Nashville, Tenn. (September 22, 2022) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that former Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne – the only player in franchise history to have his number retired – has re-joined the organization as a Special Alumni Advisor. In his role, Rinne will learn from and observe alongside Predators Goaltending Coach Ben Vanderklok and Goaltending Development Coach Dave Rook in their efforts with the team’s goalie prospects in Nashville, Milwaukee and overseas. Additionally, he will participate in alumni activities throughout Nashville and the Middle Tennessee area and continue to serve as an ambassador and representative for the Nashville Predators Foundation empowered by SmileDirectClub.
“Since his retirement from playing, we’ve reminisced fondly about all the memories Pekka provided not only everyone in our organization but Predators fans worldwide, so we couldn’t be more excited to welcome him back in this capacity,” Poile said. “In addition to being such an impactful person in our community, we have no doubt that he will be a valuable resource for all the goaltenders in our system. Having his experience and presence will deeply benefit our entire organization both on and off the ice.”
Rinne, who served as Goaltending Coach for Finland’s silver-medal team at the 2022 World Junior Championship, retired in July 2021 as the franchise leader in nearly every goaltending category, including games played (683), 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.
The winner of the 2018 Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender, Rinne was also a finalist for the award three other times (2011, 2012 and 2015), he was a four-time NHL All-Star (2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019) and he 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 fifth-best mark among goaltenders with at least 350 wins in NHL history, trailing only Dominik Hasek, Martin Brodeur, Jacques Plante and Jonathan Quick. Further signifying his impact on the NHL’s record books, Rinne is one of 12 goaltenders in League history to notch at least 350 wins and 60 shutouts, with eight members of that group enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Off the ice, Rinne won the 2021 King Clancy Memorial Trophy, an appropriate recognition of a career spent dedicated to the Nashville and Middle Tennessee communities and the Predators Foundation.
The bulk of his life-changing work has come through the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Twice Daily, which he launched alongside former Predators Captain Shea Weber during the 2012-13 season. The fund’s focus is to support the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt to raise funds and awareness for cancer research. Since the establishment of the fund, donations totaling more than $3 million have been made to the hospital and its programs.