Greg Johnson, who was the second captain in Nashville Predators history, has died at age 48.
“The entire Nashville Predators organization is shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Greg Johnson,” the Predators said in a statement. “Greg was an original Predator, coming to us in the expansion draft and serving as the team’s second-ever team captain, and first Predators captain to lead the team to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“During his time in Nashville, he was a consummate professional and terrific teammate who was an integral part of our community and in developing the Predators culture that we experience today. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Kristin and his daughters Carson and Piper. We offer our full support to them at this very difficult time.”
“He did everything well,” former Predators goalie Chris Mason said, according to USA Today. “You put him on the power play, he’d find a way to be successful. Put him on the penalty kill, he’d be your best penalty-killer. He was not the biggest player, but he’d go into the corners and outwork you.”
Johnson, a centre from Thunder Bay, Ont., played 12 seasons in the NHL from 1993 to 2006. He captained the Predators from 2002 to 2006 and was an original Pred, selected in the 1998 expansion draft. Johnson was originally a second-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1989 NHL Draft but he broke into the NHL in 1993 with the Detroit Red Wings.