Skill, leadership, and dedication were just some of the traits the Nashville Predators were looking to find in their first ever captain. Luckily enough, they found all of that and more in Tom Fitzgerald.
Signed on July 6, 1998 as a free agent from the Florida Panthers, Fitzgerald set precedence for future captains to come. With his leadership ability and performance both on and off the ice, Fitzgerald became an instant fan-favorite and face of the young Predators organization.
“We are excited to add Tom Fitzgerald to our franchise,” General Manager David Poile said. “His past experience with Florida’s expansion team combined with his on-ice performance and dedication make him the ideal individual to serve as the Predators first captain. Tom’s leadership skills on-and-off the ice will play a key part in setting the tone and message during our inaugural season.”
Fitzgerald spent four seasons as team captain before being traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2002. To this day, Fitzgerald is tied with Greg Johnson for longest duration as Predators’ captain.