November 3, 1982 |
|Height||6 ft 5 in (196 cm)|
|Weight||204 lb (93 kg; 14 st 8 lb)|
HC Dinamo Minsk
|NHL Draft||258th overall, 2004
Pekka Rinne (pronounced [ˈrinːe]; born November 3, 1982) is a Finnish professional hockey goaltender currently playing for the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was nominated for the Vezina Trophy in 2011 and 2012.
Rinne was developed in Kärpät playing predominantly for their junior team between 2000 to 2003 and, after that, for their men's team in championship-winning years 2004 and 2005, mostly as a backup to Niklas Bäckström.
Rinne was drafted 258th overall in the eighth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Nashville Predators. He was signed by the Predators on August 23, 2005, and began his North American playing career with the Predators' top minor league affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League (AHL). Initially, Rinne was slated to be the backup for Brian Finley, but Rinne became the starter as a consequence of Finley's poor play. In the summer of 2006, Rinne was "roughed up by a couple of unknown assailants" and during the fight, he dislocated his shoulder. As a result, he had to have surgery and missed the first four months of the season.
Following Dan Ellis's stellar performance for Nashville in the 2007–08 campaign, starter Chris Mason was traded to the St. Louis Blues and Rinne was called up to serve as backup to Ellis for the subsequent 2008–09 season.
On December 1, 2008, Rinne became only the second Predators rookie goaltender ever to record a shutout. In February 2009, Rinne recorded nine wins in 12 games and had a 0.944 save percentage and a 1.72 GAA. He was selected as the NHL Rookie of the Month for his performances. On March 14, Rinne set a Predators franchise record with his seventh shutout of the season. Rinne was one of two goaltenders to play for Finland in the 2009 IIHF World Championship of hockey, the other being Karri Rämö. Rinne started the tournament with a shutout in his first game for the Finns, saving 30 shots.
In the 2010–11 season opener, Rinne allowed a goal before colliding with Anaheim Ducks forward Troy Bodie and suffering a lower-body injury on the play. Anders Lindbäck relieved him and went on to start three games before Rinne returned, only to go down to injury again in December. Upon returning on December 23, Rinne remained healthy and put up some of the best numbers of his career, including a 1.71 GAA and .946 save percentage in the month of January. At the conclusion of the season came many accolades – Rinne was named one of the three finalists for the Vezina Trophy, conferred to the NHL's top goaltender as judged by the League's general managers. He also finished fourth in Hart Memorial Trophy voting, as the League's most valuable player, and was named an NHL Second Team All-Star. Rinne led the Predators to their first ever Stanley Cup playoff series win in franchise history in 2011, prevailing over the Anaheim Ducks via a 4–2 series win.
After shutting out the Ducks on October 29, 2011, Rinne set the mark for the Predators franchise record for shutouts, with 22. On November 3, 2011, Rinne signed a seven-year deal worth $49 million, the largest contract in Nashville Predators team history (since surpassed by teammate Shea Weber and his 13-year, $114 million contract).
During the 2011–12 season, Rinne set a franchise record with 11 consecutive wins, passing Tomáš Vokoun's previous mark of eight. Rinne had another excellent year in 2011–12, leading the NHL in wins, shots against, saves and games played. On April 25, 2012, Rinne was again named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy for the second consecutive year. He also helped the Predators get past the Detroit Red Wings in the 2012 playoffs to win the series 4–1. Rinne and the Predators, however, were unable to advance any further, falling to the Phoenix Coyotes in five games in the next round.
On September 25, 2012, Rinne joined Belarusian club Dinamo Minsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) due to the impending 2012–13 NHL lockout. He left Dinamo in December, however, and returned to the Predators at the end of the lockout in January 2013 to begin the truncated, 48-game 2012–13 season.
In May 2013, Rinne had a hip arthroscopy. The hip then became infected on October 24, 2013, leaving Rinne off the ice and undergoing rigorous rehabilitation for the remainder of 2013. He returned to action March 5, 2014, against the Pittsburgh Penguins, allowing three goals in a 3–1 loss.
|Competitor for Finland|
Rinne utilizes the popular butterfly style of goaltending, dropping to his knees early and using his leg pads to block low shot attempts. At 6'5" (1.96m), Rinne is currently the third-largest starting goaltender in the NHL (behind his former backup, Anders Lindbäck at 6'6" (1.98m) and Ben Bishop at 6'7" (2.01m) of the Tampa Bay Lightning), which gives him tremendous reach with his stick and leg pads.
Rinne became engaged to longtime girlfriend Kirsi Lehtosaari in May 2013.
|2012–13||HC Dinamo Minsk||KHL||22||9||11||—||—||1327||68||1||3.08||.897|
|Second All-Star Team||2011|
|Vezina Trophy (Finalist)||2011, 2012|
|World Championship All-Star Team||2014|
|World Championship Most Valuable Player||2014|
- "Predators' Rinne named NHL Rookie of the Month". NHL.com. Retrieved 19 March 2009.
- "Rinne sets shutout record as Predators win in Phoenix". The City Paper. Retrieved 19 March 2009.
- Cooper, Josh (2014-01-10). "Predators' Pekka Rinne can begin weight-bearing exercises". USA Today. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
- "Rinne MVP". IIHF. 25 May 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
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