On Wednesday, the Nashville Predators announced that they have re-signed goaltender Pekka Rinne to a new 2-year deal worth $6.8 million. Rinne was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st, but the Predators made sure that they were able to take care of some of that looming business over the Olympic Break. Speaking of the Olympics, Rinne was not chosen to participate with the Finnish team this time around, but might be in prime position in 2014, if the NHL decides to go.
Rinne is enjoying a productive season with the Predators in 2010, playing in 40 games already and posting a record of 20-12-4 with 3 shutouts, which gives him 46 points in the pool scoring. His 46 points ranks him 77th among all players in the pool rankings, which is 17th among all goaltenders in the pool as well. Those are very impressive numbers for a goalie that has split the bulk of the duties during the year.
With Rinne in tow and Dan Ellis (also an impending UFA) still to hear about his fate with the club, the Predators are showing signs of life financially. Going into the 2010 season, the Predators budget looked to be pretty small, having a 23-man roster count $43.2 million against the cap. With the signing of Rinne, I have the Predators already sitting at $42.1 million against the cap with 17 players. Those numbers alone really say some loosening of the purse strings a little bit. The Predators will need a second goalie in those numbers, but they have plenty coming up the ranks.
Giving Rinne a good cap hit like $3.4 million per season is a good indication what they think of him going forward, if his minutes leading up to the Olympic Break were not enough for you. GM David Poille is a shrewd business man to get his number one goalie to agree to a 2-year deal as well, in the age of long, longer & longest-term deals these days. It's a pretty good deal with little-to-medium risk for a good reward.