Saturday, August 13, 2011
This off-season, the Nashville Predators parted ways with veterans J.P. Dumont and Steve Sullivan. Neither of the two players were as productive as the Predators needed them to be, so the hard decision to move forward without them was made.
Both Dumont and Sullivan had great careers as a Nashville Predator. In both cases, the impact on the ice after they were acquired was felt immediately.
In Sullivan's Predator debut, he notched a hat trick against the San Jose Sharks on February 18th, 2004. It was the beginning of a long run with the Preds. Sullivan went on to become one of the most beloved players in the history of the franchise. He had his ups and downs. He basically missed two years of hockey with the Preds due to a debilitating back injury.
Sullivan returned midway through the 2008-2009 season, and won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for his perseverance that same season. He finished his tenure with the Nashville Predators with 100 regular season goals and 163 assists in 317 games played.
Dumont's career with the Nashville Predators started off on a positive note as well. He scored 39 seconds into his first game as a Predator on October 5th, 2006, against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Dumont was probably the best pure passer that Nashville has ever had. He was a legitimate offensive threat throughout his time with the Preds. During his time in Nashville, Dumont had 93 regular season goals and 174 assists in 388 games played.
From an off-ice standpoint, the Nashville Predators organization has never had two players who have done more for the community than Dumont and Sullivan. They started their "Kids Come First" campaign, which allowed children from Vanderbilt Children's Hospital to sit in their own luxury suite and watch a game.
Sullivan has now moved on to the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he will most likely play on one of their top two lines. Dumont is currently still an unrestricted free agent. Both players have said they will return to Nashville once their playing careers are over. In my opinion, I think both of them will be a part of the Nashville Predators organization again.
It will defnitely be different for Nashville fans when they look on the ice and don't see #26 and #71 out there, but it's something that was inevitable. There is no denying the positive impact that Dumont and Sullivan had on the Preds' organization and a community as a whole.
Fittingly enough, their final points as Nashville Predators came on the same play in the Game 6 win against Anaheim to send Nashville to the second round for the first time in franchise history. It was one last glimpse of glory for two of the greatest players to ever put on a Nashville Predators sweater.
(PHOTO CREDIT: Mark Humphrey, Associated Press)
Posted by Robby Stanley at 11:21 PM