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Predators’ Pekka Rinne announces retirement after 15 years

Pekka Rinne
John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

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Pekka Rinne has announced his retirement from the NHL after a 15-year career in goal with the Nashville Predators.

“This decision wasn’t easy,” Rinne wrote in The Players’ Tribune on Tuesday.

 

“I spent the summer in Nashville with my fiancée, Erika, and our six-month-old son, Paulus. My body still feels like it could compete at the highest level … but my decision was about a lot more than that. Every time I looked at my son, at Erika — I just felt like a different person, almost, if that makes sense.

 

My priorities had changed, and my mind knew that, even if my body didn’t. And when I really thought about what it would mean to not come back to the rink at the end of the summer, it just felt like the right choice, and the right time.

 

“I still feel that now. It’s the right time.”

 

Selected 258th overall in 2004 — back when the NHL Draft was nine rounds — Rinne spent most of his first three professional seasons in North American with AHL Milwaukee. He finally became a regular in Predators’ lineup beginning in 2008-09 when he made 52 appearances.

That was the start of a long journey from late-round pick to franchise icon.

 

Rinne played all 683 games of his NHL career with the Predators and leaves as the franchise’s leader among goaltenders in games played, wins (369), shutouts (60), and saves (17,627). Along with the 2021 King Clancy Trophy, he was the 2018 Vezina Trophy winner, and a finalist three other times. He is also one of 12 goaltenders in league history to win 350 games and record 60 shutouts.

 

Eight of those 12 goalies are Hall of Famers.

 

And how could we forget that he has a goal to his credit after hitting an empty-net in January 2020 against the Blackhawks.

Rinne was also an integral part in the rise of the franchise from expansion team to playoff team to Stanley Cup contender. With his help, the Predators reached the Cup Final in 2017 for the first time in their history. The growth of the sport in that market has grown significantly since his rookie season.

 

“You have to remember, the franchise had waited 19 years for a Stanley Cup Final,” Rinne wrote. “I had been in the net for 12 of those years.  I knew what that series meant to all of us. We didn’t raise the Cup. But we turned Nashville into a hockey town.”

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When I thought of Rinne I thought of control, man what a great glove he had, the best I ever seen including everyone. He would go square against a shooter, daring you to fire it and just pick it off out of mid air or flick it towards the corner harmlessly. If your team was pinning the Preds ears back he would disrupt your rhythm by catching the puck with seeming effortlessness and give his D a breather and allow for changes getting fresh bodies on the ice. An almost certain HOFer, I just looked up his similarity scores on hockeyreference, first is the criminally underrated Evgeni Nabakov, followed by elite HOFers suh as Bower, Carey Price, Rask, Vachon, with Giacomin and Parent on his comp list as well. Just a beast to play against because of his size and glove, the game is better for his having played here.

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1 hour ago, Brewin Flames said:

Just wondering if they are gonna be set with Sarros long term, do they draft one, trade for one, time to upgrade the system.

 

Their GM is trying to make moves to create room for some moves at forward so i think it might be time to see if Connor Ingram is ready the kid is 24 if not now then when??

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1 minute ago, OccamsRazor said:

 

Their GM is trying to make moves to create room for some moves at forward so i think it might be time to see if Connor Ingram is ready the kid is 24 if not now then when??

 

 

Not sure, but will it matter when Askarov is ready...maybe on more season in russia before he arrives.

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16 minutes ago, Brewin Flames said:

 

 

Not sure, but will it matter when Askarov is ready...maybe on more season in russia before he arrives.

 

Yeah but he is only 19 so it will be a few years before he is ready...so in the mean time...

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