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303 QUICK POLL: Should Sullivan and Kariya have their numbers retired?

When it was announced on Monday that Steve Sullivan would not be returning to the Nashville Predators next season, many asked how the Preds would honor him and his time served. And today when former Nashville winger Paul Kariya announced his retirement, fans started speculating on whether he deserved to have his number retired.

Sullivan was the first star to make his home Nashville, Tennessee. Kariya, however, was the first star that chose to make his home Nashville, Tennessee. Both were fan favorites in their time and both legitamized the Predators organization to the hockey world in one form or another.

Sullivan donned a Nashville sweater during six seasons, amassing 263 points in 317 games. He also brought some postseason hardware to Music City for the first time ever when he won the Masterton Award in 2009. Kariya wore his famous number nine for only two years in Nashville but in those two years he was an offensive star like nobody in Nashville before him. Or since, for that matter. He collected 161 points in 164 games. And, in the playoffs for the Preds, he registered nine points in ten contests.

Watching both men, at times, was like watching a highlight reel. In Sullivan’s case, he was showing off his moves even on his last goal as a member of the Predators.

Kariya, on the other hand, delivered what Peter Forbserg would later call “the best pass I’ve ever seen” in a February 2007 game against the Detroit Red Wings.

So which player deserves to have their number retired by the Predators? Either? Both? Was Sullivan consistent enough to warrant such an honor? Is Kariya’s two-year stint not long enough for the accolades?



  1. Stephen

    June 29, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I’m a fan of Sullivan, but I’m not inclined to retire the number quite yet. Might be decision for later after he retires and his impact can be judged more in context of the history of the franchise. I’d pass on assigning out the digits for a few years just to avoid confusion.

  2. Preds24

    June 29, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Sully yes kariya no

  3. OneTimer

    June 29, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    no to both. i wet my pants the day Kariya signed here and his two years were the best ever, but no. the first number we retire is 11. (is he joking?)

    • jwhouk

      June 29, 2011 at 9:36 pm

      …Actually, I’m thinking you’re right. Leggy is likely the first to have his number in the rafters. Too bad that won’t happen until sometime in the 2020’s.

      • Patten Fuqua

        June 30, 2011 at 9:48 am

        Agreed. In the next 5 years, he’ll most likely reach 1000 games played in Nashville. Longevity, combined with being the first draft pick, combined with owning virtually every franchise scoring record when he retires will be why they hang it up.

  4. Kyle

    June 29, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    For Sully, who was with the team a lot longer than Kariya, yes. Kariya was only here a couple years so I say no for him, plus Goc wears 9.

  5. MusicCityVic

    June 29, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    I don’t think you can retire either. Kariya was only here for a short time, and while Sullivan may have been one of the best offensive players and most popular in the short history of the Predators, Jersey retirements should be reserved for the best of the best and he wasn’t even considered a league all star.

  6. Hunter

    June 29, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    No, neither were drafted by us (part of my personal criteria), neither played here long enough (2 years for Kariya + no shows in the playoffs) Sullivan was better and here longer (last year or so hurt my memory of him though), to garner such an honor

  7. Jones36

    June 29, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    That pass is just nasty years later.

  8. Big Ben

    June 29, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Why is there no talk of retiring Wade Belak’s number 3.

  9. Big Ben

    June 29, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    okay seriously. While Kariya was great in his time here. I don’t think only 2 seasons warrants retiring a number. Sullivan, on the other, Not only played the 6 seasons. But his off ice contributions to city of Nashville play a part, AND, he was the first Predator’s players to win an NHL award. All things to be considered, I would retire his number out of respect, (and to give us a legit banner hanging ceremony!)

  10. HDMCO

    June 29, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    NO and NO (at least not in the near future for 26)….

    Onetimer is right…the first should be 11, but long after he retires.

  11. mmcd

    June 29, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    No to Kariya, maybe to Sully but don’t let anyone wear 26 for a few years either way. And if 11 ever retires his jersey # def should retire too.

  12. Ryan Minyard

    June 29, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    I would say no. I think the only one even close to a possibility is Legwand if he plays many more seasons and leads most categories simply due to his longevity with the team.

  13. jwhouk

    June 29, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    No to Paul, maybe to Sully.

  14. marie

    June 29, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    sully yes kariya no

  15. Kip

    June 30, 2011 at 7:45 am

    seriously? not even close
    no and no

  16. PattyPred

    June 30, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Sully – yes. Kariya – nope.

    Sully was the heart and soul of this team. Kariya, while he brought skill to the team, I don’t believe he was a true team player.

  17. Charles West

    June 30, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Kariya was great while he was here, but he was only here a short time. Sully represented the best of Predators hockey. He deserves his number retired and hanging from the area rafters!

  18. Preds Fan

    June 30, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Sully Yes Paul no

  19. Patten Fuqua

    June 30, 2011 at 9:46 am

    That’s a big negative on both, there, Ghost Rider.

    PK only played two seasons here.

    Sully was technically “here” for 7 years, but he only played over 70 games in a season here once. If they didn’t retire Greg Johnson’s number, you don’t retire Sully’s.

  20. Ryan Smith

    June 30, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    If it’s one or the other then it’s Sully. But I think that’s a stretch, too. As for Legwand, I think his is a stretch, too. Weber, Suter, Rinne should be the 1st three IF they continue their current level of play AND if they stay here for a significant period of time.

  21. Wade Williams

    June 30, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Neither. Jersey retirements are for legendary stars, not for guys that were good and sometimes great players who stuck around a long time (or a short time).

  22. AJ in Nashville

    June 30, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Kariya was the most instrumental player in early Preds history because he legitimized Nashville as a FA destination. He likely paved the way for JP to sign when Buffalo walked away from his arbitration reward and possibly for Arnott’s decision as well to come here when he could have gotten more money elsewhere.

    However, Sully was the ‘missing ingredient’ that sparked the Preds to their first playoff run and was the team’s first truly acknowledged offensive star (with apologies to Cliff Ronning). I think he has meant as much to this franchise as anyone who ever donned the sweater. Although I wouldn’t officially recognize him before he finally hangs up the skates for good, I’ve always said I think his should be the first jersey hoisted to the rafters. And I DEFINITELY agree, nobody gets to wear #26 until that determination is made.

    That being said, if there isn’t a ‘Paul Kariya Night’ at some point in the next season or two, somebody’s just not thinking straight.

  23. scott

    July 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Both should. Yes kariya was only there for two season but he was great. I think he paved the way for other guys to sign there. Paul wanted to go to nashville. Yes, yes

  24. Matt

    July 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Sully – Yes, Kariya – No

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