NASHVILLE– The Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning put their own twists on cowboying up their arrival outfit for the 2022 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series at Nissan Arena on Saturday.
The Predators dressed in jeans, black rock ‘n’ roll band T-shirts and custom-made Music City Outlaws-themed leather jackets and trucker hats from designer Travis Austin, whose flagship showroom in Nashville is a couple blocks from Bridgestone Arena.
For their first outside game, the Lightning arrrived in a double decker bus pulled by a tractor and went with the all-denim “Canadian tuxedo” look with jean coats, t-shirts and pants. Of course, they topped their Tennessee tuxedos with stetson and boots.
Lightning forward Pat Maroon said captain Steven Stamkos was the catalyst for the cowboy look.
” We were type of discussing, ‘Stammer’ developed the idea and we kind of came up with the idea of taking the tractor too,” Maroon said. “I think we’re attempting to look like country people in Nashville. That’s type of how we came up with it.”
Forward Ross Colton stated he wasn’t sure how he would look.
” It’s just something different,” he stated. “It’s a little goofy. I believe it’s a cowboy thing. I’ve never seen that or dressed like it, so I had to go and get all this things for it and I searched in the mirror and I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is what I’m walking into the rink as?'”
Tweet from @TomGulittiNHL: Steven Stamkos leads the Tampa Bay Lightning into Nissan Stadium in their all-denim Canadian tuxedos. The Lightning arrived in a double decker party trailer. pic.twitter.com/TfZM55 XT7c
The Predators traveled from Bridgestone Arena to Nissan Stadium on the top level of 2 double decker buses, driving down Broadway, with fans lining each side of the street, on their method.
” Just an actually cool experience to go down Broadway like that,” Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm stated. “Great deals of Tampa fans, however undoubtedly lots of Preds’ fans too. It was kind of a truly cool minute that I’m sure all of us will keep in mind for an actually long time.”
Former Predators goalie Pekka Rinne, whose No. 35 was retired Thursday, led Nashville into the arena. Tennessee Titans offensive lineman Taylor Lewan and c and w star Dierks Bentley, who is playing throughout the video game, strolled in at the end.
When the Predators played the Dallas Stars in the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Season Classic, they went into Cotton Bowl Arena in Dallas using all-black matches, shirts and incorporate a nod to late country music legend Johnny Cash. After the St. Louis Blues certainly wore beachwear to the 2022 NHL Winter Season Classic at Target Field in Minneapolis, regardless of a game-time temperature level of minus-8 degrees Fahrenheit, the Predators chose to up their sartorial video game for hosting their very first outdoor video game.
Travis Austin Customs provided destiny with their custom cowboy hats for the 2020 Winter Classic when the company had its flagship display room in Dallas. Now that the designer’s showroom remains in Nashville, the connection with the Predators was a natural one.
Predators defenseman Roman Josi and forward Matt Duchene visited the showroom for an assessment and to look at some of the choices available.
” We entered and just took a look and saw what was possible,” Duchene stated. “We type of spoken about everybody doing a little customized, and Travis did an amazing job with them. They look unbelievable. I believe they’re going to be as excellent as anything anybody’s done for the outdoor video games for sure. St. Louis will be difficult to beat, clearly. That was quite amusing. These are kind of a various style, and we’ve got some cool hats too.”
Austin’s supervisor, Cody Maldonado, stated Duchene and Josi desired, “an Eric Church, rock-star kind of ambiance with aviators (sunglasses).
” We type of threw in the concept of the hats, since that’s what we do, and all of it just sort of came together.”
Each attire was customized to include some particular individual touches. The Predators players provided Rinne with a leather coat that included photos of his No. 35 banner and the objective he scored versus the Chicago Blackhawks in 2020 on the back.
Amongst the individualized functions on Josi’s coat are the name of his son Luca, his home town Bern, Switzerland and a photo of Money on the back. Duchene’s coat has a photo of Church on the back.
” Undoubtedly, this is a music city and there’s many fantastic artists and I believe we just kind of wished to honor some of those excellent musicians,” Josi stated.
Stated Duchene, “People have some truly personal things. It’s all individual with them and stuff individuals like and jersey numbers, household, music lyrics. All type of different things. So, it’s really cool.”
Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh played in 4 outdoor games with the New york city Rangers: the 2012 Winter Classic in Philadelphia, two 2014 Arena Series video games at Yankee Stadium in New York, and the 2018 Winter Classic at Citi Field in New York City. What the groups wore when they showed up was not part of those outside games, however McDonagh thinks it has contributed to the experience for the players, who each try to up what other groups and their colleagues develop.
” I believe it’s enjoyable that it’s sort of grown into type of a team bonding, a bit of a competitors sometimes,” McDonagh said. “It’s enjoyable to see the different groups do different things, different themes.”
NHL.com writer Nicholas J. Cotsonika and Editor-in-Chief Costs Cost added to this report