The Nashville Predators entered the NHL in 1998 and began play in the 1998-99 season. Since their inception, the franchise has had seven players wear the “C” as team captain. This list ranks the top five captains in Predator’s history. Rankings are determined by a combination of individual play, team success, leadership qualities, player respect, and historical significance in team history.
5. Greg Johnson
At number five we have one of the first Nashville Predators captains (number two to be exact). Greg Johnson was named captain of the Predators for the 2002-03 season and served in the role through 2005-06. He was far from a star player, but a well respected depth forward. Johnson was a strong leader for the up and coming franchise, and the team made their first playoff appearance under his leadership in 2003-04. That also happened to be Johnson’s best season personally as captain, scoring 14 goals, 18 assists, and 32 points in 82 games that year. Johnson may have been a bottom-six forward talent wise, but his hard work and leadership was far from lacking. Greg Johnson tragically passed away at the age of 48 in 2019; RIP Greg Johnson.
4. Jason Arnott
Jason Arnott was a highly respected NHL veteran when he arrived in Nashville in 2006-07. He had been in the NHL since 1993-94, won a Stanley Cup in 2000 with the New Jersey Devils, and was widely regarded as one of the best second-line centers in the league. He became captain in 2007-08, his second season with the team, after the departure of Kimmo Timonen to Philadelphia. Arnott served as captain through 2009-10. The Predators made the playoffs two out of three seasons Arnott was captain, and really solidified themselves as a playoff level team in the Western Conference.
3. Mike Fisher
Mike Fisher only served as Predators captain for one season, but it was the best season in franchise history. The Predators made their only Stanley Cup Finals appearance with Fisher leading the way in 2016-17. He was a leader on the team long before he wore the “C”, but finally got the letter after Shea Weber was traded to Montreal. At 36 years old, he wasn’t the offensive player he once was, but that didn’t matter. What made Fisher a great captain was his hard work, tenacity, and lead by example attitude. He was willing to do whatever it took to win. Mike Fisher will always be a beloved Predator, and one of the most respected players of his era. Of all the captains in Pred’s history, Fisher’s leadership skills might’ve been the best.
2. Roman Josi
Roman Josi is the current captain of the Nashville Predators, and will likely be for years to come. He was given the “C” for the 2017-18 season after Mike Fisher’s “retirement” (Fisher ended up coming back). Josi has worn it ever since, and after signing a massive 8 year contract extension this season, will likely be wearing it for the foreseeable future.
The team has not yet made a deep playoff run under Josi’s leadership, but that’s not a knock against Josi. He is an elite NHL defenseman who had a Norris Trophy level season this year; putting up 65 points in 69 games. He’s still just 29 years old and will continue to grow as a leader and captain for the Preds. The future is very bright with Roman Josi at the helm. When it’s all said and done, he’s going to be one of the greatest Nashville Predators in franchise history.
1. Shea Weber
Shea Weber is without a doubt the best captain in Predator’s history. Weber took over the role in 2010-11 at just 25 years old. He was already a budding superstar defenseman and continued to improve as a player and leader with experience. He became one of the top defensemen in the league with the Predators. Weber consistently scored around 50 points year in and year out, while maintaining great defensive zone play as well.
Also, the team saw plenty of success under Weber’s leadership. Nashville won their first ever playoff series in 2010-11, defeating the Anaheim Ducks in six games in round one. The team made the postseason four times with Weber as captain, and won at least one playoff round three of those four seasons.
While he never took the team deep into the playoffs, Weber is a Predator’s legend. He is one of the greatest players to ever play for the team, and also the longest tenured captain at six seasons. Weber now plays for and captains the Montreal Canadiens, but his time in Nashville will never be forgotten.
So there they are. The top five captains in Nashville Predator’s history. I think Roman Josi certainly has a chance to overtake the number one spot in time, but he isn’t there yet. Agree? Disagree? Healthy debate and discussion is always welcome.
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