Wednesday, July 13, 2011
The 3rd annual "Skate of the Union" held by the Nashville Predators was a huge success. Hundreds of fans showed up to Bridgestone Arena to participate in a number of events that took place throughout the day.
One of the major attractions of the day was the used equipment sale. Game-used sticks, gloves, and a host of other items were on sale for season ticket holders and the general public. Several interesting items from current and former Preds were found in the sale. New merchandise, with the new team logo, went on sale at the event.
Fans were also given the opportunity to take a tour of the locker room, and to have autographs signed by Blake Geoffrion, Ryan Suter, Wade Belak, Stu Grimson, and Scott Walker. All of this led up to the main event, which was the town hall style meeting and the unveiling of the new home jersey.
The panel, which consisted of David Poile, Jeff Cogen, Tom Cigarran, Barry Trotz, and Sean Henry, made several interesting statements regarding the Preds. According to Poile, negotiations with Shea Weber are still ongoing. Poile is very confident that a deal will be done.
There will be a huge effort by the Nashville Predators organization to invest in Bridgestone Arena. A particular emphasis will be made in making sure that the arena is updated, and that it will continue to function at the highest level. Cogen and Henry hinted at several possible new changes to the arena that might take place.
In my view from hearing Poile speak, I wouldn't expect a major deal involving the Predators for the remainder of the off-season. It looks like the Preds are going to stick with the roster they currently have until the trade deadline. Having said that, it really seems as if Poile is very serious about being a buyer when the deadline comes.
After several questions from fans were answered, the party moved outside on the concourse. A banner of the new home jersey was revealed on the side of the AT&T building in downtown Nashville. Geoffrion, Suter, and a host of other individuals modeled the jersey after the original banner was seen. I loved the jersey. Several people who didn't like the idea of a gold jersey going into the night were pleasantly surprised. It really looks good.
There's not an official count, but this was by far the most people who have ever been to the Skate of the Union. It truly was a fantastic crowd for a hot summer day in the middle of July.
Poile plans on tackling Suter and Pekka Rinne's contract after a deal is made with Weber.
The Nashville Predators' organization has set a goal to sell out 25 home games in the regular season of next year.
Posted by Robby Stanley at 11:32 PM