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The National Hockey League and the Nashville Predators Have a Big Week in Music City

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Fire meet ice. Ice meet fire. That brief meterological synopsis perfectly summarizes the events that transpired from June 26 through June 29 as the cool world of the National Hockey League merged with an outbreak of extremely sultry weather for a double shot of NHL related events in Nashville as the 2023 NHL Awards and 2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft celebrations both took over Broadway in the week leading up to the 247th anniversary of America's independence.

The Bridgestone Arena is no stranger to hosting big parties - this time for the NHL.

The Bridgestone Arena was drafted into double duty during the week. On Monday night a slate of celebrity sightings accompanied the Awards Ceremony that saw Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers walk away as the most decorated athlete of the evening by winning the Hart Memorial Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award that recognized him as the MVP of the Regular Season and the Most Outstanding Player of the Year as voted on by the NHLPA. On Wednesday, the most recent additions to the association took their first step in joining the storied sport and legendary league as Connor Bedard was taken with the first overall pick by the Chicago Blackhawks who swooped in to grab the remarkable Canadian who is widely considered one of the greatest ice hockey prospects of his generation.

Austin McNeill was the real deal at the Preds block party hosted by Tractor Supply.

The city of Nashville and the NHL also pulled out all the stops for fans and their furry friends as they turned the downtown's main drag into a block party that featured music - of, course. There was also an informative - and air conditioned - United by Hockey Mobile Museum along with a chance for fans to put their hockey video games on display. A Block Pawty presented by the PEDIGREE Brand encouraged fans to bring their pets to the Pups and Play Dog Park for treats, photo opportunities, adoption opportunities & more. Makes sense as a hard rubber hockey puck also doubles as a great canine chew toy.

The NHL literally had their name in lights on Broadway.

On the musical front a giant stage on Broadway in front of the Bridgestone Arena served as home base for a mini, multi-day festival that featured well-attended performances by high-profile acts including Brothers Osborne, Mitchell Tenpenny, Kip Moore, Maddie & Tae and Jo Dee Messina. We especially enjoyed the rocking, country stylings of Tractor Supply's Emerging artist Austin McNeill who no doubt won some new fans courtesy of the NHL loyalists in the crowd.

New Head Coach Andrew Brunette greets the Smashville faithful.

Not to be outdone - the host franchise Nashville Predators also had ample reason to celebrate as they launched their 25th Anniversary in Music City with a Broadway Block Party of their own presented by Tractor Supply. The affair included Preds alumni appearances & autographs along with an introduction of the team's new Head Coach Andrew Brunette - who just happens to be the player who scored the first goal in Smashville history. All this hockey-centric fun and excitement added up to another smashing success for the NHL in Nashville.

By all accounts it was another smashing success for the NHL in Nashville.

Related Links: For more information on the NHL DRAFT and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - NHL | Nashville Predators | Bridgestone Arena


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