Pekka Rinne has won a Vezina Trophy, Campbell Bowl, Presidents' Trophy and a pair of Central Division titles in his career, but he's rather proud of his latest accolade too.
The goaltender, alongside Predators Captain Roman Josi - and with some help from celebrity chef Carla Hall - put forth a championship performance in the Friday Night Throwdown at the 2019 installment of the Music City Food + Wine festival.
"It's high, right on the top," Rinne quipped proudly when ranking his win among all the other honors. "It was fun, and it's actually funny when it's not your expertise or you're kind of out of your element. It's funny how good it feels even like a little win like that. Me and Jos we were pumped about it."
Josi and Rinne competed on behalf of the Predators Foundation presented by SmileDirectClub, and they went head-to-head with chef Tim Love, who led Titans safety Kevin Byard and cornerback Logan Ryan competing in support of Ryan Animal Rescue Foundation.
Each team was challenged to create the ultimate game-winning meal - and when the judges spoke, they gave the nod to those in Gold.
"It was really fun, and it's a cool experience," Josi, who also won the competition last year, said. "It's something different, something you don't do often, and our chef Carla was great. She did a good job, she prepared us really well and she gave us a whole sheet on what to do [when we prepared the food in the kitchen]. Me and Peks had a good time."
Josi and Hall tag-teamed their chicken recipe that was complemented with a spicy sauce, while Rinne was tasked with preparing deviled eggs and an herb salad to go alongside the chicken.
"We only had like 35 minutes to cook everything, and obviously the deviled eggs were kind of the easiest thing on the menu, so not a lot of pressure on me," Rinne laughed. "But everything was delicious, and it turned out really well."
Josi and Rinne won't be turning in their sticks and skates for spatulas on a full-time basis, but it's impossible to suppress the spirit of competition when there's a prize on the line. The pair emerged victorious - with a trophy to boot - and they're already looking forward to next year's bout.
"It's a lot different because you're not used to doing something other than hockey in front of a crowd, but it was pretty fun," Josi said. "The Titans were great too. They came in and had all the flags, they gave out T-shirts and Titans flags, and they pumped up the crowd pretty good. We were a little nervous at the beginning, but it was fun, the crowd was into it and it was a good time."
"It was awesome," Rinne said. "I didn't really know what to expect, but it was a great thing. The Food and Wine Festival in general was great… and we had a great main chef in Carla. She was awesome, and it was just fun. We had a good team with Jos and Carla."