JOE BIDDLE: Happy days here again

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Tune Town is currently on a roll when it comes to the Stanley Cup runner-up Predators and Tennessee Titans.

The two franchises have stable front offices and coaches that know what they are doing and recent records prove it.

The Predators are still the talk of Middle Tennessee and it will last until the Titans return for training camp followed by preseason games and the regular season.

The Predators are going to lose some quality players to the expansion Los Vegas Golden Knights. Forward James Neal, who gutted out the Stanley Cup series with a bum hand is the name most talked about who the Preds are apt to lose.

Preds General Manager David Poile has been down this road before. He knows expansion teams have to have players to form a roster. Poile was on the opposite side of that equation and as he said recently the Las Vegas team will have a much better team than Nashville did when it joined the NHL.

It took a long time for the Predators to go from its first goalie, Mike Dunham, to the time Pekka Rinne took control of the nets.

Poile knows the quality and number of players available for expansion teams today is deeper than it was in the Predators birthing.

The Predators will be able to keep most of its core players that took the team to the highest point in its history.

The available free agents will have seen what this team did, how the fan base boosted the team, how the city and surrounding area helped make history with TV ratings, national media exposure and all the trappings that go with it.

As the Predators season will eventually die down, the Titans are poised to keep NFL fans jacked up for this season’s team.

GM Jon Robinson and President Amy Adams Strunk share the same vision, the same message needed to take the next step, which will be the postseason playoffs.

The players, coaching staff and support personnel are eager to put this puzzle together.

Just this week, the Titans added veteran free agent wide receiver Erik Decker to a contract. As Titans fans all well know wide receiver has been an ongoing vacancy that needed mending. With the addition of the promising fifth player taken in the draft of Eastern Michigan’s Corey Davis, third round picks WR Taylor Taywan and TB Jonnu Smith, the sky is bluer.

Other rookies and free agents have blossomed in preseason workouts, adding enthusiasm in the locker room and on the field.

I don’t have to remind Titans fans that last year’s team leap-frogged from three wins the previous season to nine wins last season. They play in what has been recognized as the weakest division in the league, with Indianapolis, Houston and Jacksonville and it is high time for them to take control of the AFC South.

The Preds and Titans will have an advantage in luring free agents if they saw the fan support for the Preds’ Stanley Cup run.

Decker resides here with country music singer Jessie James. After he signed a one-year contract, Decker tweeted, “Excited to be joining the Titans and my new band of brothers. Gotta keep that energy flowing from the Preds NHL this fall.’’

Bring it on.Joe Biddle is a sports columnist. He is also a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Contact him at

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