In 15 seasons, the Nashville Predators have anointed six players with the prestigious captain’s “C” – Tom Fitzgerald (1998-2002), Greg Johnson (2002-06), Kimmo Timonen (2006-07), Jason Arnott (2007-10), Shea Weber (2010-present) and, for a brief time, Scott Walker from Jan. 12-27, 2003.

It all started with Fitzgerald the summer of 1998, who was immediately named captain upon signing as a free agent. He spent his four seasons of captaincy mentoring a young Predators contingent that would blossom into the team’s playoff core down the road.

“It was a fantastic honor, and my proudest moment as a player to be named captain,” Fitzgerald said. “For David Poile and Barry Trotz to think of me in that regard to lead a young team in the right direction was a tremendous honor. It taught me a lot about myself – enjoying being around the younger players and talent, and helping try to guide them in the right direction as a pro. I held wearing the ‘C’ in high esteem and I am thankful for that, and the Predator organization. To see them grow to where they are now, I’d like to think I had a hand in that – watching the growth of guys like Legwand, Hartnell and Timonen. It taught me a lot about winning championships from within.”

A mainstay since taking the franchise’s first faceoff on Oct. 10, 1998, Greg Johnson was the team’s next captain, and served as a quiet leader, most notably helping the team reach the playoffs for the first two occasions in team history.

“I think it is an honor that only 30 players a year get to have – wearing that letter,” Johnson said of his term as captain. “It was an honor to be chosen to wear the ‘C’ and I did the best I could.”

Timonen’s reign as captain was short, but productive. He led the team to its best finish in franchise history in 2006-07 – 51 wins and 110 points, good for third-best in the entire league.

Arnott was named captain prior to the 2007-08 season and brought a dimension to the position the Predators had never seen before. The 2006 free-agent signee came to the Music City after scoring the Stanley Cup-clinching goal for the New Jersey Devils in 2000.

“We signed Jason in the summer of 2006 for his on-ice contributions, but we were also very interested in him for his leadership and experience,” President of Hockey Operations and General Manager David Poile said. “He has been one of the most consistent offensive contributors in the league over the last decade, has won the Stanley Cup and is a commanding and respected presence within our dressing room.”

In July of 2010, Shea Weber became both the youngest player and the first Predators draftee to be named captain. At just 24, Weber was already considered among the best blueliners in the NHL, and was coming off a season in which he won a gold medal with Canada at the Olympics, being named the tournament’s best defenseman in the process. As captain, he has led the Predators to two playoff appearances, both of which saw the team advance to the second round. Additionally, he was back-to-back Norris Trophy runner-up and was voted a first-team NHL All-Star in both 2011 and 2012.

“In addition to being one of the top young defenseman in the League today, Shea is a natural leader, and we are confident he has the respect of his teammates, opponents, the Predators organization and its fans,” Poile said. “He becomes the first Predators draft pick to be named captain, and has been part of the culture and belief system we have worked hard to create.”

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STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 26 37 15 63
M. Ribeiro 82 15 47 11 62
R. Josi 81 15 40 15 55
S. Weber 78 15 30 15 45
C. Smith 82 23 21 11 44
C. Wilson 77 20 22 19 42
M. Fisher 59 19 20 4 39
J. Neal 67 23 14 12 37
R. Ellis 58 9 18 8 27
S. Jones 82 8 19 3 27
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 41 17 6 .923 2.18
C. Hutton 6 7 4 .902 2.61