , , , ,

Maybe P.K. Subban was right all along.

Traded by the Montreal Canadiens to the Nashville Predators in an offseason blockbuster, Subban was headed to a market still relatively new to hockey, but one where he felt he could win.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to win a Stanley Cup,” Subban said in July. “That’s what this is all about.”

The NHL made its foray into Tennessee in 1998 as part of a four-team expansion. Nearly two decades later, and the Predators have put the pieces in place to become a model franchise, one that offers stars like Subban a chance to drink from Lord Stanley’s cup.

This season, the Predators have continued to raise the bar, like selling out all 41 home games for the first time in the franchise’s 19-year history. Then skip ahead to the playoffs, where 17,423 Predators faithful were on hand for Game 4 against the Anaheim Ducks, setting a single-game attendance record.

That’s not all. Away from the rink, Predators fans are tuning in at home, setting a new high mark with each passing game. The series-deciding Game 6 against Anaheim scored a 16.5 rating from NBC, meaning about 165,000 Nashville households, or about two-thirds of local homes, cheered on the Predators from the comforts of the couch.

“I played in one of the best hockey markets in the world in Montreal,” Subban told Linda Cohn of ESPN. “When I came here, a lot of people were saying to me that this is a ‘C’ market for hockey. What a joke that is.”

It’s a raucous bunch no doubt, so much so that Guinness World Records has been on hand to measure the decibel level in Bridgestone Arena.

“Anybody that steps on the ice in this building or walks around this city knows this is an ‘A’ market for hockey,” Subban added. “There is nothing more that this city deserves than a Stanley Cup and we have an opportunity to do it now.”


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