NASHVILLE -- The Nashville Predators announced Wednesday they will send goalie Pekka Rinne, who has missed the past four months with a hip infection, to the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League on a conditioning assignment, signifying the two-time Vezina Trophy finalist is close to playing NHL games.
Coach Barry Trotz would not say when Rinne, 31, might be able to return to the ice for the Predators. Nashville has not set any kind of timetable during Rinne's rehabilitation process, but the goalie said he is close.
"I'm just going to try and focus on trying to get my own game back, but so far I feel real comfortable," Rinne said. "I'm happy how things have gone in practices and how things have gone so far. I'm actually a little bit surprised it's been going so well, but like I said, it's still a process.
"For sure, I feel like I'm really close to the game shape and now it's just a final couple of games before I jump on the ice with the Nashville team."