Today we are proceeding to #27 of our jersey series. Though it is fairly obvious who will take this one home, let's take a look at all the players who have ever donned #27.
Slaney ventured over to the expansion Predators in the 98-99 season from the Phoenix Coyotes. He played 46 games with the Predators, amassing 2 goals and 14 points. He also recorded his worst +/- rating, -12, in his entire NHL career. Slaney was then relegated to the Admirals in the IHL for 7 games before becoming a free agent in the offseason. He was eventually picked up by the Pittsburgh Penguins, where in 29 games he would record his second-worst +/- rating of -10.
Robitataille's arrival to Music City from Atlanta in 1999 marked the beginning of his full-time status in the NHL, making occasional appearances for the Admirals during his tenure with the Predators. Robitaille's rookie season with the Preds was his most prolific one, ranking first all-time for most power-play points by a rookie (2G-9A) and third for most shots by a rookie (113). In two seasons with the Predators, Robitaille accumulated 20 goals, 51 points, and a +/- rating of -24. After his second year with the Preds, upper management chose not to re-sign him. Interestingly, Robitaille was actually brought back as a free agent 5 years later, but he was placed on waivers and sent over to the Minnesota Wild before he ever stepped foot on the ice at 501 Broadway again.
This Finnish forward spent a total of 38 games in the NHL, 10 of which were with the Predators, to whom he was traded from the Calgary Flames in the latter part of the 01-02 season. During his stint with the Predators, he recorded 2 goals and 2 points. The following season, he decided to return to his homeland to play for play for the Jokerit Helsinki club team.
York joined the Predators in the 02-03 season after being demoted to the Anaheim Mighty Duck's minor league team in Cincinatti. He became a regular on the Predators lineup and stayed with the team for two seasons, amassing a total of 6 goals and 34 points. Unlike our other candidates, York's +/- rating was a stupendous +13 for the 02-03 season, the highest on the team for that year. The veteran defenseman became a free agent after two seasons with the Preds and decided to take a year off during the NHL lockout before signeing with HC Lugano for the 2005-06 season, where he would win the Swiss League championship.
This candidate is our nominee for the Player who has spent the least amount time on the Predators lineup award, playing 1 game for the Preds during the 02-03 season before forever bidding farewell to the NHL. He spent the rest of the season in Milwaukee, scoring 9 goals and 24 points in 52 games.
Probably the most familiar player in this set of candidates, Hornqvist was the last player selected at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Surprising, is it not? Hörnqvist signed on a three-year contract with Nashville in May 2007 and joined the team at the beginning of the 08-09 campaign. Nevertheless, he had some difficulties adjusting to the pace of NHL games, and after 28 games, he was reassigned to Milwaukee. In Milwaukee, Hornqvist recorded 17 goals and 35 points on top of contributing greatly to the Ads' run to the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs against the Houston Aeros (losing in the 7th game of that series). Convinced by his stellar performance in Milwaukee, David Poile and company decided to make Hornqvist a regular on the Predators roster the following season. Hornqvist, in turn, did not hesitate to prove himself, leading the Predators in goals (30) and tying for the team lead in points with 51. The following two years for Hornqvist were very successful as well. In the 10-11 season, he notched 21 goals and 48 points, while the following season, he dominated on the second line alongside Gabriel Bourque and David Legwand for the majority of the season, scoring 27 goals and 43 points. It is imperative to note that Hornqvist is the only one of three players picked last overall to play at least 100 NHL games and score at least 20 goals.
To further glorify his resume, Hornqivst was the named NHL's 3rd star of the week for the week of December 14, 2009. He also set a number of team records. In the 08-09 season, he recorded the most goals (30), points (51), power-play goals (10), game-winning goals (8), and shots (275). The following season, he continued his hot streak with the most game-winning goals (5) and shots (265). Expect Hornqvist to absorb a much more elevated role now that comrade Alexander Radulov has defected, once again.