The NHL’s first ever NHL team is taking the ice at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday.
The Nashville Predators, who won the Stanley Cup last season, will be the first NHL team to open its new arena in Nashville since 1998, when the Edmonton Oilers relocated to town.NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in January that the new arena would open by 2021 and the franchise would play its home games at Bridginggate Mall, which opened in 2014.
The arena, which will also be used for concerts and other events, is expected to be ready for the start of the season on October 31.
The NHL’s official Twitter account posted a video of Bettman and Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette talking to fans on Friday.
Bettman said he was looking forward to seeing his players, coaches and staff, and that the team’s new uniforms will be unveiled during the NHL’s annual awards ceremony on Sunday (November 4).
“I’m going to be really excited, and I think everyone is,” Bettman told reporters in Nashville on Friday (November 3).
“And when we do unveil it, we’re going to unveil it on Sunday, which I think is going to give the world a lot of joy, but we’ll see.”
Laviolette said the new uniforms were “an extremely big deal” for the Predators.
“They’re very much like the new Predators uniforms,” he said.
“I don’t know how they’re going, but they’re very, very good.”
The Predators are expected to have new uniforms on display at the awards ceremony, but not during the opening night games, which could be in late November or early December.
The team’s next game will be on November 13 against the Winnipeg Jets, who also have an opening night game against the Preds on the schedule.
The Predators announced on Wednesday that they will host the Minnesota Wild on November 21 at Bridgeway Arena, the same venue that hosted the Stanley Trophy ceremony in 2014 (January 6).NHL officials have previously confirmed that the Predators will not play the New Jersey Devils in the 2016-17 season.
The Wild, who have the most NHL games played this season, have a bye until the end of the regular season, and will be playing the Anaheim Ducks for the Stanley Final at Bridgedome on November 24.
The Preds are expected take on the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, November 26, in Anaheim.