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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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 55 35 16 4 153 127 74
2 DAL 52 33 14 5 169 137 71
3 STL 54 29 17 8 128 128 66
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 50 27 19 4 145 132 58
6 COL 54 27 23 4 146 148 58
7 NSH 52 24 20 8 130 137 56
8 ANA 49 24 18 7 106 113 55
9 MIN 51 23 19 9 126 122 55
10 ARI 51 24 21 6 136 156 54
11 VAN 51 20 19 12 119 138 52
12 CGY 49 22 24 3 129 145 47
13 WPG 50 22 25 3 129 143 47
14 EDM 52 21 26 5 130 151 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 52 10 27 -4 37
S. Weber 52 13 20 -6 33
J. Neal 52 18 13 16 31
M. Ribeiro 52 6 25 1 31
F. Forsberg 52 14 16 -9 30
M. Ekholm 52 6 16 1 22
R. Ellis 51 6 15 0 21
C. Smith 52 11 6 -1 17
C. Wilson 36 4 12 0 16
C. Jarnkrok 51 8 7 -3 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 19 17 7 .903 2.51
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36