Sunday, November 13, 2011


Yes, Pekka Rinne is a world-class puck stopper. But during the Nashville Predators' recent swing through my part of the world, I also learned that Nashville's starting goalie (and 2011 Vezina Trophy finalist) is an equally classy guy.

Thanks to a very thoughtful introduction by my pals - Preds goalie coach Mitch Korn and head coach Barry Trotz - Pekka took some time to chat with the other two goalies in my house (yes, both my son and daughter are Mites hockey goalies!) before the team practice in El Segundo, California.

The 6-foot-5 Finn asked my son and daughter how their seasons were going ("goood" and "goood"), autographed some hats (as did the equally kind Nash backup Anders Lindback) and seemed genuinely interested in meeting two goalies who came up to his hips.

Despite days earlier inking a $7 million-a-season contract, Pekka proved he's got a big-time heart to go with that big-time paycheck.

Enjoy more pics from our very memorable family visit . . .

* "Uncle Mitch" already recruiting the kids for his summer goalie camp!:

* Barry Trotz didn't need to coach winning smiles from the lil' Baker goalies:

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