The Nashville Predators were able to pull off a rare feat and do two things that made most NHL fans scratch their heads.
During a normal home opener the teams would introduce their roster for the year this includes guy’s who are healthy scratches and sometimes guys on injured reserve. In some cases guys who are suspended will make appearances but usually those suspension are for misconduct while on the ice so most hockey fans shrug it off. However, the Predators thought it would be a good idea to include Austin Watson, who is serving a 27 game suspension for domestic violence. Watson appeared on the ice in full uniform and the NHL did approve the idea of him being on the ice even though he is suspended. Fans found Watson’s appearance to be disturbing and viewed it as the NHL and the Predators not taking domestic violence seriously. The other thing they did was a little less controversial.
The Predators finished last season with the Presidents’ Trophy and made lost in the Western Conference Final to the Vegas Golden Knights. The Predators decided to raise three banners during their opener, one that said “Presidents’ Trophy Winners” which is fine that celebrates regular season success. A second that said “Central Division Champions” which seemed to be a little weird but not totally out of place Finally they raised a “Regular Season Western Conference Champions” this one is weird for two reasons, first the print on “Regular Season” is really small so from a distant you won’t be able to see it and second this banner is the same thing as saying Presidents’ Trophy winners. If you win the Presidents’ Trophy you probably won your conference too.
When every job wants 5+ years experience so you stretch your accomplishments on your resume. pic.twitter.com/Wfa1TseblN
— Sarah Jenkins (@sarahjenkinsxo) October 10, 2018
The Predators ended up losing the game and were bashed relentlessly on Twitter for the banners and for introducing Watson as part of the team. The shocking part is Watson received a cheer from the crowd, despite pleading no contest to the domestic violence charges. The Predators will have to deal with the Watson scenario more down the line but it looks like they are comfortable keeping him around.
Written By Tyler Smith (@TylerSmith4386)