Pekka Rinne to be Inducted by Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo by Nashville Predators
Photo by Nashville Predators

The honors keep coming for Pekka Rinne.

Selected as the first player in franchise history to have his jersey number retired in February 2022, then the first to be immortalized with a bronze statue a year later, the legendary Nashville Predators goaltender was given his flowers once more in a surprise announcement on Wednesday.

In his first year of eligibility, Rinne was named an inductee into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, joining former General Manager/President of Hockey Operations David Poile, former broadcaster Terry Crisp and former teammates David Legwand and Mike Fisher as the third player and fifth member of the Predators organization to receive the honor.

“It’s getting almost overwhelming,” Rinne said with a grin on Wednesday morning. “[I] have a jersey in the rafters, a statue outside of the rink and now the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in Tennessee – it’s pretty unreal. You guys have got to work hard to surprise me next time I come to this city. But I am so privileged to be standing here receiving this kind of honor.”

The recognition is, of course, beyond well-deserved for the man who toppled just about every conceivable goaltending record in franchise history and several more at the League level.

Rinne concluded his illustrious career leading the Predators franchise in games played (683), wins (369), postseason wins (45), shutouts (60), postseason shutouts (5), goals-against average (2.43), total time on ice (39,413:29), saves (17,627) and postseason saves (2,351).

His 683 games played and 369 wins additionally stand as the most among all Finnish-born netminders in NHL history.

Off the ice, Rinne was just as impactful.

Starting the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by TwiceDaily with teammate Shea Weber and the Preds Foundation in 2013, the program has since raised millions of dollars for pediatric cancer research and inpatient care at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

In 2021, Rinne won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL player “who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a significant humanitarian contribution to his community.”

“[Nashville] became my second home,” Rinne said. “So any time I come back to this city, it feels like going back home. I had an unbelievable opportunity to play here for multiple years and have an impact on the team, the organization and the city, so it means a ton for me.”

In addition to Rinne’s induction, the Predators were named the TSHF’s professional team of the year, an honor they have received twice before – first in 2007 and again in 2012.

Click here to learn more about the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, located inside Bridgestone Arena at 501 Broadway.

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