Nashville may be located in the country music capital of the world ... but local hockey fans know it simply as "Smashville."
The Nashville Predators adopted their name from the bones of a saber-toothed tiger found beneath a local building. Craig Leipold first purchased the expansion rights in 1997, and the team quickly built a loyal following. It won 28 games in the inaugural season. Twelve seasons later, the team finished second in the Central Division and appeared in its first-ever conference semifinals. One year later, it finally dispatched its long-standing rival Detroit Red Wings 4-1 in the opening round of the playoffs. Author and award-winning reporter Justin Bradford details the fascinating history through unique player anecdotes and perspectives from those involved in the team's rise to prominence.
About the Author
Justin Bradford is the managing editor, lead writer and host of Penalty Box Radio as heard on 102.5 The Game ESPN Nashville. Born in Michigan, he moved to Tennessee when he was only seven years old. He and Ben Butzbach started Penalty Box Radio, a show and site that focuses on the Nashville Predators, prospects, junior and college hockey. In 2014, Bradford won the Best Sports Reporter award and Penalty Box Radio was voted the second-best blog in Nashville.