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Published in Nashville's The Tennessean
and on
January 11, 2004

By the numbers: Hockey Tonk

Since their inception in 1998, Nashville's Predators have thrilled us with hat tricks and shutouts, penalty shots and top-shelf game winners. They've even given us a feel of being at the Friday night fights on occasion . . . especially when the Red Wings come to town. But they've never given us a taste of the Stanley Cup playoffs--that is, not until this season. Now firmly planted in seventh place in the Western Conference standings, the Preds have fans thinking about the 'P' word.

15,000--Gallons of water used for the playing surface, which is 1½ inches thick.

16--The temperature (degrees) of the ice for a hockey game. For figure skating, the crew warms the ice to 22 degrees. Softer ice helps the skaters land their jumps. So, does harder ice help the hockey players land their . . . punches?

6--Zamboni trips from pregame to the end of the game. The Predators use two of the ice-resurfacers before each of the three periods. Like Kleenex and Xerox, Zamboni is a manufacturer whose name has become synonymous with its product.

45--Pucks frozen for an NHL game. The refs stash 15 per period in a freezer kept by the scorekeeper at center ice. Freezing the pucks reduces their bounce and makes them easier to control.

50--Pounds of equipment worn by a goaltender.

7--Pounds of body weight lost on average by a goaltender during a game. Skaters lose 5-8 pounds during a game, but over the course of a season, they will lose about 7 pounds of fat and lean body mass. Consult a physician before starting your own hockey diet.

2--Marriages during intermission at Predators game. The Predators estimate 30 marriage proposals have been made at their home games. No stats were available on how many of those folks are still married.

1--Predator to read David Letterman's Top 10 List on national TV: captain Tom Fitzgerald on May 7, 1999.

3--Original Predators still with the team: Greg Johnson, Tomas Vokoun and Scott Walker. Johnson and Walker played in the first game, against Florida on Oct. 10, 1998.

17,298--Largest attendance for a Predators home game (1998-99 season). Seating capacity was reduced to 17,211 the next year.

163--Predators' franchise all-time win total, before last Thursday night.

222--Predators' franchise all-time loss total, before last Thursday night.

$1.79 million--The average NHL salary last season.

29--Predators' rank among the 30 NHL teams in player salary, at $23.3 million.

22--Predators' rank in merchandise sales, approximately $1 million for 2003.

55--Jersey number for Predator rookie and international hockey celebrity Jordin Tootoo, who, in case you've been tucked away on the Pearl Islands with the other Survivor castaways, is the first player of Inuit descent to play in the NHL.

18--Miles of hot dogs sold per year at the GEC.

186,000--Number of hot dogs sold per year at the GEC. For those of you rushing to your calculators, that's about 6 inches per wiener.

— Compiled by Robert SaundersSources: Nashville Predators,,, Carolina Hurricanes, St. Louis Blues,,, The Tennessean,,,, Sports Scan Info,, and

Other Mentions:
Toronto Star
USA Today
Minn.-St.Paul Star Tribune
Toronto Star
Journal de Montréal
The Tennessean
Houston Press
Seattle Times
Dallas News
Planète Québec
Montreal Gazette
CHOI 98.1 FM
Site du JOUR
Journal de Montréal
San Antonio Express News
Internet Today - ZDTV
Guide Internet
Sportz Nutz
La Toile du Québec
St.Louis Post-Dispatch



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