While reading a blog on Hockeybuzz.com (http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?post_id=10418), I read that despite the seeming apathay from all sides, hockey is in FACT growing in Nashville. Greater Nashville Area Scholastic Hockey, or "GNASH" for short, is starting this season with 20 teams representing 28 area schools. This number is up from 19 last year, and seems to be continually growing since its inception in 1999. Here's the numbers there, let's say for the sake of math, that there are 20 players per team, with 20 teams in the league, that's at least 400 high school age hockey players in the Nashville area ALONE! Then there are leagues in Knoxville and Memphis to consider. There is plenty of hockey being played here.
So, with that said, those that say that the NHL doesn't "belong" in Nashville, there's proof that it in fact DOES belong here, and that it is a tremendous benefit to the community. Besides, as I've said before, I'd MUCH rather a kid look up to a hockey player, of whom most are great people off the ice, and are rarely if ever arrested, than a football player, who seems to have problems all the time
But, is this being covered in the local media? No. And if it were, it would likely be thrown in with the scores from Austrailian Rules Football. Yet another case in the long line of disrespect that this team receives, even from the people that SHOULD be behind this sport.
Also in our paper yesterday, was a nice little article about how our current owner, Craig Leipold, will "cash in" when the sale is completed. Yeah, he's really gonna roll in the dough with the expected $30 million that he stands to make on the deal. I can see Leipold now doing a dance cause he made a whole $30 mil, and now he can escape Nashville! Get the hell out of this place! Fact is, there has been a lot of negative publicity towards the owner since his announcement in May that he was selling the team. Much of it is undeserved in my opinion.
Consider this, if Leipold had never come to Nashville, we wouldn't even HAVE a NHL team to save! Not that we should be kissing the ground he walks upon, but he certainly doesn't deserve the treatment that some feel he does. Again, he could have very easily have passed on helping Nashville get a team, so let's thank him for the ten years he was the owner, and look toward the future. The Arena was built in the mid-90's to attract either a NBA or NHL franchise, and lucky for those hockey fans around here, we got the latter. I am very appreciative for what he has done, and what he has accomplished, and I in a sense, told him that. I'm very happy with him, and I hoppe he can sell the team to the local group, and all of the lease deals get done.
Well, hopefully the Pred haters out there (in Nashville) will someday wake up to see the value of having a NHL team here in Nashville. If they don't, and if those who actually MATTER don't, then it will be very dark on Bradway next winter.
Here's the link to GNASH: http://www.usahockey.com/gnash
Nashville Youth Hockey League (NYHL): http://www.nyhl.com/