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10th: Where are they now? Blueliners Bob Boughner and Drake Berehowsky

by Kevin Wilson / Nashville Predators

This Month in Predators' History

Jan. 24, 1999

Sergei Krivokrasov became the first Predator to appear in an NHL All-Star Game. He played for the World All-Stars in the game played at Tampa Bay's Ice Palace.

Jan. 1, 2000
Nashville tops San Jose, 3-2, to bring in the new millennium at the Sommet Center. It was the Predators' first victory on Jan. 1 in the second of seven straight games on the date.

Jan. 13, 2004
Nashville at Los Angeles skate to a 0-0 tie at the Sommet Center, the second scoreless tie in franchise history. The 33-save effort was the first shutout of Chris Mason's career, while Roman Cechmanek notched the shutout for the Kings.

Jan 24, 2007
Kimmo Timonen represented Nashville in the 55th NHL All-Star Game in Dallas while head coach Barry Trotz served as an assistant coach for the Western Conference in the game.

Flashback Feature: Where are they now? Blueliners Bob Boughner and Drake Berehowsky

Bob Boughner

Bob Boughner was one of the first faces of the Nashville Predators, playing a gritty, do-it-all-defenseman role during the team’s first two years of existence. The Windsor, Ont., native played 141 games with the Preds from 1998-2000, totaling 5-14-19 points and 234 penalty minutes. Over the course of his 10-year NHL career, Boughner played in 630 games for six teams and retired following the 2005-06 season. Since then, he has moved back home and purchased his hometown Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League. He just finished his first season as an owner, president and head coach.

What are your fondest memories of Nashville?
“I’ll never forget the inaugural opening night. It was a red-carpet affair and we all pulled up in Hummers and with cowboy hats on. The town and the electricity surrounding the team, and us introducing this new sport to Nashville was pretty exciting, especially in a brand-new arena. That is a night I probably won’t forget.”

What was the best part about living here and being a Predator?
Everything was new when we first got down there, but we really loved the South and the people there. Everyone was just so excited to have a hockey team and that is probably the thing I loved most down there. Also, being able to go downtown, hang out in nice weather, and listen to some live entertainment right across the block from the arena was nice. We were able to get out and relax and people really didn’t know who you were. It was a real laid back atmosphere.”

Is there any one on-ice moment that you remember from your time in Nashville?

“Besides opening night, the second game when we got are first win against Carolina was great. It was nice because it was a mixed mash of guys and we didn’t get much of a chance to gel. That was the thing about that first year, we won 20-plus games but we had a good team because we worked hard and were competitive. It was great because we had all the country stars out for our games – getting to meet them was cool too.

Who were you closest to during your time on the team?
“Guys like Tom Fitzgerald – he had the ‘C’ and I had the ‘A.’ Other guys that came and went through the doors there like Greg Johnson and Bill Houlder were guys I spent a lot of time with as well.”

Is there anyone who was on one of your Nashville teams that went on to surprise you with what they have accomplished in the league?
“I was there watching Kimmo Timonen take off in the NHL. Just seeing where he started and where he came from. Also, a guy like Tomas Vokoun was just at the beginning of his career – he was a minor-league goalie when they brought him in. To see how he has taken off has been neat.”

How did you grow either professionally or personally during your time in Nashville?
“Professionally, it gave me a chance to expand my role. In Buffalo, I was more of a sixth and seventh defenseman, whereas in Nashville, I got to play more and be a leader on the team. It basically gave me a chance to expand my role as a hockey player. Personally, it was the first place I moved to, bought a house, and started a family so I have very fond memories of Nashville. I came back in mid-July for the Garth Brooks charity event and it was wonderful.”

Drake Berehowsky

A first-round pick of Toronto in 1990, Drake Berehowsky spent parts of 16 seasons in the professional ranks from 1990-2006, amassing 831 career games in North America and Europe. After hanging up the skates following the 2005-06 campaign, the Toronto, Ont., native moved behind the bench, serving first as an assistant coach for the Brampton Battalion and now for the Barrie Colts, both of the Ontario Hockey League. Berehowsky was a Pred from 1998-2001, and notched 73 points (20g-53a) and 327 penalty minutes in 249 games.

What are your fondest memories of Nashville?
“I can’t pick just one; it was probably one of the most enjoyable times in my life when I was in Nashville. But if I had to pick one thing that stands out, I’d have to say the people there. They are very down-to-earth people that are very kind and warm-hearted. I think when people talk about Southern Hospitality, you don’t really understand it until you go down there and experience it. My experience was awesome there because of that.”

What was the most exciting part about being on those Predator teams?
“We always had a chance to win every game. No one gave us much credit for coming out and competing with everyone for the first two or three years, and to be able to do that was a thrill. We won a lot of big games that people thought we shouldn’t have. The whole team worked really hard and learned a lot from their experiences in Nashville.”

Who were you closest to during your time on the team?
“There were lots of guys, but probably Bill Houlder, Tom Fitzgerald, Cale Hulse when he came in, and Scott Walker were some of the ones I was closest to.”

Is there anyone who was on one of your Nashville teams that went on to surprise you with what they have accomplished in the league?
“You look at guys like Tomas Vokoun, who has filled into a number one goaltender in the league, or David Legwand and Scott Hartnell – those guys are playing great. When I watch Timonen on TV now I am impressed too, he is one of the best defensemen in the league. Karlis Skrastins is playing well for Colorado now. When those guys were just coming up and getting started, I played with them, and to see them being successful now is fantastic. I just hope I had a little bit of an impact on them and I hope that they have all the success in the world.”

How did you grow either professionally or personally during your time in Nashville?
“I think professionally, besides Edmonton the year before I got there, it was when I really developed as a player. The coaches there – Barry Trotz and Brent Peterson were phenomenal. When I got traded I was so upset because they, and everyone else there, were my family. They let me grow as a hockey player, they let me flourish and let me do the things I was able to do. A lot of times coaches want to put you under a certain system and not let you develop, but they let me play my game while teaching me at the same time. I have so much respect for those coaches. When I was traded, it was one of the most upsetting things in my life. I had never hugged a coach goodbye before that, and I have been traded a few times, but that time was very upsetting.”

What part of the city did you miss most once you left?
“I lived right in Green Hills, where a lot of local people go for the restaurants and stuff, and had an awesome apartment. I was close to both the practice and the game rink, so I had a good time going to the restaurants, meeting people who were down-to-earth. Boots, jeans and a t-shirt were kind of the dress code there, and I am all about keeping it simple like that, since I am kind of a laid-back guy. Everyone seemed to be so genuine there. The one thing I regret is that I never got to go to the Pancake Pantry – I never made it there because there was such a long line there. Even when my family would come down from Toronto to visit, my brother would always say it was like going on vacation – the weather was awesome and I had a great townhouse that was close to everything. Out of my entire experience, I don’t think I could find one negative thing about it.”

10th Anniversary Feature Archive:
Flashback Feature: Where are they now? Greg Johnson
Flashback Feature: Most Impressive single-game offensive performances
Flashback Feature: Where are they now? Cliff Ronning
10th Anniv.: Where were they then? 
Flashback Feature: Ten years of transactions 
Where are they now? Catching up with Stu Grimson 
Where are they now? Original captain Tom Fitzgerald 
Where are they now? Blueliners Bob Boughner and Drake Berehowsky 
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