In the Coen Brothers’ 1987 film, “Raising Arizona”, an ex-convict named Hy is given marching orders by his wife to get some diapers for their newly stolen (by them) baby. While he is in the store, Hy has a lapse and goes from being a doting adoptive dad to his former identity as a petty thief. Pulling a pair of pantyhose over his head, he hitches up his trousers, musters up every last reserve of inner badass energy and walks up to the clerk where he demands all of the cash and a package of Huggies. There is a pause as the clerk eyes him coolly and then drawls, “Son, you got a panty on your head.”
This scene stands as an apt metaphor for Predators GM David Poile’s summer.
Seasoned fans are only too aware that this is the time of the year when owners and GMs will assure everyone that old favorites are being sent out to live on a farm where they can be happy and run free. With the totality of every heart that beats in a sweater (be it NHL issued or an eBay knockoff) we want to believe that there is a hockey Nirvana where everyone gets to be Gordie Howe forever. The truth is that time, injuries and salary caps take their toll and names are removed from above the wooden benches in locker rooms all over the continent.
The premiere playmaking forward in the draft passes the puck like the Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers throws the pigskin – almost pure perfection.
RNH possesses a tantalizing combination – tremendous offensive skill-set, defensive awareness and great character. A speedy skater and an accurate shot to go with, “Hoppy” will earn the majority of his future NHL paycheck with his outstanding vision, exceptional playmaking ability and slick puck-handling skills.