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Preds All-Stars Humbled By Selections; Di Giuseppe Ready to Prove Himself

Rinne, Josi Speak on NHL All-Star Nods; Nashville's Newest Forward Excited for Fresh Start

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Senior Communications & Content Coordinator

It's a call that never gets old.

For the fourth time in the past five seasons, Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne has been named an NHL All-Star, the most recent selection coming just two days after the calendar turned to 2019.

Later this month, he'll make the trek to San Jose - along with teammate and Preds Captain Roman Josi - to participate in 2019 NHL All-Star Weekend, consisting of the fan-favorite Skills Competition, followed by the game the day after.

Josi's appearance will be his second, as both players participated during the 2016 NHL All-Star festivities in Nashville.

"They got the right guys," Predators Head Coach Peter Laviolette said of the League's selections. "Josi has been excellent to this point… and Peks has been the backbone for years, so for him to get the nod as well is the right thing. They're both deserving, and I'm really happy for both guys."

For Rinne, the latest nod is just another opportunity for him to let loose and have some fun while paling around with the NHL's best, but it's also a chance to appreciate those who have come before him to represent his city, and the game.

"It's a great honor, for sure," Rinne said. "Even in the history of the game, if you look at the guys who play in the All-Star Game, it's a privilege. I also feel, personally, it's a team accomplishment for me to be able to go and represent our team, and I'm also very happy for Jos. He's very deserving, and so it's fun to go there with him."

Josi was also humbled to receive the call, but he's mostly looking forward to enjoying the weekend with one of his best friends.

"I mean, Peks deserves to be there every year," Josi said. "We've been playing together for such a long time, and we've become really good friends. He's such a legend here, so we're all really happy for him and I'm really excited I could join him."

Di Giuseppe Ready for Fresh Start:

On Thursday, Phillip Di Giuseppe slipped on the jersey of a different NHL team for the first time in his professional career.

Claimed on waivers by the Predators from the Hurricanes on New Year's Day, all of the forward's 147 career games in the League had come in a Carolina sweater. Now, he'll get a chance to do so in Gold.

"I couldn't be more excited to be here," Di Giuseppe said Thursday following his first practice with his new team. "I've watched Nashville throughout the playoffs recently, so I'm excited to be here, learn some stuff from the guys and just be a part of something here. I loved all the guys in Raleigh, but I think this is an important step for me and I'm ready to take advantage of it."

A native of Toronto, the 25-year-old Di Giuseppe only had one goal and four points in 21 games this season with Carolina, but he was someone the Preds still had interest in when his name came across the waiver wire.

"Our guys that watch games really like him," Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette said of Di Giuseppe. "They like his speed, his size, his skill; it's an opportunity for him to come in here and show what he can do. The timing was right, and we're happy to have him here."

Di Giuseppe says he doesn't know any of the players on the current Predators roster, but he doesn't mind. Instead, he's pleased to be able to jump right in and essentially start from scratch in his second NHL stop - and a second chance.

"I'm going to come to the rink every day and try to put a smile on everybody's face, be a positive guy and go out there and work hard," Di Giuseppe said. "I have a little bit of high-end skill that I haven't quite used to my potential yet and maybe a little bit of change of scenery might bring that out. But, regardless of that, I'm going to come every day and work my hardest and try to prove to everybody that I belong in this dressing room and in this lineup."

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