The Nashville Predators' 2007-2008 season marks the tenth season in the history of the franchise. We're celebrating the occasion with a special section of our Web site, dedicated to revisiting the history of the organization. This section will grow with new features and interactive elements as the 10th Anniversary Season unfolds. (Note: Click the 10th Anniversary banner at the top of any page in this section to return to this index.)
Flashback Feature:Where are they now? Denny Lambert
Denny Lambert quickly emerged as a fan favorite in the Predators first year of existence, 1998-99, for his friendliness off the ice, and fists on it. Though he played just one season in the Music City, Lambert accumulated 218 penalty minutes in 76 games – the second highest single-season total in franchise history. The Wawa, Ont., native was shipped to Atlanta prior to the start of the 1999-2000 campaign for Randy Robitaille, and eventually hung up the skates following the 2002-03 after 856 professional contests over 12 seasons.
Since 2003-04, Lambert has served as an assistant coach for the Ontario Hockey League’s Sault Saint Marie Greyhounds, the team he played for prior to going pro.
“It was a transition that was made fairly easy, especially since this is the town where I live and where I grew up,” Lambert said. “It has been great to stay in hockey in my hometown after my playing career was done.”
What was the most exciting part about living here and being a Predator? “At the time, being the first year of hockey there, everyone was so excited about getting hockey so I will always remember the fans. Also, the city itself is a big city, but at the same time it has a small-town feel, and people treated you good there. Obviously, the organization was first-class the way they treated the players coming in. A lot of the stuff in my basement comes from the Nashville Predators because they made sure it was a time to remember, with an expansion team coming in. They sent us off with a video in the summertime with some of the highlights of the season with ‘Time of Your Life’ by Green as the song – and they made sure it was the time of our lives in Nashville so it was definitely one of my favorite places to play.”
What are your fondest memories of Nashville? “I did some interesting things and met some good people down there in the music industry. There was a chance to record a CD for charity so getting in the studio with some professional musicians was quite a thrill. Just for them to listen to us horrible guitar players, and encourage us to have some fun was a great thing to do because not many people have had the chance to record a CD in Nashville with some professional writers and players.” Who were you closest to during your time on the team? “I was closest with Andrew Brunette when I was there.” Is there any one on-ice moment that you remember from your time in Nashville? “We played a game that was at 12 p.m. with all the schools there – it was nothing but loud screaming. It was a loud building. But in the fans in general were just phenomenal – they didn’t know much about what was going on because hockey was new, but their support was great.”
What part of the city did you miss most once you left? “It was just a relaxed atmosphere. When I went to Atlanta it was always so busy – it is a big city with lots of traffic. Nashville is a big city and all, but the people were so much more laid back and seemed to have more time for you. It was a relaxed environment, even going down the strip on Broadway after a game was more casual.” How did you grow as a person during your time in Nashville? “I went through a unique situation by going to arbitration and I think I learned a lot about myself by going through that. It was a business decision, but I ended up getting traded because of it. As a person you grow when you go through something that tough because it is good for your character.”