In light of the first star honor, PredsOnTheGlass is pleased to be able to to present an interview conducted with Pekka Rinne during the preseason by good friend and noted hockey writer Neil Bristow. Special thanks to Neil for allowing us to publish the interview in it's entirety.
Neil Bristow -You made your NHL debut Dec.15th 2005.Can you share with us a little of what that was like? What was going through your mind at that time?
Pekka Rinne - It was something that I had always been dreaming of. At that time both Tomas Vokoun and Chris Mason were hurt and I got the call. Everything happened pretty fast and I didn`t have time to stress about the game, we won the game and it was just amazing experience I`ll remember for rest of my life.
Neil Bristow -You played with Karpat Oulu (FNL)before coming over to
Pekka Rinne - The game is little different in
Neil Bristow - What are some of your goals this year coming in to Camp in
Pekka Rinne - My goal is to have a good summer and strong training camp and make the team. Also prove that I can play in NHL and that I belong there.
Neil Bristow -What is your biggest moment so far in your career and why?
Pekka Rinne - When I played in
Neil Bristow - With players like Jaromir Jagr going over to play in the Kontinental league in Russia for the same money they would make in the NHL, the Russian league has stated in the past, that they will pay NHL-like salaries for players in their league. Do you see this becoming a realistic problem for the NHL, losing great European talent to
Pekka Rinne - Maybe in the future, but I don`t think it`s a problem right now. NHL is such a respected league around the world that every kid in
Neil Bristow -Who did you look up to growing up, goaltender -wise?
Pekka Rinne - My cousin used to play goalie growing up and he had a big influence on me. He is the biggest reason why I started to play goalie. In NHL I used watch Patrick Roy and John Vanbiesbrouck play when growing up.
Neil Bristow - Who is one player that you have faced before, that you wouldn't want coming
in on you in a shootout? And why?
Pekka Rinne -I haven`t been involved in single one shootout in NHL, but in AHL I think Darren Haydar is a player that I don`t like to face too many times. I played with him in Milwaukee ´06-07 and you would think that I know his moves, but he`s just so smart and skilled player that he reads goalies and forces them to make the first move.
Neil Bristow - The NHL is once again starting the season over in Europe this year with the Lightning and Rangers battling in Prague and the Sens and Pens in Stockholm. What are your thoughts on NHL teams starting a long season over there with all the travel and scheduling? Are you in favour of that?
Pekka Rinne - As a European and knowing European hockey fans I think it`s great thing that they are able to see and watch their favorite players and teams. Also it`s a good way to showcase the whole NHL and it`s unbelieveble players. And also for players I think it`s nice to see some new countries and cities. Obviously the schedule is hard but there`s more gain than harm, teams playing in Europe.
Neil Bristow - What NHL city that you haven’t visited yet are you most looking forward to playing in? And why?
Pekka Rinne - Beside
Neil Bristow - NHL has thrown around the idea of maybe shrinking the NHL nets or maybe
altering goaltender’s equipment. What are your thoughts and ideas on that topic?
Pekka Rinne - It`s a topic that everybody has different opinion. I think that if people decide to change the size of the nets, would be a mistake. All the records and games played before would lose their meaning and new era of hockey would begin. But I`m fine with altering goalie gear as long as it`s safe for goalies.
Neil Bristow - Have you had any embarrassing on- ice moments in your career so far? If so, could you share a story with our readers?
Pekka Rinne - There`s couple moments that I try to forget.. This one happened when playing in
Neil Bristow - If you had the power to make changes in the NHL game, would you change anything? If so what would you change?
Pekka Rinne - I think NHL have done a great job with some changes in the game last few years. It has made the game faster and more interesting for the fans and also for the players. I don`t have any new suggestions, I just try to work on things that I can control. Thanks!!
I would like to say thanks to Pekka for giving me his time and also to Benji at http://www.puckagencyllc.com/. I also encourage our readers to check out the puck agency’s blog which can be found at http://puckagency.blogspot.com/ I look forward to bringing the readers at PredsOnTheGlass more great hockey content in the future.
For comments and suggestions about this interview or anything else, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time, I’m Neil Bristow for PredsOnTheGlass