April 20, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators center Craig Smith (15) skates with the puck against the Detroit Red Wings during the first period in game five of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators beat the Red Wings 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE
The Predators jersey series moves on to number 15, with Botox and goal gaffes highlighting this set of candidates...
When Berehowksy was claimed from the Edmonton Oilers by the expansion Predators in 1998 (along with Eric Fichaud and Greg de Vries), the Canadian defenseman was crucial on the Preds powerplay and was instrumental in their transition game. In 1999-2000 he set career highs with 12 goals and 32 points, leading the Preds defense in goals. That same year, he led the team in time on ice (22:40) and blocked shots (tied with Karlis Skrastins with 110). The following season was the second best of his career, with 6 goals and 24 points. His solid performance turned him into a very sought after defenseman at the 2001 trading deadline, when the Predators dealt him to the Vancouver Canucks. He would never achieve the same level of play in the NHL that he attained with the Predators.
The Czech forward came to the Predators from the Anaheim Ducks for Patric Kjelberg on November 1, 2001. Tenkrat played in only 58 games for the Predators before returning to Europe to play in the Finnish Elite League, yet while he was in Music City, he managed to register 24 points (8G-16A).
Murray came to the Predators from the New York Rangers along with Tomas Kloucek and Marek Zidlicky in exchange for Mike Dunham on December 12, 2002. He spent two seasons with Nashville, playing a total of 82 games and accumulating 14 goals and 36 points in this span. Murray was soon diagnosed with cervical dystonia, a neurological movement disorder in the neck, during the 2003-2004 season, which forced him to retire shortly from the NHL.
At the end of 2003, Murray started experiencing severe pain and stiffness in his neck, which progressed to the point where his head was involuntarily forced to face the left. Murray was nevertheless determined to keep this secret from his teammates, the coaching staff, and even his pregnant wife. In January 2004, the symptoms became so severe that they became unavoidable. He was brought to the emergency room after a game in Toronto. Luckily, one of the most renowned Canadian neurologists, Anthony Lang, M.D, was on call that night. Dr. Lang, however, instantly diagnosed Rem with cervical dystonia and immediately referred him to a neurologist for treatment in the U.S. where Rem was living and playing with the Nashville Predators at the time. Murray soon began treatment with injections of Botox. Within a period of two years, Murray recovered and was eventually signed by the Edmonton Oilers in 2006, for whom he was a quintessential contributor to the 2007 run to the Stanley Cup Finals.
In the summer of 2005, the center from British Columbia, Canada, was acquired by the Nashville Predators from the Pittsburgh Penguins, who were disappointed with his development at the time. Beech only played 5 games for the Predators before being sent down to Milwaukee. After 48 games with the Admirals, with whom he amassed 18 goals and 50 points, he was traded at the trade deadline to the Washington Capitals for Brendan Witt.
Signed as a free agent on September 4, 2007 by the Predators, Langfeld played only 2 games in Nashville before being relegated to Milwaukee. In 44 games with the Admirals, he scored 22 goals and 29 points. Unable to live up to the hallmark moment of his career, when he scored the 1998 NCAA championship-clinching goal in overtime for the Michigan Wolverines against Boston College and earning NCAA All-Tournament Team honors, he moved on to play for the Frankfurt Lions in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga the following year.
Nothing other than a black hole of money for the Predators, the speedy forward was deemed to be a key offensive component for Nashville following a 53-point season for the Phoenix Coyotes. Lombardi, an unrestricted free agent, signed a three-year, $10.5 million with the Predators in the 2010 offseason. However, after only two games with the Predators, he suffered a concussion and was unable to return for the remainder of the season. Due to uncertainty about his health and performance following Lombardi's hiatus, the Predators decided to deal him along with Cody Franson to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the offseason for Brett Lebda and Robert Slaney, neither of whom would even play a game with Nashville themselves following the swap.
Selected by the Nashville Predators in the 4th round (98th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Smith would become the first player since Colin Wilson to bypass the Admirals and play for the Predators directly. He was selected by Nashville for his excellent offensive instincts and awareness on the ice, as well as his good size and versatility to play both center and wing. On October 7, 2011, Smith scored his first NHL goal in his first NHL game against Steve Mason of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Playing 72 games for Nashville this past season, Smith spent the majority of his time on the 4th line alongside Nick Spaling and Brandon Yip, scoring a total of 14 goals and 36 points. No Nashville fan will forget Craig Smith's most memorable game, joining the ranks of Patrik Stefan, when Craig Smith missed an empty net goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Who is the greatest #15 in Nashville Predators history?
Kris Beech (5 votes)
Drake Berehowsky (130 votes)
Josh Langfeld (1 vote)
Matthew Lombardi (23 votes)
Rem Murray (63 votes)
Craig Smith (344 votes)
Petr Tenkrat (14 votes)
580 total votes