Preds families make time for charity outside the rink

Rhonda McCarthy (Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Rhonda McCarthy has lived a hockey life and has been down the road to the Stanley Cup before.

Her husband, Kevin, is an assistant coach with the Nashville Predators and was on the staff with Coach Laviolette in 2006 when the Carolina Hurricanes captured the cup.

“It helps me by wanting to stop and take in the moment and not thinking too far ahead. I also know there are two sides to this coin,” said McCarthy.

Now here in Nashville, with the Preds pursuing their own Stanley Cup dreams, News 2 asked McCarthy how she and other team wives handle these moments.

(Photo: WKRN)

“I think we really have a great group. I think the wives and girlfriends do our own thing but quite often we come together with coaches and management. We tailgate and try to meet up at the beginning of each game, we are there to support each other, I think we really have a great group,” explained McCarthy.

And of course, like the players, they have superstitions.

“This is one of the little projects we did, the players and wives did denim jackets, and coaches and management did white jackets, we all put our husband’s nicknames on the back of it,” said McCarthy.

They also tackle charitable projects on a bigger scale.

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McCarthy is the director of the Nashville chapter of Special Spaces, which is an organization that makes over the bedrooms of children fighting life-threatening illnesses.

A few weeks ago, McCarthy led other Predators’ wives, girlfriends and volunteers as they made over 16-year-old’s D’arion Anderson’s room in East Nashville.

D’arion is in remission after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma around Thanksgiving and he gave News 2 a tour of his new room.

“I want to say thank you to all of them, they did a fantastic job, on all of it, they really made my wish come true,” said D’arion.

D’arion Anderson (Photo: WKRN)

McCarthy said she gets letters from mothers whose children Special Spaces has helped and it’s her way of knowing she is making a difference off the ice.

She said she remains hopeful the Preds can capture the cup.

“I think it would be awesome, I’m so looking forward to it. I think the lid will blow off this town.”

McCarthy also told News 2 when her family got their day with the Stanley Cup they ate ice cream out of it and even slept with it in the bed.