Recently I talked about the 7th man, what it is, and how to be one. I have received a couple of your 7th man moments, but I wanted to take the time to share mine and why hockey is my passion. If you couldn’t tell by some of the content, I’m a big Nashville Predators fan; from having season tickets with the Preds to interning for a whole season and even traveling to Canada and Dallas to watch games.
While I don’t remember when it was or who the Preds were playing, after attending my first game I was in love with the sport. More than likely there was a fight that sold the sport for me.
Growing up in the lovely state of West Virginia, I never really knew what hockey was then when my family moved to Tennessee, I began to learn more about one of the best sports. My favorite thing, besides the fights, of course, is how fast-paced and physical the game is. I even took my high school grad photos with my Preds jersey on… and one with my dog who also has a matching one!
Over the past few seasons, my brother and I have had some form of season tickets whether that’s a quarter or half plan. But if I’m not at a game, there’s a fairly high chance I have it on in some form or fashion. And I have sat just about everywhere in Bridgestone Arena: lower bowl, upper bowl, suites, the press box, you name it. Those games are what I call “bonding moments with my brother.” That’s where we spend the most quality time together. Although all the moments that I’m talking about are my favorites, these top the list.
The Preds’ 2017 Stanley Cup Playoff run was amazing, only to be beaten by the Penguins on Preds’ home ice. Whether I went to a game in person or went to one of the watch parties out on the plaza, these were some of my favorite games. The energy was high, the Preds were on a roll, and we had a chance to take it all home. That’s also the year all the banner jokes started since the Preds had risen their Western Conference Campion banners and President Trophy banner.
Traveling to Canada
The year was 2020, March 2020 to be exact. My spring break had lined up perfectly with the Preds Canada trip to Montreal and Toronto. This was my first time being able to watch the Preds, in person, at an away game and nothing was going to stop me. My family and I were there for a week and did all things hockey, including the Hockey Hall of Fame to see each of the trophies I have talked about over the course of this campaign. We were able to attend the Montreal vs Preds game, but due to the unfortunate NHL Pause, we weren’t able to see the Toronto vs Preds game.
I had the chance to intern with the Nashville Predators for the entire 2021-22 season and it was a dream come true. I worked with the Communications department as a game-night intern, helping the media, broadcasters, and scouts all throughout the night. Through my internship, I was able to work the 2022 Stadium Series, the first round of playoffs, and assist when the Hockey Guys came into town. I was also given the chance to create great connections with a couple of NHL scouts and broadcasters (with whom I still talk to this day), and other members of the Predators’ staff, and I even got to go up into the rafters of Bridgestone (unfortunately I didn’t take pictures due to me not wanting to drop my phone from 120+ feet in the air or have it fall onto the megatron)!
This gave me a different perspective on hockey and I will cherish my time for the rest of my life. Now when I’m watching a game, either in the arena or at home, my mind is also thinking about what goes on behind the scenes.
As I mentioned I got to work the Stadium Series that Nashville hosted. That wasn’t my first time at a Nashville Predators outdoor game. Back in January 2020, the Preds were selected to play in the Winter Classic, a game traditionally outdoors and on or around New Year’s either at a baseball park or football field. This was the first time I had traveled for a game, and I loved every moment, besides the outcome and the basically career-ending injury to Preds defenseman at the time, Ryan Ellis. *That game also started my dislike for Corey Perry* Although the trip lasted less than 24 hours, it was still a great 7th Man Moment for me, we even got to see the Preds family skate the night before from our plane!
My most recent outdoor game was the Stadium Series, which took place in February of 2022 at Nissan Stadium here in Nashville. This game was extra special since I got to work all the media press conferences the day prior and watch practices and family skates, then I got to be a fan on game day and attend with my brother. I also loved every bit of that game, besides the outcome once again.
I mentioned as part of my internship I got to assist with the Hockey Guys when they came into town for their spring break trip. For those who don’t know, the Hockey Guys are a group of former collegiate hockey players who started on TikTok creating videos and content about their time playing collegiate hockey. This has since turned into a business where they travel all over the NHL games and create content. They have also created two podcasts and a merch line.
Working with them was so much fun! I got to hang out with them for two days, the first was taking them to different partners of the Preds to gain content then the second day was game day where they got custom jerseys and got to run around the arena doing all kinds of things. One of my favorite parts though was being tasked with buying them a catfish to throw onto the ice at the beginning of the game which has become a Nashville tradition to get the crowd going. Through that, I have now created some lifelong friends and some very fun and memorable moments.
Those are just a few of my favorite 7th Man Moments, and I know there will be many more in the years to come!