Working his way from the ball fields to the ice rinks, Predators head athletic trainer Dan Redmond has ascended the ranks from an unknown talent to one of the most respected names in the National Hockey League—racking up his 1500th professional hockey game when the Predators faced the Maple Leafs this past Tuesday.
After starting out as a graduate assistant with Radnor High School in Radnor, Pa. and Temple University Sports Medicine Center, respectively, Redmond landed a position with the Cleveland Indians developmental clubs. Redmond served three years as a head athletic trainer within the Cleveland baseball organization and then made the jump to the competitive world of professional ice hockey.
Redmond spent four seasons with the American Hockey League’s Baltimore Slipjacks before he became a member of the Washington Capitals AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates. While serving as head athletic trainer for the Pirates, Redmond worked with Predators current head coach Barry Trotz who was, at the time, manning the bench of the Portland team. Redmond impressed Trotz from the very beginning.
“I’ve been with Dan almost 20 years now—starting back with Washington,” Trotz said of Redmond. “Dan has grown from a young guy in the baseball ranks to being one of the more established head trainers in the national hockey league. He’s great as a trainer in the fact that he has a great ‘mother’ personality; he will take care of you, do whatever it takes to get that player ready.
“He is boldly honest if a guy can play or not, if a guy can play through pain or not. He’s got a really good handle on that and therefore our team hasn’t had a lot of injuries in these last years.”
While in Portland, Redmond also worked with another Day-One member of the Nashville Predators organization, Preds General Manager David Poile—who served as Washington Capitals General Manager from 1983-1998. When Poile took the reins as GM for the Predators, he looked to bring in Redmond as head athletic trainer. Poile saw an opportunity for young players and staff to get their feet wet with the starting of a new hockey franchise, and the highly recommended Dan Redmond was no exception.
“I think with Dan it was a pretty easy decision with his work and qualifications,” Poile said. “Just like a young player, he was up and coming and deserved to be in the National Hockey League. It made perfect sense.”
Now in his 11th season with the Nashville Predators, Redmond has shown that Poile was right on in his decision. Redmond has effectively become one of the most respected people in his position in the National Hockey League and has shown a tremendous amount of caring for players under his supervision.
“I think the proof is how he gets along with the players,” Poile said. “The medical trainer has to have a very high level of caring, the players really have to trust his judgment and he has to care about them as much as he does a family member.
“Dan goes to great lengths to protect the player and there is no player that is playing for the Predators that is going to be put in any danger. Dan has a great relationship with the players and the medical staff and I think they all know and see that.”