Over his time in Smashville, Ryan Ellis has become a Preds fan favorite, partially because he's an awesome player and team leader...and partially because of his spectacular beard.
Ryan became even MORE of a fan favorite Tuesday, when he penned an open letter in The Players' Tribune pleading the case for Pekka Rinne to win the NHL's Vezina Award for the top goaltender in the league.
The whole piece is convincing, insightful, and we TOTALLY agree. Here's a couple of excerpts:
He’s 35 years old and having another ridiculous season.
You want stats? We got stats.
How about a .927 save percentage, 42 wins and a 2.31 goals-against average? Pretty sick.
But the award is about so much more than just stats. It's the off-the-ice presence, the leadership ability, the desire to put the entire team on your shoulders.
If I could build a hockey player from scratch, I’d model him after Peks
I can’t wait for playoff hockey in Nashville again.
But before that, there’s a Finnish goalie here who wears number 35, and who’s done nothing but be great and who deserves some recognition. So to the general managers who are going to vote, if you’re still debating who should win the Vezina, I’ll make it easy for you:
YES, RYAN ELLIS. YES.
Pekka deserves this award. Do you think the Preds are the number one team in the NHL without Rinne being a bad*** mother?
Nope. He's a beast. And he deserves it. And kudos to Ryan Ellis for making his heartfelt case.
Read the entire submission from Ellis here. Preds playoff action starts on Thursday night in Smashville against the Colorado Avalanche.
And if you need a fantastic Instagram photo to show your pride, Preds jersey numbers are hanging once again from the John Siegenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, and it looks AWESOME (especially at night!)