Fresh off the heels of the release of this month’s The Hockey News magazine that insinuates that the Nashville Predators may have trouble retaining its three most prominent players, Pekka Rinne’s agent Jay Grossman (@JayGrossman) has announced that the goaltender has signed a 7-year contract extension worth $49 million.
Conveniently, the timing of the announcement was made on Rinne’s 29th birthday. Based on Capgeek’s numbers, with an annual average cap hit of $7M, Rinne’s extension will make him the highest paid goaltender per season and single-handedly trumps any birthday present that I have ever received.
From the Nashville Predators:
“Today’s signing is further evidence of our ownership’s commitment to keeping our core intact,” Poile said. “This is the first step of a process designed to retain our key players and leaders. Pekka has grown with our franchise, just recently established our franchise record for career shutouts and is now recognized as one of the game’s elite players. We’re thrilled to know that he will be backstopping our franchise for several years to come.”
I have taken the liberty of running GM David Poile’s statement through Puck Drunk Love’s patented GM TranslatorTM and it simply reads, “Suck it THN.”
The extension is well deserved. Last season, the Finnish goaltender finished second in voting for the 2011 Vezina Trophy and fourth in voting for the 2011 Hart Trophy, in addition to being named to the 2010-11 NHL Second All-Star Team. Rinne ranked second among NHL netminders in save percentage (.930), third in goals-against average (2.12) and tied for sixth in shutouts (6) in 2010-11, with the save percentage and goals-against average numbers setting franchise records.
With a career record of 100-58-20 that includes a 2.50 GAA, a .920 SV% and 22 shutouts, the only negative thing that you can say about the guy is that he’s not married to Carrie Underwood.
Credit has to be given to the Predators organization for locking up such a valuable part of the roster. As an impending unrestricted free agent, Rinne was headed for a big pay on July 1st. By signing Rinne so early in the season, not only do the Predators resolve their long-term goaltending situation, they also remove what could have been major distraction for the team later on in the season.
Now that Rinne’s status is no longer troubling, Poile can now focus on re-signing defencemen Ryan Suter and Shea Weber.