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Nashville Predators Analysis: Change Comes in More Forms than One

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The dominant narrative permeating SMASHville as the 2014-2015 campaign gets underway deals with how and to what extent head coach Peter Laviolette sets the tone for a new direction in Nashville. With one win under his belt already, and facing #ConferenceIII rivals the Dallas Stars tonight, "Lavy," as his players and the team's fans endearingly call him, took "change" in the Music City to new heights this afternoon.

Can you picture Barry Trotz blowing bubbles on the bench? Yeah. We thought not. A new era has begun.
Can you picture Barry Trotz blowing bubbles on the bench? Yeah. We thought not. A new era has begun.
Alex Grimm

Arriving in an otherwise nondescript black four-door Nissan sedan around 12:30 p.m. Central today, head coach Peter Laviolette descended on Firehouse Subs at 700 Old Hickory Boulevard in Brentwood for a little game day pick-me-up.

Donning slacks and a Nashville Predators pullover windbreaker, the one-time Stanley Cup winner entered the sandwich shop, only to emerge minutes later with a sack full of what appeared to be four or five submarine sandwiches "to-go."

This, like many other aspects of Laviolette's coaching philosophy, differs from his predecessor Barry Trotz, now head coach of the Washington Capitals. Trotz used to pick up his game day meals at the legendary Sub Stop on 17th Avenue South in Nashville's midtown district, just a few blocks from Bridgestone Arena.

[Sic.]

Kent and Dianne Grizzard, the owners of the iconic Sub Stop, painted the exterior of their legendary sandwichery in so-called Predator gold in 2012 as the Trotz-led squad that year lurched toward its second-ever (and last) Western Conference semifinal series.

Until last year, Barry Trotz was the only head coach the Nashville Predators had ever known. His lunch choice of a "mom and pop" operation harkens to his preference for creating and maintaining a family atmosphere throughout his day. Laviolette's more corporate approach might signal his industrious ability to produce on a large scale at prices people are willing to pay. Trotz also drives an SUV, so Laviolette's choice of a sedan today further evidences his commitment to shaking things up in the Music City.

It is not eminently clear whether or not today's snub of Sub Stop will influence the Grizzards' cosmetic choices for their building, or whether or not that will weigh on the Predators' playoff chances next spring. It is also unclear whether or not Coach Laviolette picked up lunch for Frank the Turtle.

OTF will continue to monitor developments, and report as new information becomes available.