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Predators embrace new 'teammate,' good-luck charm, Super Mario


When we look back on the Nashville Predators' season a few months down the line, we may reflect on a serendipitous turn: when the team found Super Mario.

On a delay due to mechanical issues with their charter last week, the Predators headed over to Dave & Busters to kill time. And when James Neal caught fire in the arcade, the team redeemed their winnings, using thousands of tokens to purchase a novelty-sized Super Mario plush toy.

It's been with them since.

From Adam Vingan of The Tennessean:

The Predators finally left at 7 a.m. Saturday, and Mario had his own seat on the early-morning flight. When the team left the doll behind at the Denver airport, it called an Uber to chauffeur Mario to Pepsi Center, where he waited in the locker room as Nashville overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat Colorado 3-2.

Because the minds of superstitious athletes tend to operate in this fashion, Super Mario quickly became indispensable, and an integral part of the team's identity. Colton Sissons told Vingan that Mario would stick around as long as they continued to win.

Harry Zolnierczyk was on board too, though not quite as committed.

"Right now, we obviously have a good thing going," he said Tuesday morning. "More importantly, we've got to make sure that we keep winning games.

"Whether Mario is around for it all, we'll just have to wait and see."

We won't have to wait long for the answer; Nashville fell 1-0 to Vancouver on Tuesday.

What will this mean for Super Mario?

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