A third member of the Nashville Predators will be booking a flight to 2018 NHL All-Star Weekend.
Goaltender Pekka Rinne has been named to the Central Division squad that will participate in the 2018 festivities during the final weekend in January in Tampa Bay, Florida, joining Preds defenseman and Central Division Captain P.K. Subban, plus, Predators and Central Division Head Coach Peter Laviolette as the Nashville representatives.
This marks Rinne's third NHL All-Star nod of his career (he also made an appearance at the 2009 YoungStars game in Montreal) with the first coming during the 2015 campaign - however, the netminder was unable to participate due to injury.
Rinne then got to shine in front of his hometown crowd during the 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend in Nashville where he joined teammates Shea Weber, Roman Josi and James Neal for the Skills Competition - where he even utilized an acoustic guitar in place of a goaltender stick.
It's been an impressive season for the veteran netminder thus far, posting 21 wins in just 32 games, the second fastest start to 20 wins in his career. His latest victory, a 2-1 win over Edmonton on Tuesday, was the 290th of his career; only 35 goaltenders have more wins in NHL history.
Rinne also moved into a tie for 20th with Ken Dryden on the NHL's all-time shutout list after recording his 46th on Dec. 16 at Calgary and passed Miikka Kiprusoff for most among Finnish-born goaltenders with his 45th on Nov. 24 in St. Louis.
The 2018 NHL All-Star Weekend will mark just the fifth time in franchise history the Predators have had at least two player representatives in the game and the third time their head coach has been invited.
For the third straight season, the All-Star Game will feature a three-game tournament, played in a 3-on-3 format, showcasing teams from each NHL division. Each of the four teams will include six forwards, three defensemen and two goaltenders.
The League's midseason showcase will take place at Amalie Arena and will include the 2018 NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday, Jan. 27 (6 p.m. CT, NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS) and the 2018 NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 28 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).