Even professional hockey players wish they were rock stars from time to time.
While Shea Weber, Roman Josi, Pekka Rinne and James Neal may not be able to shred six strings like Santana or Slash, they can at least pretend now, thanks to a one-of-a-kind gift from the 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend.
The four Nashville Predators All-Star representatives came away from the festivities in their home city with not only a slew of memories - but also something tangible - in the form of a gold electric guitar, courtesy of Gibson.
With its world headquarters in Nashville, a partnership with Gibson was a natural fit for the Preds to make in conjunction with hosting the All-Star Weekend. Gibson produced custom, electric guitars for each All-Star player and coach, as well as NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, and other notable figures who played a role in the festivities.
As for the players, the guitars made for a fantastic surprise, even if the instrument is only used to channel a talent they may lack.
“I’ve taken some pictures looking like I’m a rock star, but that’s about it,” Rinne laughed.
Each guitar has the player’s name engraved on it, as well as the All-Star logo on the front, a keepsake that is rare, to say the least.
“What a great memory from that weekend,” Rinne said. “I wasn’t expecting that, and once I heard about it, I thought it was really cool. Once I saw it in person, it was even better. Just my name engraved and the All-Star Weekend logo and the golden color and everything like that, it was really cool.”
Josi is admittedly not the best guitar player, but he says he did try his hand with a few strums.
“It’s a great gift and a really cool guitar,” Josi said. “I’m not good at playing guitar, but I played a little bit and even though I can’t really play it, it’s great to have it in your apartment and it looks cool.”
For Neal, who invited country music star Dierks Bentley on the ice with him in the Skills
Competition, the guitar symbolizes more than just a weekend on the ice.
“The whole weekend was great to be a part of, to get that chance to be here and have it in your home city was something I’ll never forget,” Neal said. “I had family and friends here and it was something I’ll remember forever. I just couldn’t believe how great everything turned out and the guitar was awesome. Hopefully I can get it signed by Dierks and have a few memories on it.”