Finnish netminder Pekka Rinne, whose 13-year pro career saw him become the winningest Finnish goaltender in NHL history, today announced his retirement from professional hockey at the age of 38, spending his entire pro career with the Nashville Predators.
An Oulu native, Rinne came up in the Kärpät system, debuting in 2000 before joining the senior team full-time in 2003. He would only spend three senior seasons in the Liiga before joining the Predators organization, who drafted him 258th in the 2004 NHL Draft. After three seasons with the Predators AHL affiliate, Rinne became a full-time Predator in 2008, a position he would hold until the most recent 2020-21 season. Over the course of his 13 year NHL career, Rinne captured the Vezina Trophy as top goaltender in 2018, also being a finalist three other times, won the King Clancy Trophy for humanitarian leadership this past season, and was a four-time NHL All Star. Rinne also retires as both the Predators’ and Finland’s regular season leader in games played (683), wins (369) and shutouts (60), took the Preds to the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals, and in 2020 became just one of twelve goaltenders to score an NHL goal.
Despite never playing for the national junior team, Rinne was a key member of the Leijonat in his senior career, first joining the team at the 2009 World Championship. This would be the first of four Worlds tournaments for Rinne, who captured Silver at the 2014 World Championship, and was named Best Goaltender of the 2015 tournament, setting the tournament shutout streak record, going 237 minutes over five games without allowing a goal. Rinne also split the net with Tuukka Rask at the 2016 World Cup Of Hockey, starting one game in his final national team appearance, completing his senior team career with a 14-10 record, posting a staggering .926 save percentage and 1.88 goals against average
Thanks to his NHL success casing him to miss most international tournaments, Rinne only captured the IHLC twice, once at the 2012 Karjala Tournament, and his final coming at the World Championships two years later. We wish Pekka and his family the very best for his retirement and the things to come!