For all 20 years of the Nashville Predators’ on-ice existence, a single section in the upper bowl has become well known throughout the city and the National Hockey League. Since opening night in 1998, Cell Block 303 has been led by Mark Hollingsworth and his band of die-hard hockey fans, leading the entire arena in chants, cheers and overall fun. Some in 303 have been taunting opposing goalies since as far back as the Nashville Knights playing at Municipal Auditorium.
With that longevity, key members of the organization over the years (such as former Head Coach Barry Trotz and play-by-play man Pete Weber) have spoken at 303 events, donated items to 303 causes and even just hung around with them at team functions.
This weekend’s gesture only reinforces that.
According to his Facebook page, Hollingsworth sent Poile a gift for breaking the all-time wins record by an NHL General Manager. Just like they did with Weber when he faced a serious medical condition back in 2014, the Cell Block recruited hundreds of fans’ signatures on a card and sent it to Poile. On Saturday, Hollingsworth received a personal response.
A photo of the letter is below, along with a transcription.
On behalf of me and my family, thank you so much for the great card from Cell Block 303, congratulating me on the 1320th regular season win as an NHL general manager.
The entire section has become renowned across hockey (and sports) as a leader in fan support, loudness, creativity and enthusiasm. Your collective energy helps to drive our the [sic] — and in turn our team on the ice — to play our absolute best and has contributed in no small part to our success. It is no fluke that the “7th Man” banner hangs so close to your section.
I appreciate your support, and hope that this is the year we go all the way!
A class response from a class individual inside a class organization.
GRAPHIC: Chas Kelly