I totally would have won. Photo: Renee Kalicicki

A Caniac in Vegas: NHL Awards


Pekka Rinne with a crazy caniac. Photo: Renee Kalicicki

The FanSided Sports Network has been weighing in on their predictions for the June NHL Awards. If you missed the guesses so far, you can check out Flame for Thought for a collective view and Cardiac Canes’ Sally Brown for a Caniacs picks. I thought I would weigh in as well. Plus, Sally set me up to tell you all about my Vegas shenanigans from last year, specifically my meeting Pekka Rinne.

Meeting the Predators’ goalie was like Homer Simpson encountering a glazed donut. I may have drooled and moaned just a little. I was in Las Vegas covering the NHL awards with fellow Cardiac Cane writer, Renee Kalicicki. It was our first night at the Palms Hotel and we ran into one of our favorites tweeps, Ducks’ fan Brianne Cole. She was beaming from just meeting Mr. Rinne. She said he was so happy to meet and take pictures with them. Since I’m a selfish bastard, I wasn’t happy for her and her crew…I was depressed for me. “I just missed Pekka,” I thought distraughtly. Alas, I forgot I was in the land of magic and mayhem. The slot machine lights all seemed to point in the direction of one tall, skinny man. Ahhhh…there he was!

Now, before you get excited, my Momma taught we to be polite and he was heading straight for the bar with two friends. You don’t come between a man and his beer, so Renee and I took a seat at the bar and waited to pounce. One, crazy slow drink later he started to get up. This my was chance! I bolted off my bar stool and intercepted his path like a crazed cornerback. “Mr. Rinne, I’m a big fan, may I have a picture?” He was so polite and agreed to pose with my fanatic self. I was so enamored that I totally forgot to get Renee a picture. Sorry Re!

All and all it was an adventurous weekend. I literally ran into Zdeno Chara. I was in the media room, stepping backwards to take a picture of Tim Thomas in the media room and backed that arse up right into the Bruins’ captain’s knee cap. Holy mother, I nearly messed my drawers. He is one scary dude.

But wait! Guess who else graced the media room? My Calder Trophy winner, Jeff Skinner. I stood the hallway with him, roughly 15 feet apart (that’s what my restraining order allows) as he nervously held a water bottle awaiting his turn with the media. Side note: I had just gotten out of the hospital an hour earlier. Funny how you forget to eat in Vegas, even when you know you have stupid insulin issues.

Anywho, Mr. Skinny came into the media room and I backed up about 10 feet from his table…scared to death I would pass out again. 99.9 FM host, Mike Maniscalco, encouraged me to step forward, but I shook my head in a silent, “No way Jose.” Skinner was like a unicorn…I was afraid to get too close to this magical creature. He may ran from me or lose his glamour. I watched Jeff give a polite interview and I fell deeper in love. Sigh…

I also had an interesting introduction with Hart Memorial winner, Corey Perry. I was at the after party with the Anaheim PR crew and (very drunk) walked up to Mr. Perry with an extended hand and said, “Mr. Perry, Kristina Kelly.” And then I walked away…I think. I also arm-wrestled someone from Perry’s entourage, but the bouncer broke us up before a winner was declared.

Well geez, I spent the entire post reliving my Vegas experience. I guess you will have to wait until tomorrow for my NHL Award picks. Until then lovies…

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Tags: Corey Perry Featured Jeff Skinner Las Vegas NHL Awards Pekka Rinne Popular Zdeno Chara