Nashville Predators Puck Drop: The Season Is In Full Swing

Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

Welcome to The Puck Drop, a weekly roundup of all things Nashville Predators. We look at news stories, social media posts, and everything else regarding YOUR NASHVILLE PREDATORS. Lot’s to get to, including the retirement of Pekka Rinne‘s number, Terry Crisp’s retirement from broadcasting, and David Rittich finally meets his biggest fan in Calgary.

The Predators had their four-game win streak snapped by the 8-1 Edmonton Oilers in the second game of a back-to-back. Nashville hung in for the first two periods, but then Edmonton took over in video game-like fashion.

Nashville is in the midst of a six-game road trip that began in Canada. Tonight, in game three of the trip, they will face the 4-5-1 Vancouver Canucks. Vancouver’s strong goaltending could cause the Predators some issues, especially with Filip Forsberg out of the lineup with an upper-body injury.

Unfortunately, Forsberg’s injury comes at a time when the Predators are firing on all cylinders. All of the team leaders are making big contributions, and overall the entire team is playing better than expected. However, Forsberg’s injury could throw a curveball into Head Coach John Hynes’ strategy as he now has to shake up the lines in search of chemistry and scoring.

Now we will have to wait and see how the Predators react without their star forward. Some upcoming games on the schedule that were very much winnable could go either way if the team struggles with new lines and the absence of Forsberg.

The Nashville Predators are retiring Pekka Rinne’s number

On Wednesday, the Predators announced that they are retiring Rinne’s number on February 24, 2022. Wednesday also happened to be Rinne’s birthday.

Always humble, Rinne said he couldn’t believe the news when he got the call from GM David Poile. Rinne said that he appreciates the accolades but could have never accomplished the things he did without his teammates.

Rinne is the first Nashville player in history to have his number retired. He is arguably the best and most loved player ever to put on a Predators uniform. Fans everywhere knew that retiring his number wasn’t a question of if but when.

You can bet that there won’t be a dry eye in Bridgestone on that night. Congratulations to the G.O.A.T.

Speaking of retirement

On October 30, the Predators announced the retirement of longtime TV broadcaster Terry Crisp.

Crisp won the Stanley Cup twice as a player with the Philadelphia Flyers. He also won it again as head coach of the Calgary Flames. Crisp coached the Flames from 1987 to 1990.

Crisp, alongside current radio analyst Pete Weber, was the first play-by-play analyst for the Predators when they became a franchisee in 1998. The duo was responsible for teaching the game of hockey to a brand new fanbase in Nashville.

On the night of the announcement, Crisp received a standing ovation from the fans in Bridgestone attending the game against the New York Islanders and another when the Predators played Calgary this past week.

Congratulations to you and your family, Crispy. It is well deserved. We will all miss you.

David Rittich finally meets his #1 fan

We knew that a suitable backup for Juuse Saros would need to be acquired once Rinne announced his retirement. It appears that when the Predators signed Rittich to a one-year deal, they signed one of the nicest human beings on the planet.

A young Flames fan was devastated to learn that Rittich would leave Calgary and play for the Predators. He was supposed to meet Rittich during his tenure with Calgary but never got a chance due to the pandemic.

When Nashville traveled to Calgary for their first meeting of the season, Rittich contacted the young fan’s father and arranged a meeting before the game. He also gave the boy a signed stick and posed for some photos.

Rittich, recently released from the COVID-19 protocol list, traveled with the team and has finally been cleared to play. He has yet to make an appearance in the net for Nashville but will do so very soon.

It is always good to see the human side of the players and their love for the fans. Rittich went out of his way to make his fan’s day, who will undoubtedly be Rittich’s fan for life.

Updated COVID protocols for Bridgestone Arena announced

On Wednesday, the Predators announced that the COVID protocols for attending a Predators game and other events at Bridgestone Arena had been updated.

Effective November 13, fans will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend Predators games.

The Predators worked closely with the NHL, the CDC, and the health department before announcing this decision, as the safety of the arena employees and the fans is paramount.

Must Read. Nashville Predators: Bright Spots Early In The Season. light