‘Today is the end’: Pekka Rinne retires after 15 years with Nashville Predators

Sports

Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) looks at the crowd as he taps his chest during a standing ovation during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Monday, May 10, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nashville Predators goaltender, Pekka Rinne has announced his retirement from the National Hockey League, ending his 15-year career with the team.

In a statement released Tuesday morning, the Preds said the 38-year-old will end his time with the NHL after playing his entire 683 career with Nashville.

In a post to The Players Tribune, Pekka wrote,” Today is the end. I’m retiring from the game of hockey.”

“For more than 15 years, I’ve been on an incredible, life-changing journey with the Nashville Predators that has taken me to more places than I could have ever imagined and given me more than I could ever hope to give back,” Rinne said.

He added, “This decision wasn’t easy, but I know this is the right one at the right time. As I announce my retirement, I’m thankful for my parents, sisters, fiancé Erika, everyone in the Predators organization – management, coaches and trainers – my teammates and my youth coaches back in Finland. Last but not least, I’m thankful for the people of Nashville. Each of you helped me grow into the man, father and person I am today.”

“For years, Pekka has been the face of our franchise on and off the ice,” Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile said. “The role he played in making the Predators organization into something so much more than just a hockey team cannot be understated, and what he means to our team and community makes him one of the most special players and people you’ll ever meet. It’s cliché of what you would want from your best players, but Pekka gave us a chance to win in every single game he played and led our team during the most competitive era of our franchise. While we will miss his talent and leadership in our locker room, we want to congratulate him and his family on an exceptional career, and we’re all looking forward to seeing him continue to make a positive impact on our community in the years to come.”

“It is impossible to properly express just how much Pekka means to the Predators organization and our entire community,” Predators President and CEO Sean Henry said. “His incredible career and milestones achieved are eclipsed only by his generous spirit and contagious passion for others. Pekka defines our franchise and truly embodies the spirit of SMASHVILLE; both are better because of him.”

“Nashville has become my home, and I have tried to make this community a better place than when I first arrived,” Rinne explained. “Over time, I’ve learned what this organization is all about, and that’s family. I’ll cherish the memories and friendships I’ve made for the rest of my life.”

Rinne finished his career with a record of 369-213-75.

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