Picking on the Predators
Never once in its history has the club made a buck. But with everything else going on in the NHL, most notably the great labour war, and because the Predators on ice were unremarkable, no one much noticed.A member of the Nashville faithful blasts Brunt in the comments, but it's pretty difficult to argue with any of the above statements. And it's not that he's criticizing those who have decided to turnout and support the Predators.
It wasn't until this season, with the Preds at or near the top of the Western Conference standings and the fans clearly not much interested in that fact, that it began dawning on the larger hockey community that the franchise was a basket case.
It's just that hockey now has so many markets that are hoping and pining to be in Nashville's position, at the top of the league, if only to prove they can sustain a team. And when one of them rises to the top of the heap and the host city exudes a collective yawn, it's hard not to write them off.
The best team in the league cannot have 13,000 fans a night in the seats. That's not a quality market, end of story.
It's almost to the point where interested observers are hoping the Nashvilles of the NHL fail in the standings rather than win a championship and prop up a franchise that never should have been. It'd be much easier to watch a franchise expire gracefully at the bottom of the standings, following in the natural order of things, than what's happening in Tennessee.
After all, it's only in the bush leagues that winning teams play to empty arenas.