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Preds Year in Review: Top 10 of 2019

Hockey Shows Immense Growth in Nashville with Arena Deal, Ford Ice Center Bellevue, NWHL All-Star Weekend

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Senior Communications & Content Coordinator

Preds 2019 Year in Review

Preds 2019 Year in Review

Without you, none of this is possible. Thank you to the best and most passionate fans in sports

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The last decade of Nashville Predators hockey brought more than many of us could have imagined. There were triumphs and defeats, moments of jubilation and instances where you couldn't have been prouder to be a Preds fan.

The past year had a little bit of everything, too. From ribbon cuttings, signings and jersey unveilings, and most importantly, an agreement to keep the Predators right where they belong, 2019 closed out the decade with plenty of memorable moments.

Before the calendar turns to 2020 and the Preds begin the next decade by facing off outdoors at the Cotton Bowl, take a look back at the Top 10 moments of 2019.

Video: CEN@PAC: Josi capitalizes on Kane's pretty dish

Jan. 26: Pekka Rinne and Roman Josi Represent Preds at 2019 NHL All-Star Weekend

The Captain and the face of the franchise made their way to San Jose at the end of January, and they did not disappoint while sporting the Nashville logo.

After showing off in the All-Star Skills Competition, it was on to the 3-on-3 All-Star Tournament with the Central Division. Josi finished with a total of six points through two games, and in a 3-on-3 affair that can be torturous for goaltenders, Rinne made 14 stops in total for one of the top showings by a netminder in the tournament.

Video: Mason and Gill mic'd up for NWHL All-Star

Feb. 11: Nashville Fans Set NWHL Attendance Record at All-Star Game

Fans in Nashville showed they would support the game of hockey every chance they were given.

Following an afternoon Predators game against St. Louis on Feb. 11, a total of 6,120 were on hand to see Team Szabados defeat Team Stecklein, 3-2, in a shootout at the 2019 National Women's Hockey League All-Star Game.

Preds Broadcasters Chris Mason and Hal Gill were guest coaches for the game, and the NWHL had their most successful All-Star Weekend ever in Music City.

Video: Predators become Central Division champs with 5-2 win

April 6: Preds Claim Second-Consecutive Central Division Title

For the second consecutive season, the Predators were Central Division Champions. A 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on April 6 clinched the divisional crown for the Preds, who participated in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a franchise-record, fifth-straight year.

For the third time in NHL history, three teams were in the running for the same division title on the final day of play - the Predators, St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets.

Video: Preds 2019 Year in Review

May 16: Bridgestone Arena, Metro Nashville Reveal Proposal for New 30-Year Lease

The Predators will be calling Bridgestone Arena home for a very long time.

Powers Management - the company which operates Bridgestone Arena - and Metro Nashville and the Sports Authority proposed a new lease to relieve taxpayers of financial responsibility for Bridgestone Arena. The proposal, which was agreed to in June, saw the Sports Authority execute a tenancy agreement with the team that ensures Nashville's team will remain at Bridgestone Arena for the next 30 years.

The most crucial element of the new lease is that it relieves the Metro Davidson County General Fund from all obligations of supporting Bridgestone Arena and the Predators. Under the new agreement, existing in-arena revenue streams will be utilized to maintain, improve and expand the building while eliminating Metro's guarantees. And, by changing the funding model, Metro also retains funds for priorities such as the Sports Authority, municipal bonds on other projects and investing in future events.

Video: Behind-the-scenes footage from the 2019 NHL Draft

June 22-23: Preds Select Philip Tomasino, Seven Others at 2019 NHL Draft

The Preds were busy on the Draft floor this past June, and the future is bright as a result.

Nashville made eight selections at the 2019 NHL Draft from Rogers Arena in Vancouver, taking five forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender.

The top two picks for the Predators are of particular interest, with forward Philip Tomasino hearing his name called at No. 24 overall. In Round Two, it was Egor Afanasyev who joined the organization, and both forwards give the franchise plenty of potential up front in the years to come.

Video: WSH@NSH: Duchene nets first goal as a Predator

July 1: Preds Sign Forward Matt Duchene to Seven-Year Contract

In a transaction that seemed inevitable for a number of years, the Predators and Matt Duchene finally got together in 2019.

Nashville signed the All-Star forward to a seven-year, $56 million contract as the free agency signing period opened on July 1 to claim what was arguably the most significant player available on the market.

"Our objective this offseason was to bolster our offense, and signing Matt Duchene gives us another dynamic goal-scoring, playmaking center," Preds GM David Poile said of the deal. "We are excited to add his skill and experience to our top-six forwards and look forward to the next seven years of Matt and his family in Smashville. Matt's love of country music and passion for the city of Nashville make this partnership a perfect fit."

Video: Preds unveil new Winter Classic logo

Summer 2019:

The in-game experience in Smashville got a serious upgrade for the start of the 2019-20 season.

The installation of a new scoreboard, a.k.a. FangVision, was installed above the ice at Bridgestone Arena with more than 4.2 million LED pixels in tow. With the old Megatron that had occupied the building since the 2007-08 season dismantled and shipped out, the new structure boasts a 292 percent increase in primary board size, a 424 percent increase in resolution and a 1,787 percent increase in the number of LED pixels compared to the previous scoreboard.

Reviews have been enormously positive.

Video: Preds host grand opening of Ford Ice Center Bellevue

Oct. 12: Ford Ice Center Bellevue Opens

Five years after the ribbon was cut at Ford Ice Center in Antioch, it was time to do it again.

The Predators opened their second twin-rink ice facility in Middle Tennessee when Ford Ice Center Bellevue opened its doors to the hockey-hungry public.

It wasn't all that long ago when ground was broken on the facility back in June of 2018, with representatives from the Predators front office, members of the Metro Government of Nashville and Davidson County, the Office of the Mayor, Sports Authority of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County and the Nashville Board of Parks and Recreation all on hand to commemorate the partnership.

Just over a year later, what was once a pile of dirt has become two new sheets of ice, a full-service bar and restaurant, a Perani's Hockey World, a Twice Daily location and so much more.

Video: NSH@OTT: Josi goes coast-to-coast to tie it

Oct. 29: Predators Sign Roman Josi to Eight-Year Contract

The Captain isn't going anywhere.

In what was arguably the most significant hockey transaction in club history, the Predators ensured their best defenseman would remain in Nashville for the rest of his career when they signed Josi to an eight-year, $72.472 million deal through the 2027-28 season. Josi will earn $9.059 million per season from 2020-21 to 2027-28.

"Roman Josi is one of the top defensemen in the National Hockey League and our team leader as captain," Poile said. "As he enters his prime, we look forward to Roman continuing to showcase his elite skills in Smashville and guiding our team in pursuit of the ultimate goal, the Stanley Cup."

Video: WC jersey honors hockey's roots in Nashville

Nov. 2: Preds Reveal 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Jersey

We're now just days away from the Predators facing the Dallas Stars in the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day, and the visitors will look rather dapper when the puck drops.

In conjunction with adidas and the NHL, the Predators revealed their jerseys for the Winter Classic on Nov. 2, a classic custom look that is unlike anything ever worn by the franchise.

From adidas: "The new jersey was created with a heritage aesthetic, featuring designs inspired by Nashville's rich hockey history and its passionate hockey fanbase. The script crest, felt block lettering and classic striping create a nostalgic look suitable for the NHL Winter Classic's celebration of the game's origins outdoors. The retro look will make its on-ice debut on January 1, when the Predators take on the Dallas Stars at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, Texas."

The Predators will sport the new look two more times in 2020 after New Year's Day has passed.

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