After a wonderful weekend in the City of Champions, my welcome back to the greatest city that doesn’t end in an H was abruptly smacked in the face with the news of my pride and joy, literally anything to do with Nashville, losing their longtime Hall Of Fame Goaltender to a fabulous life of much deserved retirement.
As Elsass mentioned in his Hawky Tawky recap, I am Nashville. It only makes sense that I, our massive hockey guy AND Nashville Regional Manager (currently searching for an assitant to the regional manager FYI) discuss just what Pekka Rinne has meant to me the past 44 days.
Here are some things I was actually aware of before moving to Nashville about Rinne.
First off, he scored a goal as an NHL goalie. This is one of the most impressive feats in athletics for a few reasons, the main one being they’re literally hitting the puck a stick so up and down flat earthers get a boner just thinking about it.
Second, I had fallen in love with the Pred’s during their Stanley Cup matchup with the Penguins for a few reasons, the simplest being Carrie Underwood.
And third, he’s really, really effing good at Ice Stick Puck.
It’s an awkward time in any sports franchise’s timeline when a staple player retires. Leaving in Free Agency or being traded is always a bit of a different taste than a straight retirement for a number of reasons, the biggest being you are just flat out sad. If a star played walks or is traded, there’s at least a sense of “WE DON’T NEED THAT GUY!” fans can rally behind. Here, it’s just sadness and appreciation that fans of the Predator’s are left with.
Pekka was drafted by Nashville in the ’04 draft at 258th overall and grew to become one of the best goalies in the Chel (hockey guys call it the Chel, it’s kind of slang for NHL). Fun fact, only 128 guys in that draft class even ended up playing in the NHL at all, making him just that much more elite.
Only one time in Rinne’s career did his save percentage drop below a .900 for an entire season. That just seems impressive without doing any additional research. Here’s some stuff from twitter now.
369 wins huh? Nice.