The Nashville Predators opened their home schedule on Tuesday night with a 3-0 loss to the Calgary Flames. Before the game they did all of the usual pre-game festivities that teams do at the start of the season. They introduced the roster (including forward Austin Watson, even though he is currently serving a 27-game suspension), and as a team that won a couple of things the previous year (the Presidents’ Trophy, the Central Division) they raised some banners to the rafters of Bridgestone Arena.
Along with the the banners for the Presidents’ Trophy and Central Division, there was a third banner to ascend to the rafters.
The “Regular Season Western Conference Champions” banner.
That one was immediately the butt of many jokes on social media and drew plenty of ridicule because … well … that’s not really a thing, and it’s not usually something that teams hang a banner for. It has been done, of course, (the Detroit Red Wings have one hanging in their rafters; as did at one time the Washington Capitals for the Eastern Conference), but it’s also been greeted with ridicule then as well.
So let’s get to the bottom of this and answer a question of, quite literally, zero importance but one that is still causing some debate: What accomplishments are worthy of raising a banner for and celebrating?
The easy and obvious answer here is that if it’s your team you can do whatever you want and whatever you think your fans will enjoy and appreciate. If it happens to be a team that, traditionally, has not won much of significance any new accomplishment is going to be something you want to celebrate. In other words, it’s your team and you should do you.
But everyone else is going to have an opinion on that, which is what brings us to … this.
And I think that’s why, for me, the Predators hanging this one is a little odd. They’re not a team that hasn’t had success. They’re not a team that has been void of celebratory moments. They’ve won the Western Conference in the playoffs and played for the Stanley Cup. They won the Presidents’ trophy. They won the Central Division. They have real accomplishments that are worthy of raising a banner for without having to reach for something that, again, isn’t really a thing that anyone pays attention to or cares about.