The Nashville Predators have signed goalie Pekka Rinne to a two-year deal worth $10 million, the team announced Saturday.
The deal makes sure Rinne is a Predator through 2020-2021 and breaks down as $6 million in 2019-2020 and $4 million in 2020-2021.
“Both the organization and Pekka want him to play his entire career with the Predators, and this helps accomplish that objective, while also stabilizing our goaltending for at least the next two seasons beyond 2018-2019,” general manager David Poile said. “We feel the tandem of Pekka and Juuse Saros is among the best in the league.”
Rinne won the Vezina Trophy in 2017-2018 as the best goaltender in the NHL and is starting this year with a 5-1-0 record after defeating the Boston Bruins Saturday night.
Notwithstanding Saturday’s results, Rinne is Nashville’s all-time leader in an army of categories, including wins, games played, save percentage, goals against average, and shutouts.
The Predators are well-positioned for the future with this signing. They also locked in Saros in July, signing him to a three-year extension. The next deal for the 23-year-old will be the big one, as Nashville will inexorably move beyond Rinne and into the next goaltending phase.
By signing the 36-year-old for two years, the Predators are looking to have him wrap his career in the same place that drafted him in 2004.
Rinne is just five behind Miikka Kiprusoff in all-time wins by a Finnish goalie, so by all rights he should catch that particular statistic in this season. He’s 23rd all-time in shutouts in the NHL, just one behind Bernie Parent and Eddie Giacomin. And he’s just one of seven goalies with three 40-win seasons.