Day ten of no hockey… day seven of working the day job from home. Such a weird time.
There has been an interesting “Top Five” players from your team going around, so why not? I am going to do my favorites (not necessarily the best) and the reasons why… so… here are my “Top Five Favorite Preds”
5. P.K. Subban
- Probably one of the most fun players I have ever had the pleasure to meet. My seat for games is right next to the home penalty box and there is no glass in between us. Players normally don’t interact while in the penalty box, but PK was different. I remember the first time I learned that, when, in the middle of an announcement during a stoppage in play, I felt a poking on my shoulder. It was PK, messing with me, poking me with his stick. Whenever he got a penalty, he would ask me… “was that a penalty?” He always seemed to appreciate honesty in my response, my look of “yeah… sure was” would drive a dip of the head and a colorful expletive. PK fit Nashville like a glove and I was glad to have him in town for the three seasons we had him.
4. Ryan Johansen
- Since coming to Nashville, Johansen has been an outstanding add to this team, both on and off the ice. The fact that the team has seen better success since his arrival doesn’t hurt. Joey is a bit of a jokester… watch him during pregame warmups… his mission is to get everyone focused to get after it. Johansen is just a nice person, and since his first season in Nashville, we have developed a ritual… at a specific point in pregame warmup, he will pick up a puck at center ice, skate toward my position and shoot it at me… then give each other a pound on the glass. His light-hearted demeanor hides a competitive fire that shows itself during his best play. One of the good guys to be sure.
3. Pekka Rinne
- In my opinion, Rinne’s number will be the first to be taken to the rafters of Bridgestone Arena and I would also put him in the top five of any Preds all time best list. I placed him here for several reasons, one of the nicest people I have ever met, always there with a hello or a smile, but one of the reasons I respect him so much was one of the first times I met him. He was called up after an injury and was delayed by weather in getting to the rink… the delay causing his equipment to not make it to Nashville in time for him to play. Dan Ellis got the start that night and went on a roll, Rinne was sent back down to Milwaukee to wait his turn… again. He earned another shot, and made it his own. His determination and his resilience is something that inspires me everyday.
2. J.P. Dumont
- JP has remained in the Nashville area since his playing days ended. The reason he is on this list? Well, besides being great people, a excellent dad and one helluva hockey player… his name was my first “signature” call as the Predators PA Announcer, one that I borrowed for #5 on this list. That may have been enough to put him on this list, but I have gotten to know him a bit as he spent a season as a rotating cohost on SlapShot Radio bringing a fresh and unvarnished take to the show, unafraid to give his opinion on any subject. He is involved in youth hockey around the city, helping players and organizations elevate their performance. He will always be one of my favorite players.
1. Wade Belak
- I remember how devastated we all were on that day in 2011. It’s hard to believe it hs been almost nine years. Wade was so fun and so real. No airs, no attitude… just a real man. I still miss him. I wrote this on the day after he passed…
My first experience with Wade Belak face-to-face was in his first year with the team at the annual Unmasked Ball charity event. I had seen him around the locker room and practice rink but hadn’t had the chance to talk with him that much. He greeted me like a long lost friend, introduced our wives and chatted about our personal lives, I mentioned something about my day job away from hockey, his response? “I thought your job was to take care of us.”
From then on, he would make it a point to give me grief whenever he could. A haircut would certainly draw the rain… usually regarding a garden implement and how it wasn’t used well. A new tie… well, I can’t repeat that one on a family blog. His favorite way to refer to me was “you red haired bas***d.” That was Wade being Wade.
So… who are your favorite Preds? Not necessarily the best, just your favorites?
Random Notes – Presented by
- Went to Cool Springs Wines and Spirits today to use their curbside pickup… very handy and convenient! Nice way to shop and stay safe!
- Never been a big fan of replays, but desperate times… Coyotes / Preds tonight at 7 on FS-TN.
- SlapShot Radio will be on tomorrow at 7pm on 102.5 the Game.
- A couple of signings to chat about… Patrick Harper and Cole Smith both signed over the past week.
- Two members of the Ottawa Senators were diagnosed with COVID-19.
- NHL owners are meeting tomorrow via conference call.
SlapShot Radio is continuing our 12th season as Zack, Brent and I are on Monday night’s this season. The best hour of hockey talk on the longest running hockey show in the southeast … Join us Monday night at 7pm on 102.5 the Game.
Our sponsors are simply amazing Drs. Jane Bacon and Aileen Kruger at Hermitage Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
… make your appointment at (615) 872-7762 and our good friend Carter Church, Your Murfreesboro real estate expert with Weichert – The Andrews Group. Cool Springs Wines and Spirits
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