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Predators Tab Pekka Rinne For Dual Role As Coach, Scout

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Pekka Rinne

Even in retirement, Pekka Rinne just can’t stay away from the Nashville Predators organization.

The team announced on Monday that it had hired Rinne, who is still ambassador and representative for the Nashville Predators Foundation, as a European development coach and scout, this coming just nine months after he was hired to work with the club’s goalie prospects as a special alumni advisor.

“We are thrilled to have [Rinne] continue his legacy with our franchise in this new, expanded role,” incoming Predators GM Barry Trotz said. “As we continue to grow and develop our entire hockey operations department, Pekka’s experience, expertise and presence leaves us no doubt that he will be a valuable resource for our team moving forward, especially in our efforts abroad. From retiring his jersey, to welcoming him back as an advisor and to unveiling his statue outside our arena, this is another exciting step in our long 20-year history with him.”

In his new role, Rinne will work with Predators goaltending coach Ben Vanderklok while attending team camps in Nashville and Milwaukee to coach and develop all goaltenders in the team’s system, as well as scout European-based goaltender prospects for the team.

Nashville’s goaltender pipeline currently consists of Milwaukee Admirals starter Yaroslav Askarov, Tomas Vomacka and Konstantin Volkov. Vomacka, however, has indicated that he plans to return to the Czech Republic and decide if he wants to re-sign with the Predators or play internationally.

Volkov, a 25-year-old former sixth-round pick in 2026, has one more year left on his contract with Dynamo Moskova in the Russian Kontinental Hockey League. He had a 1.18 goals-against average and .928 save percentage in 31 games in the KHL in 2022.

After retiring from the NHL in 2021, Rinne transitioned into coaching in July 2022 as the goalie coach of the Finnish U20 National Team, Nouret Leijonat, which won silver at the 2022-23 IIHF World Junior Championship. Rinne was responsible for working with some of Finland’s top U20 goaltenders including Juuso Helomaa, Jani Lampinen and Aku Koskenvuo.

The 40-year-old Finn has one of the more accomplished resumes of any goalie in recent memory — one that includes a Vezina Trophy (2018), a King Clancy Memorial Trophy (2021), four All-Star appearances and two year-end NHL All-Star Team selections.

Rinne ended his 15-year career as the Predators all-time leader in games (683), wins (369), goals-against average (2.43), saves (17,627) shutouts (60) and total ice time (39,413:29). His 2.43 goals-against average also ranks fifth among goalies with 350 or more wins, and his 369 wins are the most for a Finnish-born goaltender in NHL history. Rinne ranks 19th on the NHL’s all-time wins list.

Follow Michael Gallagher on Twitter @MGsports_

(Photo of Pekka Rinne via John Russell/Nashville Predators)