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Predators to host USA Hockey Sled Classic

Record 24 NHL teams will participate in seventh annual tournament beginning Thursday

NHL.com @NHL

The Nashville Predators will host the seventh annual USA Hockey Sled Classic, presented by the NHL, at Ford Ice Center in Antioch, Tennessee.

The event begins Thursday and runs through Sunday.

The round-robin tournament will feature a record 24 NHL teams with more than 300 athletes, including 23 current or former members of the United States National Sled Hockey Team. Eleven of those players helped the U.S. win the gold medal at the 2015 International Paralympic Committee Sled Hockey World Championship in Buffalo, New York, and 13 were part of U.S. teams that won the gold medal at the 2010 and 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

Fans can attend all games free of change and use the hashtag #SledClassic to join the tournament conversation on social media. Hockey.TV will stream games live at USAHockey.HockeyTV.com.

The Predators will have three affiliated teams in the 2016 tournament, and the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche and Pittsburgh Penguins each will have two. Each sled team will represent its affiliated NHL team by wearing official NHL licensed jerseys with local marks and logos.

The Avalanche hosted and won the inaugural four-team sled classic in 2010. In 2015, the Florida Panthers won the Tier I Division in Sunrise, Florida; the Columbus Blue Jackets won the Tier II title; the Arizona Coyotes won Tier III; the Sabres won the first-ever Tier IV championship.

Sled hockey was created at a rehabilitation center in Stockholm, Sweden, during the early 1960s by a group of Swedes who, despite their physical disabilities, wanted to continue playing hockey. The game follows most hockey rules with the exception of some equipment and provides an opportunity for those with many types of disabilities to compete in events ranging from local competition to the Paralympics.

Click here for more information on sled hockey.

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