Pekka Rinne Retires After 15 Years With The Nashville Predators

Pekka Rinne in his final home match against Carolina on May 10. Photo: by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

Nashville Predator’s goaltender Pekka Rinne has announced his retirement after spending 15 years with the team and playing 683 games in front of the net.

Rinne has solidified himself on the Mount Rushmore of Nashville athletes with the amount of success he has brought to the Preds. He was drafted by the Predators in the eighth round (258th overall) of the 2004 NHL Draft. Rinne led the team to the 2017 Stanley Cup Final and the 2018 President’s Trophy, winning the Vezina Trophy that same year for best goalie. He leads the organization in almost every goaltender stat including games played, wins (369), goals-against average (2.43), total TOI (39,413:29), shutouts (60), and saves (17,627). In NHL history, he sits 19th in shutouts and is tied for 19th in victories. He finished his career with a record of 369-213-75.

“For more than 15 years, I’ve been on an incredible, life-changing journey with the Nashville Predators that has taken me to more places than I could have ever imagined and given me more than I could ever hope to give back,” says Rinne. “This decision wasn’t easy, but I know this is the right one at the right time. As I announce my retirement, I’m thankful for my parents, sisters, fiancé Erika, everyone in the Predators organization–management, coaches and trainers–my teammates and my youth coaches back in Finland. Last but not least, I’m thankful for the people of Nashville. Each of you helped me grow into the man, father, and person I am today.”

Rinne was also a finalist for the Vezina Trophy in 2011, 2012 and 2015. He is a four-time NHL All-Star (2015, 2016, 2018, 2019) and was twice voted to the NHL’s year-end All-Star Teams, including a First Team nod in 2017-18. Rinne’s career goals-against average of 2.43 is tied for the fourth-best mark among goaltenders with at least 350 wins in NHL history, trailing only Dominik Hasek, Martin Brodeur and Jacques Plante, all of whom are Hall of Famers.

“For years, Pekka has been the face of our franchise on and off the ice,” says Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile. “The role he played in making the Predators organization into something so much more than just a hockey team cannot be understated, and what he means to our team and community makes him one of the most special players and people you’ll ever meet. It’s cliché of what you would want from your best players, but Pekka gave us a chance to win in every single game he played and led our team during the most competitive era of our franchise. While we will miss his talent and leadership in our locker room, we want to congratulate him and his family on an exceptional career, and we’re all looking forward to seeing him continue to make a positive impact on our community in the years to come.”

In his final season with the Predators, Rinne made 24 appearances, went 10-12-1, and posted a shutout in his final game against Carolina on May 10 at Bridgestone Arena. This past June, he won the 2021 King Clancy Memorial Trophy for his dedication and charity work in the Nashville community over the past 15 years.

“Nashville has become my home, and I have tried to make this community a better place than when I first arrived,” says Rinne. “Over time, I’ve learned what this organization is all about, and that’s family. I’ll cherish the memories and friendships I’ve made for the rest of my life.”

Steven Boero