NASHVILLE, Tenn. - After receiving a 3 a.m phone call from Bridgeport coach Pat Bingham early Sunday morning informing him he'd likely be called up, Rhett Rakhshani had some trouble getting back to sleep.
"I was a little restless that night, waiting to hear,'' Rakhshani said before making his NHL debut in Monday night's 5-0 shutout loss to the Predators.
The news was made official the following afternoon. After leading AHL rookies in scoring with 24 points (10 goals and 14 assists), Rakhshani learned his shot had arrived. He'd join the team in Nashville.
Getting there was a different story.
The former University of Denver captain had his 6:30 p.m. flight from Boston to Nashville (connecting through Atlanta) canceled because of inclement weather Sunday. After an overnight stay in a local hotel with defenseman Dylan Reese, a fellow call-up, the two arrived at 1 p.m. Monday afternoon.
"Everything went smoothly this morning. We had a quick flight to Nashville and here I am,'' the 22-year-old winger said.
Fortunately, Rakhshani's parents, Steve and Joan, were able to make the trip from Huntington Beach, Calif., without any complications. They were on hand at Bridgestone Arena to witness their son's first NHL game.
"I'm excited about the potential of it. I want to just go out there and enjoy it all, have fun and suck it all in," Rakhshani said before the game.
"I just want to put all the nerves aside and play my game," he said. "Hopefully, there will be a lot of skating and I'll be making some plays with the puck and showing some creativity out there."
Doug Weight (back) was placed on injured reserve Monday. Enforcer Trevor Gillies was scratched.