NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Nashville's National Hockey League franchise will be nicknamed the Predators, according to a newspaper report citing unidentified NHL sources.

Predators is one of three names that have been floated by the expansion team, which begins play next season. The others are the Fury and the Tigers.

The NHL has formally approved Predators as the nickname, The Tennessean reported today. A formal announcement is scheduled for next Thursday.

NHL spokesman Andy McGowan declined comment on the report except to say it is a confidential league matter.

The team's logo, a silver sabertooth tiger head, was unveiled last month.