How Nashville Predators, fans showed support for Covenant School after shooting

A Covenant School patch is seen on Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan McDonagh’s jersey during the first period against the St. Louis Blues at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, April 1, 2023.

A fan pressed a white homemade sign reading “Covenant Strong” against the glass at Bridgestone Arena late Saturday morning while the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues warmed up during their pregame skate.

Another fan did the same with a sign that read “Covenant loves Preds.”

All in support and memory of the six people killed Monday by a shooter at The Covenant School.

Just after noon, after the Predators starting lineup was introduced and took its place on the blue line, public-address announcer Paul McCann read the names of each of the six victims - three children and three staff members - which appeared, one by one, on the giant screens above the ice: Mike Hill, Evelyn Dieckhaus, Katherine Koonce, William Kinney, Hallie Scruggs and Cynthia Peak.

Each name also was projected onto the ice, along with the "Smashville Strong" logo that features The Covenant School seal before Jo Dee Messina sang the national anthem.

The Predators wore “Smashville Strong” T-shirts featuring the same logo to the arena before the game. The shirts were to be signed by the players and auctioned off afterward.

The team continued to wear The Covenant School stickers on their helmets. They also wore shoulder patches bearing the school seal on their jerseys, which will be auctioned after this season through the Nashville Predators Foundation.

Predators forward Colton Sissons said he was walking his dog Monday morning about a mile away from the shootings while they were happening. The team left later that day for its two-game road trip to Boston and Pittsburgh.

"It hit very close to home," Sissons said. "It's just horrendous. It was tough leaving the city knowing what just happened. Just awful."

MORE: Predators' Colton Sissons: 'As far as I'm concerned we're wearing the Pride jerseys'

MORE: Nashville Predators to honor Covenant School shooting victims, families Saturday and for rest of season

MORE: If I'm Barry Trotz, I'm bringing back John Hynes to Nashville Predators. Here's why

Sissons said he hopes hockey can give some people a bit of a break from the rest of the world.

Predators defenseman Ryan McDonagh stayed behind Monday to be with his family, which includes three young daughters, before he joined the team in Boston on Tuesday.

"It's still pretty fresh, everything that happened," McDonagh said. "It's really tough to put into words. We have a job as the Nashville Predators hockey team to represent our city ... just try to give a little bit of inspiration to the community."

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Nashville Predators, fans show support after Covenant School shooting