August 6, 1997: Trotz named Preds first coach
Barry Trotz was named as the first head coach in Nashville Predators franchise history in August of 1997, more than a year before the Preds would play their inaugural game. Trotz stood behind the Nashville bench for the club’s first 15 seasons, amassing 557 wins over 1,196 games, with both numbers ranking third all-time with a single franchise. The former Preds bench boss was nominated for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach in both 2010 and 2011. The Dauphin, Man., native served as an assistant coach for the Western Conference All-Stars at the 2007 NHL All-Star Game and was named the 2006-07 Sporting News NHL Coach of the Year.
August 5, 2005: Kariya inks deal with Preds
The Predators announced the signing of free-agent forward Paul Kariya on Aug. 5, 2005, the initial First-Team NHL All-Star to sign with Nashville. Kariya spent two seasons in Music City, scoring 55 goals and 161 points, skating in all 82 games on both occasions. His 31 goals during the 2005-06 season marks the second highest goal total in a single season in team history, while his 54 assists and 85 points during the same campaign are single season franchise records.
August 6, 2005: Nichol joins Nashville
The Predators signed free-agent forward Scott Nichol in early August of 2005. The Edmonton, Alberta native, spent four seasons in Nashville from 2005-09, tallying 47 points in 209 games. Nichol led the League in face-off efficiency in 2007-08 with Nashville and he also holds a Nashville franchise record for shorthanded goals in a game/period with two in the second period of a 5-2 victory at St. Louis on Jan. 19, 2008. Still a familiar face in the Preds organization, Nichol is set to enter his third season as the Predators Director of Player Development. Nichol is responsible for following and evaluating prospects drafted by Nashville, in addition to working with players on all levels throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
August 8, 2010: Cogen and Henry join the franchise
The Predators appointed a new senior management team with the addition of Jeff Cogen as CEO and Sean Henry as President and COO in 2010.
Cogen joined the Predators after serving as the president and alternate league governor of the Dallas Stars. While in Dallas, Cogen was also a board member overseeing the operation of Dallas’s American Airlines Center. During his tenure, the Stars were consistently in the Top 10 in the NHL in attendance and considered the preeminent NHL Sunbelt franchise over previous 15 years.
“Jeff has an absolutely exceptional track record of transforming the business operations of major league sports teams, specifically hockey, and we are excited to bring his expertise and experience to our top business leadership position,” Predators Chairman Tom Cigarran said at the time of the hiring.
Henry joined the Predators after spending 11 years with the Tampa Bay Lightning. With the Lightning, he served as the interim CEO and, prior to that, as team and The St. Pete Times Forum’s COO since 1999. Henry was instrumental in turning the franchise around by significantly growing suite and ticket revenues, expanding sponsorship revenues, structuring new partnerships with the city/county, and turning The St. Pete Times Forum into one of the busiest venues in the country.
“Sean is an exceptionally talented sports and entertainment executive whose experience, skill and commitment will add a major new dimension to our leadership team,” Cigarran said in 2010.