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Nashville Moment: P.K. Subban

The Preds' defenseman is also a Renaissance man with interests in fashion and philanthropy that transcend sports.

Written By:  Peter Chawaga

Photographers:  Supplied

P.K. Subban

The Nashville Predators P.K. Subban arrived on Broadway to much fanfare after an offseason trade landed him from his native Canada. It’s possible that the city has never seen such a high-profile star, one whose interests in fashion and philanthropy transcend sports. As the all-star defenseman gets comfortable in his new city, he’s paying fans back for their support on the ice and beyond.

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Age: 27

Smashville’s new star: News that the Predators had secured Subban’s services from the Montreal Canadiens hit Nashville’s hockey fans in late June, and the excitement hasn’t really ebbed. Music City received an electrifying player in his prime, a two-time all-star who has earned the NHL’s Norris Trophy for best defensive player and an Olympic gold medal, bringing profound fervor with him.

The Predators have already surpassed last season’s sponsorship revenue, and the team expects to easily exceed its ticket sales, too. Smashville is now helmed by a multi-million-dollar star with his own suiting collection and a penchant for designer headgear, the rare hockey player who can be called a brand and brings national media attention wherever he goes.

Southern hospitality: Aside from his affection for the local food scene—he mentions Husk, Etch, and Jeff Ruby’s as favorite restaurants—Subban has been struck by the city’s spirit.

“Nashville is just a lot of fun,” he says. “It has a ton of energy. It’s been a great place that my friends and family love to visit.”

That energy hasn’t just been present out on the town, like when Subban took the stage at Tootsie’s during his introductory tour. It’s found him whenever he suits up across the street at Bridgestone Arena, too. “I would say the fans are different here than where I’ve played before, in a good way,” he says. “They’re really excited at every game and really passionate.”

Off the ice: Back in Canada, Subban’s commitment to helping kids is well known. He famously donated $10 million to the Montreal Children’s Hospital, and the atrium there now bears his name. He also regularly spends time with young patients, a practice he brought with him to Nashville. Before the season, he visited Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt to help embed himself in his new hockey home.

“I think it’s everybody’s responsibility, not just mine, to come in and get acclimated into the community and into the cloth here,” he says. “It’s about doing your part in supporting the organization and continuing to grow with the fan base.”

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