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Nashville Predators

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The Nashville Predators are an expansion team that entered the NHL in 1998, invoking several changes to the existing divisions that comprised the Eastern and Western conferences. Upon the Predators inception, they drafted David Legwand with the 2nd overall pick in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. The team struggled in its first few seasons but managed to make its first playoff appearance in 2003-04, the last season played before the NHL lockout.

The Predators have slowly but surely become a strong franchise with a winning record in each of the last 8 seasons and playoff appearances in 7. The Preds advanced to the Conference Semi-Finals for the first time in 2011 and repeated the feat in 2012. They are clearly headed in the right direction and have improved in all aspects at a very steady rate. Taking the Stanley Cup may actually be more plausibly imminent for the Predators than most people think. But, after 15 seasons behind Nashville's bench, the era of Barry Trotz has come to an end, which certainly presents some new questions for the Predators moving forward.