|Intro||Finnish ice hockey player|
|Is||Athlete Ice hockey player|
|Birth||3 November 1982, Kempele|
Pekka Rinne (pronounced [ˈrinːe]; born 3 November 1982) is a Finnish professional hockey goaltender currently playing for the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League (NHL).
Rinne was developed in Kärpät playing predominantly for their junior team between 2000 and 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 23 August 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.
Rinne appeared in two NHL games with Nashville during the 2005–06 season. He compiled a record of 1–1–0 with a .900 save percentage and a goals against average (GAA) of 3.80.
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 1 December 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 14 March, 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 23 December, 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 29 October 2011, Rinne set the mark for the Predators franchise record for shutouts, with 22. On 3 November 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 25 April 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 25 September 2012, Rinne joined Belarusian club Dinamo Minsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) due to the impending 2012–13 NHL lockout. However, he left Dinamo in December 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 24 October 2013, leaving Rinne off the ice and undergoing rigorous rehabilitation for the remainder of 2013. He returned to action 5 March 2014, against the Pittsburgh Penguins, allowing three goals in a 3–1 loss.
Rinne was a Vezina Trophy finalist in 2015.
In May 2014, Rinne was named to the All-Star Team and selected as the Most Valuable Player of the 2014 IIHF World Championship as Finland claimed the silver medals. Rinne also participated in the 2015 IIHF World Championship the following year and was named the tournament's best goaltender, setting a new IIHF record for minutes played without allowing a goal.
In March 2016, Rinne was named to Finland's 2016 World Cup of Hockey roster. Rinne played in one out of three tournament games and in two out of three pre-tournament games.
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 fifth-largest goaltender in the NHL (behind Ben Bishop at 6'7" (2.01m) of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Scott Darling at 6'6" (1.98m) of the Chicago Blackhawks, Devan Dubnyk at 6'6" (1.98m) of the Minnesota Wild, and Jared Coreau at 6'6" (1.98m) of the Detroit Red Wings; Darcy Kuemper of the Minnesota Wild also stands at 6'5" (1.96m)), which gives Rinne tremendous reach with his stick and leg pads.
Rinne was engaged to The Voice of Finland contestant, Kirsi Lehtosaari, in April 2013. Lehtosaari reported in engagement announcements that living in a music city like Nashville helped her aspiration to become a pop star. She planned to continue her music interests in Nashville until the end of Rinne's NHL career. Rinne, likewise, planned to return to Finland after his retirement. The engagement, however, was called off around July 2015.
Regular season and playoffs
|2012–13||HC Dinamo Minsk||KHL||22||9||11||2||1327||68||1||3.08||.897||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Second All-Star Team||2011|
|Vezina Trophy (Finalist)||2011, 2012, 2015|
|NHL All-Star Game||2015 (injured), 2016|
|World Championship Best Goaltender||2015|
|World Championship All-Star Team||2014|
|World Championship Most Valuable Player||2014|