The Nashville Predators aren’t really the Predators without Pekka Rinne in the mix. The team’s legendary goaltender is back in the organization, named a European Development Coach and Scout today. Rinne will work out of Finland, but collaborate with goaltending coach Ben Vanderklok to help develop the club’s goalie prospects. He’ll also be back in Nashville to help with development camps this summer.
Arguably the greatest Predator of all time, and the only one to have his number retired by the club, Rinne retired after the 2020-21 season. In his 15-year career, which was spent entirely with Nashville, he posted a 369-213-75 record in 666 starts. Rinne won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender in 2018, and was a finalist on three other occasions. In 2011, after posting a .930 save percentage in 64 games, he finished fourth in Hart Trophy voting.
Rinne is 17th all-time in NHL save percentage and tied with Tom Barrasso for 20th on the all-time win list. He’s now starting the next chapter in his hockey life, serving as a goaltending coach for Team Finland at the recent World Juniors and joining Nashville to see what the other side of the sport is like.
Even the press release indicates that part of this appointment is to “learn and observe,” suggesting there may be more responsibility coming his way at some point if he desires it. Regardless of role, Nashville fans will happily welcome back their franchise goalie.