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Alumni Connection with Stu Grimson

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
Predators radio analyst Stu Grimson has always been known as one of hockey’s good guys, but during his playing days, the sight of the “Grim Reaper” jumping over the boards struck fear into the opposition. One of the NHL’s most famous – and successful – tough guys, Grimson played 729 NHL contests over 14 seasons from 1988-2002, amassing 39 points (17g-22a) and 2,113 penalty minutes. He wrapped up his career with the Nashville Predators in 2001-02.

Who was the biggest influence in your career?
There were a lot of guys. I always admired John Tonelli. I grew up loving the New York Islanders and I loved to watch him play. I got the chance to play with John when I was in Chicago. John was a great pro; a hard-working guy and he was a great role model for a young player. He was just one of many guys that influenced my career.

What is your greatest memory as a Predator?
Playing in this building is something I will always remember. Coming in here, I didn’t know the team and I didn’t know Nashville all that well. The team hadn’t been here long and I was surprised by the enthusiasm people had for this game and this team. I was amazed by how ardently they supported it. I remember the hockey atmosphere as much as anything.

Is it true that once a Pred… always a Pred?
Yes, especially for me because it is a unique team in a very unique market and I retired here. The Predators are the one team that I have really maintained a strong connection with by virtue of the community relations stuff I do and the commentating I do on the radio. So for me – that is certainly true. I am a Pred through and through.

What is the “Grim Reaper” up to these days?
I do a lot of community relations work with the team, which I really enjoy. Whether it is sponsor meet-and-greets or other things like that. But primarily, I am an attorney with Kay, Griffin, Enkema and Colbert. A significant portion of my practice is in family law but I am also a defense attorney.

What is it like watching the game from the booth instead of on the ice?
It is really different for me. A lot of people say that the game is very easy to play from up there and I find that I have to keep myself in check a little bit. Simply because I have been down on the ice and I know how furious and fast the play can be. It is easy to sit back, from my position at the top of the trees, and say they should have made this play or that play. So I find that we all need to keep it in perspective.

Do you have a favorite Predator player to watch?
There are so many guys that I enjoy watching. There are the obvious guys for obvious reasons – Shea Weber, Pekka, Suter, Ward, Legwand, and so on. I really think we have some great young prospects also. I look at Sergei Kostitsyn and the way he has come along this season; I think he certainly has a bright future. I am a big fan of Cody Franson as well. I really have enjoyed watching him develop over time. He has one of the greatest releases from the point in the NHL. He has a great heavy shot and a short shot. It has really been fun to watch all of the guys develop.

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