When the Nashville Predators inked Paul Kariya to a two-year contract during the summer of 2005, it sent a message to the entire league: the Nashville Predators are ready to compete.
"This is a day we've been waiting for for a long time for this franchise," Poile told the media on Aug. 5, 2005, the day of Kariya’s signing. "He had a lot of places to go. The fact is he chose Nashville, and I think in some regards that's got to be somewhat of a stunner that he chose here instead of going to some other bigger market where he could get more fanfare."
The Vancouver, B.C., native did not disappoint during his two-year stay in the Music City, piling up 161 points (55g-106a) in 164 games, and leading the club in scoring each season. He did not miss a game during his tenure as a Predator and set an example for his teammates with his professionalism and work ethic.
The seven-time NHL All-Star added instant credibility to hockey in Nashville and his individual success helped the team reach new heights. The Predators set records for wins and points in 2005-06, then broke those marks the following season.