Pete Weber is one of those people who rarely, if ever, has a bad day.
Yet the uber-upbeat play-by-play broadcaster of the Nashville Predators is even more buoyant than usual lately.
“Someone said the other day that I’m bouncing around like I’m having the time of my life,” Weber told Sporting News this week. “I said, ‘That’s because I am!'”
Both Weber and the team he has worked for since its inaugural season in 1998-99 are taking part in their first Stanley Cup Final this spring. The raucous celebration not only is spilling onto Broadway just a couple blocks from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, it’s also bringing unbridled joy throughout the landscape of the National Hockey League — save for the folks in Pittsburgh, whose Penguins find themselves deadlocked 2-2 in this best-of-seven with the Predators.
Meanwhile, chronic head injuries felled Kariya’s once-skyrocketing trajectory. He said he suffered his first concussion in 1996, followed by countless more, big and small, leading up to the hit that would end his 15-year NHL career in 2011, a blindside blow to the head by the Sabres’ Patrick Kaleta.
Yet, Kariya totaled 989 points in as many games, one of only nine NHLers to score at a point-a-game rate since 1994-95 — his rookie season.
After a reluctant retirement, Kariya was viewed as a high-profile casualty of the NHL’s alleged negligence in protecting players from head injuries. In his retirement announcement, Kariya lashed out at the league over its system for punishing reckless players. Kariya was a no-show when the Ducks retired Selanne’s No. 8, a ceremony attended by many of their former teammates. Selanne revealed his friend Cheap Blackhawks Jerseys didn’t “like to Cheap Authentic MLB Jerseys be part of hockey right now” because of how his career ended.