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Nashville, Tennessee (June 21, 2024) – Nashville Predators General Manager Barry Trotz announced today that the team has hired Darby Hendrickson as an assistant coach. Hendrickson joins assistant coaches Derek MacKenzie and Todd Richards and goaltending coach Ben Vanderklok on head coach Andrew Brunette’s staff.

“We are excited to add an individual and coach of Darby's caliber to our organization,” Trotz said. “After more than a decade as a professional player, he has long been a quality coach in the NHL and strengthens our team's ability to communicate and teach the game at a high level. His familiarity with Andrew Brunette – we have been both teammates and coaches in the past – adds to the cohesion of our group, and his experience as an NHL player and coach makes him very relatable to today's players. With Darby on our team, our coaches now have more than 2,200 games of NHL playing experience, which we believe will be incredibly valuable to the growth of our team as we strive to achieve our goal of winning the Stanley Cup.”

“I am thrilled to reunite with one of my former teammates in Darby and welcome him to the Predators organization,” Brunette said. “Strong communication, relationship building and creating a connection with players are the fundamental building blocks of our coaching staff and he embodies those values ​​and skills. He also has a long history of not only developing young players but growing with them, making him a strong addition to our team that is constantly looking to evolve. I look forward to seeing him use his experience as a player and coach to improve our team.”

Hendrickson, 51 (8/28/72), joins the Predators after spending the last 14 seasons (2010-24) as an assistant coach for the Minnesota Wild. During his tenure in Minnesota, the Wild qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs 10 times and reached the second round twice. Last season, Hendrickson helped Minnesota to a record of 39-34-9 (87 points), with four Wild players scoring at least 60 points and two players scoring at least 30 goals.

Hendrickson worked with Brunette for seven seasons while the two were in Minnesota, serving as assistant coaches for two seasons from 2014-16. During their NHL careers, the two were teammates with the Wild for three seasons from 2001-04. He also served as an assistant to current Predators assistant coach Todd Richards when he was the Wild's head coach in 2010-11.

As a player, the 6'1″, 195-pound center played 518 NHL games from 1995 to 1994, scoring 129 points (65 goals, 64 assists) for Toronto, the New York Islanders, Vancouver, Minnesota and Colorado. He scored another six points (3 goals, 3 assists) in 25 career postseason games and played a career-high 17 games with Minnesota as a teammate of Brunette during the 2003 playoffs. Before turning pro, Hendrickson spent two years at the University of Minnesota, where he earned the WCHA Rookie of the Year award in 1991-92 and won the WCHA championship in 1992-93.

The Richfield, Minnesota native has represented the United States on several international levels as a player, competing in six World Championships and winning the bronze medal in 1996. He also represented the United States at the 1994 Olympic Games.

Hendrickson and his wife, Dana, have four children – Mason, Addison, Beckett and Rennick. Beckett was selected by Boston in the fourth round (124th overall) of the 2023 NHL Draft, and Mason played the previous two seasons of college hockey at the Division III level at Gustavus Adolphus College. Hendrickson's father, Larry, was a longtime high school hockey coach in Minnesota, and during the 2004-05 season, Brunette served as a volunteer coach on his team at Benilde-St. Margaret's in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

In addition, Trotz announced today that former Predators defenseman Cody Franson has been hired as a North American amateur scout. Franson, 36, has played 550 NHL games from 2009-2018, including 164 with Nashville from 2009-2011 and 2014-2015. He was selected by the Predators in the third round (79th overall) of the 2005 NHL Draft.

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