CHICAGO - APRIL 24: Jason Arnott #19 of the Nashville Predators celebrates a goal in the 3rd period as he skates past Duncan Kieth #2 of the Chicago Blackhawks in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on April 24, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Predators 5-4 in overtime. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Today's entry in the jersey number series presents us with a wide sampling of players from Nashville's hockey past. We have scorers, pluggers, thumpers and fighters all vying for your vote as the Greatest #19 of them all...
Brunette was a member of that first Nashville Predators team, and back in the 1998-99 season he chipped in 11 goals and 20 assists (with just 65 shots!). He will always hold a spot in Preds lore, however, as it was he who scored the first goal in franchise history, in a 3-2 win over Carolina on October 13, 1998.
He was traded in the summer of 1999 for a 5th-round draft pick, and has gone on to play over 1,110 games for a variety of different teams.
Picked up via waivers for the 2000-2001 season, Watt patrolled the left wing for 18 games (1 goal, 1 assist) that year for Nashville, spending the rest of the time in Milwaukee. He was traded that summer to Philadelphia, but played only 5 more games in the NHL from that point on.
More commonly recognized for being #10 in your program (but #1 in your hearts), Erat wore #19 during his first two NHL seasons, 2001-2002 and 2002-2003. In his rookie campaign he put up a respectable 33 points (9 goals, 24 assists) in 80 games, before spending most of the next season with Milwaukee. After that, he rebounded into full-time NHL work starting with the 2003-2004 season, bearing his signature #10.
McKenzie had a long run as a hulking, physical winger who made Nashville his 9th and final NHL team during the 2003-2004 season (just after having won the Stanley Cup with New Jersey). While he put up just one goal and three assists during his 61 games as a Predator, that did bring up him to a nice round figure of 100 for his career.
Perhaps the first big Trade Deadline acquisition by the Preds, Witt was acquired in March 2006 from Washington in exchange for Kris Beech and a 1st-round draft pick (which later became goaltender Semyon Varlamov, now with Colorado). He was a huge thumper on the blueline who added toughness to the Nashville defense. After Nashville's playoff run fizzled against San Jose in six games, Witt signed as a free agent with the Islanders that summer.
Signed as a free agent in 2006, Arnott added genuine scoring punch down the middle. Out of his four seasons in Nashville, three of those are listed in the team's Top 10 in goal scoring, and he still holds the franchise mark for goals in a season with 33, set in 2008-2009.
Some fans didn't appreciate his lack of "rah rah" attitude on the ice or in the press, but Arnott stepped into a leadership role in 2007 after the Great Fire Sale and led the team to a remarkable playoff berth when the team's future in Nashville hung in the balance. It was his blast that ended Dominik Hasek's NHL career in 2008, and who knows what would have happened in that series against Detroit if Alex Radulov hadn't concussed him in the ensuing celebration. He left the Preds via the Matt Halischuk trade in June 2010, having compiled 107 goals and 122 assists in 275 games.
Who is the Greatest #19 in Nashville Predators history?
Jason Arnott (296 votes)
Andrew Brunette (30 votes)
Martin Erat (152 votes)
Jim McKenzie (10 votes)
Mike Watt (2 votes)
Brendan Witt (8 votes)
498 total votes