There were bound to be many out-of-town guests visiting Bridgestone Arena last week during the Nashville Predators four-game home stand that coincided with the Thanksgiving holiday. However, there may not have been a visiting Preds fan from farther away than Iain Meldrum, who traveled more than 3,900 miles from Glasgow, Scotland to visit 501 Broadway.
Meldrum, who cheers locally for Glasgow’s only professional ice hockey club, the Braehead Clan, found the Predators through the love he had for their home, the city of Nashville. A lover of country music, Meldrum has long had an interest in Music City and through visits and newly made friends, Meldrum chose the Predators as his NHL squad.
Despite following the team for years, it wasn’t until late in the 2012 season that Meldrum was able to make his first trip to Nashville, taking in the Preds last three regular season home games against the Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars.
In order to follow the team from Glasgow, Meldrum routinely listens to the Preds games via the Predators Radio Network online. Despite the six-hour time difference, which puts a normal 7 p.m. CT opening puck drop in Nashville at 1 a.m. GMT, the hardest part of being a Preds fan in Glasgow according to Meldrum, he rarely misses a start.
While he’s listened to hundreds of games, there’s one playoff matchup that sticks out in his mind as his favorite Predators Radio Network memory.
“David Legwand’s empty-net goal against Anaheim in Game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal,” Meldrum said. “That moment was years in the making.”
While fellow NHL fans aren’t the easiest to come by in Glasgow, Meldrum says that wearing Preds gold has enabled him to make many friends who also support Nashville and a few more who cheer for different NHL squads.
“[The best part about being an NHL fan in the United Kingdom] is wearing Predators merchandise and being proud to be a Nashville Predators fan,” Meldrum said. “It’s led me to make many a friend ‘across the pond’ who follow the Predators.”
After following the team for more than eight years, Meldrum, whose favorite player on the team’s current roster is Pekka Rinne, doesn’t see an end in sight. Despite the time difference and any other challenges that may present themselves when following a team on another continent, Meldrum is poised to be a Preds fan for the long haul.
“From the first game I watched in 2006, I was hooked,” Meldrum said. “The atmosphere that came through from the arena was electric, and I knew, this team was for me.”