Ex-Lightning EVP joins Preds front office

The Nashville Predators made a key addition to their front office on Tuesday, adding former Tampa Bay Lightning Executive Vice President of Communications Bill Wickett to a newly created position.

After nearly 22 years with the Lightning, Wickett will serve as executive vice president and chief marketing officer for the Predators — a role that is new to the franchise and created for Wickett.

Wickett already has ties to the Predators organization, previously working with current Predators President and CEO Sean Henry during his tenure with the Lightning before Henry left to join the Predators in 2010. The two won a Stanley Cup together in 2003-04.

"It took both of us dimwits 10 years to recognize (the opportunity)," Henry told Ashley Kritzer of the Tampa Bay Business Journal. "You’re always trying to make your executive team better, deeper and stronger and that’s what it was. I don’t know that there was a blank slate on the wall. When you have the opportunity to bring someone tremendous in, you do it."

In his new role, Wickett will spearhead all Predators’ communications dealing with the public, including media operations, community relations and broadcast presentation.

Conversations between Henry and Wickett, whose family vacations in Nashville, came about toward the end of November. Henry decided to bring his long-time friends aboard to help advance the franchise’s marketing and communications directives.

With the Lightning, Wickett oversaw all broadcasts, editorial content and game presentation for the organization. He worked for the NBA’s Detroit Pistons prior to joining Tampa Bay.

Wickett will remain with the Lightning through February and begin his new position in Nashville on March 8.

Follow Michael Gallagher on Twitter @MGsports_

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