I received a Tweet from @dakota4preds on Saturday regarding a rumor and unfortunately I dismissed it as out of the realm of possibilities.
We also discussed it at the Section 303 party yesterday and no one felt it had legs either.
Well this morning the Ken Whitehouse of the Nashville Post confirmed that David Freeman is indeed stepping aside as the Predator's Chairman.
Here is the text of their story...
David Freeman, chairman of the Nashville Predators Hockey Club, has informed the city of Nashville and the Sports Authority that he is stepping away from the helm of the organization, according to a letter to the city sent by Freeman's attorney.
Tom Cigarran, chairman of the Franklin-based wellness firm Healthways, has been unanimously appointed by the ownership group to become the third person to represent the team on the NHL Board of Governors.
Freeman has been under fire by the Sports Authority in recent months as a result of his contest with the IRS over a portion of his 2007 tax returns. In the letter to the city, Freeman's attorney reiterated the legal position that the tax contest did not represent a default of any of Freeman's obligations to the city.
He also stated that, in order for the team and the city to be successful, it would be best for him to step aside and encourage the Sports Authority to concentrate on more important matters.
When contacted, Freeman declined to comment
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass
Here is the official release from the Predators...
PREDS OWNERS SHIFT ROLES
Ownership Group Names New Chairman
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 1, 2010) – Today, the Nashville Predators ownership group announces a change in the leadership of its board of directors.
Tom Cigarran has been elected the Predators new chairman, replacing David Freeman who is stepping down as chairman after serving three years in this role.
“Everyone should recognize that had David Freeman not taken the initiative to pull together the current ownership team, the Predators would not be in Nashville today,” said Cigarran. “Speaking on behalf of the other six owners in our group, we appreciate the time and energy David has contributed while serving his term as chairman.”
The ownership team came together in 2007 to buy the Predators franchise in order to ensure the team remains in Nashville. “We have received increasing support from the business community and individual fans each year since the local ownership group took control,” said Cigarran. “We are committed to the success of the team and keeping it here. That’s why we got involved in the first place, and it is behind every decision we make.”
“This is a great time for our organization,” said Cigarran. “We couldn’t be more excited about our new partnership with Bridgestone. Six of our players have just returned from playing visible and important roles on their respective teams in the Olympics. We have great momentum and are on track for a spot in the playoffs, which would be our fifth appearance in six years.”
At 33-23-5, the Nashville Predators are currently ranked second in their division behind the Chicago Blackhawks and are positioned for another playoff run. The Predators next home game is Tuesday, March 2, after the Olympic break.
For information and prices on 2009-10 Nashville Predators individual game sales, season-ticket packages and partial plans, visit www.nashvillepredators.com or contact a ticket representative at (615) 770-PUCK (7825).