Nashville Predators Executive Vice President/General Manager David Poile announced Monday that the club has signed goaltender Pekka Rinne
(PECK-ah REEN-ay) to a two-year contract. The contract is a two-way deal in the first year (2007-08) that will pay Rinne $495,000 at the National Hockey League level and $90,000 at the American Hockey League level. He will earn $550,000 in the second year (2008-09) of the deal.
Rinne, 24 (11/3/82), finished the 2006-07 season tied for sixth in the American Hockey League in goals-against average (2.34) after missing the first half of the season following shoulder surgery. The 6-5 netminder went 15-7-6 and posted three shutouts in 29 games with the Milwaukee Admirals. He also ranked among AHL leaders in save percentage (.920) in his second season in North America.
Rinne was recalled to Nashville twice in 2005-06 (Dec. 14-18 and April 3-May 1) and posted a win in his first NHL start on December 15, 2005. The Kempele, Finland native led Milwaukee and tied for second in the AHL in wins (30) in 2005-06 and started in goal for the PlanetUSA All-Stars at the 2006 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic.
Originally Nashville’s 10th choice, 258th overall (eighth round), in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Rinne captured the Finnish Elite League championship in two straight seasons as a member of Karpat Oulu before coming to North America in 2005.