Ever since the Nashville Predators began life in the late 90's, the hockey-playing community here in Middle Tennessee has grown slowly but steadily. A milestone, of course, was reached with the signing of Blake Geoffrion to his professional contract, a validation that Nashville's youth hockey programs are capable of fostering elite talent. But folks have also been frustrated at the lack of skating facilities in the area.
New CEO Jeff Cogen has brought with him from the Dallas organization a unique background with supporting the construction and development of hockey facilities in order to grow a hockey-watching and hockey-playing fan base. Today, word comes that the Predators are making a bold step in that direction by donating $150,000 to the A-Game Sportsplex in suburban Cool Springs to bolster youth hockey efforts.
Besides presenting the check tomorrow afternoon, there will be an open practice by the Preds, as well as clinics for youth players featuring some of their NHL heroes helping them on the ice, and autograph opportunities as well.
Follow after the jump for more, including the team's press release...
When he first came on board, Cogen sat down with Pete Weber and talked about that experience helping to grow a hockey community in Dallas:
So do your best to make it out to A-Game Sportsplex tomorrow, and take part in what should be a fun afternoon...
The Nashville Predators invite you to experience A-Game Sportsplex, a youth hockey facility in Cool Springs that fosters interest in hockey among all ages. Tomorrow, October 26 Nashville Predators leadership will present A-Game with a check for $150,000 as a way to encourage and promote youth hockey initiatives. We welcome you to stay and watch the Nashville Predators open practice after the check presentation. Make sure to hang around after practice for the Kids Community Corner with games, player autographs and prizes for all kids in attendance.
WHO: Jeff Cogen, Nashville Predators CEO
TriggWilkes, A-Game Sportsplex
Barry Trotz, Nashville Predators Head Coach
GNASH and the Nashville Predator Dancers
WHEN: October 26, 2010 from 3:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
3:15 p.m. - GNASH and Dancers arrive to greet fans, take pictures and hand out swag.
3:30 p.m. - Check Presentation
4 -5 p.m. - Predators Open Practice
5:30-6 p.m. - A-Game Mite practice with appearances from Francis Bouillon and Alexander Sulzer
6:25-7:15 p.m. - A-Game Squirt practice with appearances by Colin Wilson and Nick Spaling
5:30-7 p.m. - Kids Community Corner activities, including appearances by GNASH and the Ladies of Smashville, youth games, sponsor items and more (Court 2)
6-7 p.m. - Player autographs at Kids Community Corner with Cody Franson, Patric Hornqvist and Shane O'Brien (Court 2)
WHERE: A-Game Sportsplex
215 Gothic Court
Franklin, TN 37067