FanPost

Giving Thanks - Part 3

I put the first two installments on this FanPost on the front page, so the third's a cinch! - Dirk

This is the final installment of my Thanksgiving series of FanPosts. What I want to do now is to turn the attention toward those who do not determine outcomes on the ice, but still help shape the identity, perception, and gameday experience for the Predators. And while I could expand this to a large host of people who have contributed to the team since its inception, I will stick to just a small subset of these folks.

(No slights to anyone not listed here - it's just that I am limited for time and space. There are so many people past and present I could include...)

 

Barry Trotz

At first we were just glad to get a team, and looking back, I'm thankful you have been here for the entire ride. You don't allow the players to get away with taking shortcuts and while you demand respect, you reflect that back to those who earn it. Thanks for being the guiding hand during the trying years as you looked to mold a collection of "players" into a "team" with a definite identity.

Peter Horachek and Lane Lambert

You both have had success at Milwaukee which led to moving to the Preds coaching staff. Thank you both for that perseverance and desire to continue to teach as well as compete at a high level. It's not exactly glamorous work, but it is appreciated all the same as the team makes use of the techniques you teach.

Mitch Korn

Without you, I just wonder where this franchise might have been. It has been great to see your work with the goalies be turned into excellence in their performance. I give thanks for your instruction and unorthodox tools and drills that you use to hone the players into better performers on the ice. If I could, I'd give you a huge raise!

David Poile

To the only General Manager we have known here, thank you for not being like other GMs when it comes to seemingly spending money just to spend it. We know there are budgets and constraints, and you do what you deem best since you know all aspects of the financial and operational side of the team. Fans may not always agree with you and would offer up their opinions, but I appreciate your tireless efforts to build this franchise.

David Freeman

You were the initial face of the new ownership group. We can't say thank you enough for helping spearhead the effort to get local people involved in purchasing the team to keep it here. I can't imagine the headaches and hoops you had to jump through, but I hope that you feel as we fans do - that it was indeed an effort worth undertaking.

Tom Cigarran

Although you are the current Chairman of the Predators, we also know you are a real fan. Thanks for the enthusiasm you show in your position and for your part in keeping the team here in Nashville. Your attitude is contagious, and you don't mind stopping to talk to just anyone in the arena's concourse. Thanks for being so approachable.

Craig Leipold

I would be remiss if I did not make sure to extend my gratitude to you, Mr. Leipold. Without your efforts and work from the beginning, this team would not have existed. Hard feelings were experienced at the time of the sale and we may never know some things that happened behind the scenes, but if it weren't for you taking that chance to introduce NHL hockey to Nashville, well, life here would be a little more boring.

Gnash

Thank you for doing what you do so well. You keep kids of all ages entertained with your antics and stunts, and you go out into the community even more than the players do. You're one of the faces of the franchise, so thanks for doing the things that you do to keep things fun wherever you are.

Pete Weber and Terry Crisp

Your voices are iconic around here now, and it's hard to imagine you both not being "The Voices Of The Predators". After all you have done to educate and impact the sports community of Nashville from the start, you have my gratitude for sticking with the team for all this time. You're like part of the family, and we enjoy hearing your even-handed passion for the team come through the audio feed.

Willy Daunic

When so many local people tried to ignore hockey at the advent of our Ice Age, you chose to 'jump' on in! You learned the game along with a lot of the community while so many mainstream media personalities elected not to. Many thanks for hosting the shows and fielding questions from fans, and being an ambassador for the team.

On The Forecheck

I used to be very active at a couple of other online destinations that eventually withered into a shell of their former selves. Once I came across OTF, there was no turning back. This is the first place I go for Predators news and opinions, and I would put the community here up against any other group. Thanks to Dirk for all the work you do. I realize it's a sacrifice to do this, but it really is worth it to those of us on this side of the screen. And to the other staffers and posters here - thank you for making OTF the great place it is!

Bryan

I'd been a fan and followed the team since before its inception. It wasn't until you mentioned getting an Ice Pack, while I was considering the same thing, that I would have even thought about getting a season ticket. Although you've had to give up your seat, the appreciation continues for getting me motivated to being a fan in the arena.

Mom

It's not like I'm not thankful enough already for all you've done for me and the rest of the family. As a sports-loving kid, I never thought I would see the day when you would reach for the Sports section of the paper first instead of discarding it. It means the world to me that you not only go to every single game out there with me, but that you have turned into as big a fan as I am without any prodding. Thanks for sharing this experience with me.

My Family

It is hard to make our schedules work sometimes, but I am so thankful that you two love going to the games, too. Thanks for putting up with all the talk about the team and games - sometimes bordering on incessant. And although we can't all go to every game, I have so much gratitude for your understanding and help throughout the season. It's been so much fun sharing the game experiences with you, I couldn't imagine anyone else I'd rather share them with!

 

As a final word, take time to remember to thank those who have helped us come to love this team and game, whether it's Predators personnel, customer service staff, ticket scanners or the higher-ups in suits. It doesn't take much to say a kind word, and it is a good exercise to get in the habit of saying 'thanks'. An attitude of thanksgiving helps bring perspective to our lives and makes us realize that in this time and place we live, we as a people do have much to be thankful for. Blessings are there at every turn if we will only make the effort to look.

This FanPost was written by an OTF reader, and does not represent the views of the editorial staff. Got something you'd like to share? <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/admin/entries/new?community_id=208&entry_type=FanPost" target="new">Post your own</a>!

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