Predators mailbag: Pekka Rinne, banner banter and more

Paul Skrbina
The Tennessean

You had some questions. We had some answers.

The second edition of this season's mailbag features some Pekka Rinne and some banner banter.

Remember, the best question each week will receive a fabulous prize.

Congrats to last week's winner@ldduke09. Your loot is on its way.

This week's winner is Krystle. 

Have a question, send it to or tweet him @PaulSkrbina.

Here are this week's questions:

If the Predators sign Pekka at the end of the season to say a two year deal and Seattle gets an expansion team, do you see them maybe drafting Pekka?

-Keith (email)

Thank you for the question, Keith.

If the rules are the same for the Seattle team as they were for Vegas, teams would be allowed to protect one goalie in the expansion draft. That’s a couple of years away, and in your scenario, Rinne would have one year left on his contract and would be going on 38 years old.

So, yes, it’s a possibility.

But nothing to worry about for the near future.

\Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) defends against Minnesota Wild left wing Jason Zucker (16) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., Monday, Oct. 15, 2018.

Hey Paul,

Now that you've been on the Nashville beat for a couple months, what's the biggest difference you've noticed between Preds fans and Blackhawks fans?



Cheers to you, Graham, for trying to get me in trouble. =)

I’m not much for standing on the fence, but I’m afraid I will for this question.

Blackhawks fans can be loud and they’re proud, just like fans of a lot of teams. Their tradition of cheering so loudly you can’t hear the anthem at the United Center is unique. And Hawks backers travel well.

The “you suck” chants from Predators faithful have grown on me. I’m still trying to figure out what they’re saying sometimes, but I’m getting there. The game experience at Bridgestone is one of the best in the league, along with Vegas’.

So far, I’ve had enjoyable interactions with Predators fans.

Hi there,

My question is around the Predators biggest weakness. Last year that circled around penalties most often. What do you see as their biggest weakness now? And what does the team see as their biggest area of opportunity?

Thanks, Krystle (email)

Hello, yourself. And thank you, Krystle, for the question.

Nine games is an awfully small sample size to measure weaknesses or get too excited about strengths. There aren’t many glaring flaws that have been evident so far, which is no surprise for a team that was kept mostly intact from last season. Being 7-2 doesn’t hurt, either.

The power play, which started the season 0-for-15, has been pretty poor, though. The Predators have converted on just 9.9 percent of their chances, second-worst in the NHL going into Wednesday’s games.

The penalty kill, relative to the rest of the league, could be better, too. The Preds have killed 73.1 percent, leaving them 22nd going into Wednesday’s games. The team is in the middle of the pack as far as penalty minutes.

Shore up those things, and the sky seems to be the limit.

Will there be additional banners raised during the season, and what will they celebrate? (@RRCrossbucks)

Thanks for the inquiry, Mr. Crossbucks.

Team mascot Gnash was honored after the first three banners were raised.

The team Photoshopped a few more banners declaring Bridgestone the “Coldest Building in Nashville,” having the “Hottest Chicken in the NHL” and branding the city the “Regular-Season Bachelorette Party Capital.”

I don’t know what the future holds, but I hope more banner jokes are involved.

Reach Paul Skrbina at and follow him on Twitter @PaulSkrbina.

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