Cam Tucker

Video: Jeremy Roenick dives into Nashville’s fishy hockey tradition

This year’s Stanley Cup Final comes with a whopper of a fish tale.

While the Penguins lead the series 2-0, the hockey world has gained even greater exposure to the tradition in Nashville of a catfish being thrown on the ice of Bridgestone Arena when a Predators fan, Jacob Waddell, chucked a fish on the ice in Pittsburgh in Game 1 of this series.

Talk about catch and release. Waddell was charged. The mayors of both cities got involved. PETA did, too. A day later, those charges were dropped.

His 15 minutes of fame aren’t over yet, however. Waddell was reportedly signing autographs in Nashville on Saturday.

The tradition has consumed members of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans. The latest is NBC Sports hockey analyst Jeremy Roenick, who got his feet wet trying to catch the perfect fish before learning the art of concealing what is a rather conspicuous creature against his body.

Related:

WATCH LIVE: Penguins vs. Predators — Game 3

Predators looking forward to their unique home-ice advantage in Game 3

 

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    WATCH LIVE: Stanley Cup Final – Penguins vs. Predators – Game 3

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    P.K. Subban has already delivered the prediction of a Nashville victory in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday. Now, it’s up to the Predators to deliver on the ice in Smashville against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    In what has been a strange series at times, especially in Game 1, the Penguins have taken a 2-0 lead, as they look to win their second consecutive Stanley Cup championship.

    You can check out tonight’s game on NBC, or watch online, with puck drop beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

    CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

    Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:

    Video: Jeremy Roenick goes in search of the biggest catfish

    Predators looking forward to their unique home ice advantage in Game 3

    Bonino officially a game-time decision, but Hagelin seems likely to play

    Parenteau, Zolnierczyk expected to make Cup Final debuts for Preds

    PGA Tour golfer Brandt Snedeker: Nashville Predators superfan

     

    Golden Knights GM willing to take on big contracts ‘for the right price’

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    A hectic offseason in the NHL may get a jump-start at the beginning of next week.

    The expansion draft for the Vegas Golden Knights is approaching on June 21, but the organization’s general manager George McPhee appears open for business well before that critical date.

    On Saturday, he suggested that trades with other clubs could soon be made official, as Vegas continues to build its roster for next season and beyond.

    “We’re far enough along with a few teams that my plan is to sit on the phone all day Monday, Tuesday to see what we can accomplish,” McPhee said, per the Associated Press. “We’ve had some real good discussions and I expect some things will start happening next week.”

    The addition of another team in the league may also provide other clubs with an opportunity to shed some salary against the cap. McPhee certainly seems open to the idea of acquiring some bigger contracts. But in doing so, he would also demand willing teams add in a draft pick to the deal, as well.

    “We are willing to take on a couple of contracts that people would like to move,” he said, per the Boston Globe.

    “We have a lot of teams that are offering us big contracts. And I know what it’s like to be on the other side and be tight on the cap. It’s hard to move contracts. So they are looking at us as an opportunity to move a contract. We’ll take a few of those — for the right price.”

    There have already been rumblings that Vegas and Chicago could work out a deal, with a report from TSN’s Frank Seravalli indicating the Blackhawks could allow the Golden Knights to take Trevor van Riemsdyk in the expansion draft on the “consideration” they also take Marcus Kruger in a trade. Kruger enters the second year of a three-year, $9.25 million contract, with a modified no-trade clause that kicks in for next season, per CapFriendly.

    “Well, I don’t think there is anything that’s not on the table when it comes to a situation like this,” said Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff to TSN.

    Related: Key dated for Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft

    Weight has an urgent message for Islanders: put Tavares in ‘position to win right now’

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    The John Tavares contract situation will be one to watch this summer, as he enters the final year of his current deal.

    Selected first overall in 2009, Tavares is a pending unrestricted free agent at the end of next season, so in that light, Islanders coach Doug Weight has expressed an urgency for the organization to get back to winning. Right away.

    The Islanders missed the playoffs this past season by a single point. Along the way, their coach, Jack Capuano, was fired and Weight eventually named as his replacement.

    Gone is the interim tag from Weight’s title. In an interview with TSN 1050 radio, he outlined in substantial detail his desire to have Tavares remain with the Islanders beyond next season.

    “John is huge for us, he’s a wonderful leader and captain,” Weight told TSN 1050 radio. “He is generational. He’s that good and we’re going make him better and work with him. I want him here. Our organization wants him to be here and our owners want him to be here, and John knows we want him here. John’s a genius, but a simple genius. He wants to win, and that’s it. He wants to be a Hall of Fame player and he wants to win. And those are two great things.

    “He’s been here seven, eight years and we need to put him in a position to win right now.”

    The Islanders have been to the playoffs three times since the now 26-year-old Tavares joined the organization, but have never made it beyond the second round.

    Tavares, whose NHL salary for next season is $6 million, per CapFriendly, is eligible to sign a new deal with the Islanders on July 1.

    He has previously reiterated that he wants a contract extension with the Islanders.

    Related: Report: Tavares underwent hand surgery after regular season

    Torts is pretty happy for Mike Sullivan, who is two wins away from another Stanley Cup

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    It’s been just over three years since the day the Canucks fired John Tortorella and his assistant coach Mike Sullivan.

    How things have changed.

    Sullivan has a chance to win his second Stanley Cup in as many years as coach of the Penguins. They’re two wins away from the ultimate goal, leading Nashville 2-0 in the championship series, with Game 3 on Saturday.

    Brought into the Penguins organization as the head coach with its AHL team in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last season, Sullivan eventually took over mid-season for the fired Mike Johnston in Pittsburgh.

    A few months later, he was hoisting the Stanley Cup over his head.

    Two more wins and he’ll do it again, as the Penguins can become the first repeat champion of the salary cap era.

    The opportunity isn’t lost on Tortorella, a Jack Adams finalist this year as Columbus finished the regular season with 108 points and third in the Metropolitan Division, before being ousted by the Penguins in the opening round.

    “I remember when we got fired [by the Vancouver Canucks after the 2013-14 season], we talked and I said, ‘Sully, that’s the last time we can ever work together,'” Tortorella told NHL.com. “He was being labeled as an assistant coach, and that’s the last place his road was taking him, as we see now.

    “I think he just handles people really well, and that is so important with today’s athletes. They’ve changed from 10 years ago. You have to be really careful with them, and I think that’s his biggest strength, and everything falls off of that.”

    Sullivan’s attention to the details of the game, not to mention a coach’s mind that apparently never stops working, was thoroughly outlined in a profile a couple of months ago.

    “I don’t think you ever arrive,” Sullivan said last year, with the Penguins on the verge of the Stanley Cup versus San Jose. “I think it’s that insatiable appetite to improve and get better that has allowed this team to get to the point where it’s at. We’re going to keep pushing until we achieve our ultimate goal.”

    A year later, and the ultimate goal is within reach. Again.