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Two Ex-Predators Voted Most Punch-Worthy Face By Their Peers



Photo of Kevin Fiala by John Russell/Nashville Predators

The Athletic recently conducted a survey polling more than 200 anonymous NHL players across the league, asking them their favorite and least favorites in several categories, and two former Nashville Predators made the cut.

In the “who’s face do you most want to punch?” category, ex-Predators Nick Cousins and Kevin Fiala both cracked the top 10.

Cousins was the runaway favorite, taking 28.57% of the votes — a good 13 percentage points higher than the No. 2 player on the list, Boston’s Brad Marchand (14.97%) — while Fiala tied for eighth with Calgary’s Nazem Kadri, Florida’s Ryan Lomberg, and Buffalo’s Jeff Skinner with 2.04% of votes.

Photo via The Athletic

“Played against [Cousins] a long time, always hated the guy,” one player said.

Another player added: “I’m buddies with [Cousins] and I’d still say him.”

The 30-year-old Cousins spent two seasons in Nashville after signing as a free agent in 2020, tallying 14 goals and 40 points over 120 games. He signed a two-year, $2.2 million contract with the Florida Panthers in July 2022. During his 10-year career, Cousins has taken 99 minor penalties, 10 fighting majors and been assessed two game misconducts.

A first-round pick of the Predators in 2014, Fiala spent parts of five seasons with the Predators, totaling 45 goals and 97 points in 204 games. He was traded to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Mikael Granlund at the 2019 trade deadline.

He’s since had a 33-goal, 85-point season in his last year in Minnesota and a 3-goal, 72-point season last year, his first with the Los Angeles Kings.

The player survey also revealed that Nashville was voted as the No. 4 road city to play in (6.56%) behind Las Vegas (25.14%), New York (22.95%) and Montreal (10.93%).

[Additional reading: New Predators Regime Should Stop Resisting Change]

Follow Michael Gallagher on X/Twitter @MGsports_