Allie Williams and Laura Hutchings are two dedicated Predators fans. Even the dry heat didn’t stop them from driving all the way from Hendersonville to meet their favorite hockey team. Oh yea, and Pekka Rinne. Laura and I made it to the first welcome event, but we couldn’t even make eye contact let alone high-five one of the players that day (Hence why I have not attempted to do an interview with a player yet. I’d get all giggly and my face would hurt from smiling. Haven’t gotten passed the giggly-girl phase) so this time we decided to make sure we at least high-fived the players (as long as they were doing so) and Laura and Allie were deteremined to shake Pekka’s hand.
Okay, so you’re probably wondering, “Why on earth is this story interesting? Pretty positive everyone else was feeling the same way.” I’ll definitely agree with you there, but these two were bound and determined to get that pretty face to look at them… and they did. As Pekka walked through the crowd, he inched closer and closer to the two adoring fans. I was in front of them, so Pekka shook my hand and continued passed… passed Allie and Laura. I turned around, my eyes as wide as they could get and both Allie and Laura had the saddest looks on their faces. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bottom lip stick out that far in my life. Well, Pekka must have a radar for sad, “my puppy just got shot” looks because he was well passed Laura and Allie when he turned around, a look of a complete “oops” moment covering his face, and shook their hands. He even apologized! Allie and Laura, who love all of the players but Pekka just a wee bit more, were completely dumbfounded, along with me and the other fans that were around them. “Pekka turned around for us,” snickered Allie, beaming with a slight bit of pride. I don’t blame her; if Pekka Rinne turned around to shake my hand because he forgot, I’d feel extra special and a little prideful, too.
As I wrote in my article on the Examiner.com, Pekka Rinne values each and every single Predators fan, which makes him one of the crowd favorites. It doesn’t help he’s the best goalie in the entire hockey league, either. So for Allie and Laura, who will be at the game tonight (Look for Laura on the jumbotron – she’ll have a black sign that says “Built Ward Tough”), the story of Pekka turning around just for them will more than likely be told about 3945 times tonight alone. Again, I don’t blame them; I’m bragging about it on here and he didn’t even miss me!