April 17, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) and Detroit Red Wings center Henrik Zetterberg (40) face-off as linesman Scott Cherrey (50) drops the puck in game four of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

What I Did Over Summer Vacation: Nashville Predators Edition

‘Summer sucks drop the puck’ – a phrase commonly thrown around by hockey fans once the dog days have arrived. A completely understandable statement here in Middle Tennessee where the temperature is a balmy 85 with a heat index equivalent to that of the sun’s. While common folk, like myself, are stuck living mundane lives at 9-5 jobs and longing for the first puck drop of the season, the players are enjoying well-earned time off.

Although as a side note, I wouldn’t consider working out everyday and keeping up your conditioning to be a break. Apparently it is for those who play 82+ hockey games in a span of 7 months.

Most hockey players spend their summers fishing or golfing, but not our boys in gold. In between those summer workouts the members of the Nashville Predators have taken full advantage of their break, and while they may still wish for the puck drop, their summers have not sucked.

Preds center, Mike Fisher spent his summer jet-setting about the globe. Everywhere from the honky-tonks of Nashville to the land down under, where he mingled with a couple kangaroos. Name a place and he probably stopped there for a bit over the last few weeks.

Defenseman Hal Gill had a low-key summer, spent entertaining the masses via twitter (@Skillsy75) and based on his following of 49,000 people he’s doing a phenomenal job.

Our faithful captain, Shea Weber spent his summer taking years off of Predators fans lives. Something to do with an offer sheet from Philly and signing a 14-year, 110 million dollar contract. I don’t know, I didn’t hear much about it. (And I certainly didn’t lie awake at night fretting over it. That would be an overreaction.)  Now that he’s done doing things to send Smashville into panic mode, he’s busy working with the NHLPA on a new collective bargaining agreement. (So, basically he’s still sending panic mode vibes by association to that dirty word, ‘lock-out’)

And finally, everyone’s favorite enforcer, Brian McGrattan spent his summer doing things that everyone would expect an enforcer to do. Things like, working out, committing the rest of his life to a new bride and buying adorably fluffy puppies. You know, normal activities from the guy who managed to have 61 penalty minutes in 30 games played, while only averaging 5:19 of ice time. Of course that guy bought this. It’s really only logical. A 6′ 4″, 235 pound man, known for his ability to win fights would become the father of a dog that resembles a small child’s stuffed animal.

No one knows whether there will or will not be an NHL season. And soon we will reach those bitterly cold winter nights that cause us to long for the heat of August again. Golf games go away, fish get eaten, but fluffy puppies are forever.

While the rest of us worry about whether or not there will be an NHL season McGrattan will have this to pass the time. And while others might say this dog belongs to his new wife, I’m going to stay in my happy little world and think that the Big Ern himself bought this adorable creature on his own accord. And that’s what will keep me going if this threat of a lockout comes to fruition. And I am okay with it.

(Also, just a thought I had; maybe if we sent a puppy to Gary Bettman he’d be so distracted by the cuteness that the negotiations would be over immediately and the season would start on its scheduled date. Someone get on that.)

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Tags: Brian McGrattan Hal Gill Mike Fisher Nashville Predators Shea Weber

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