Predators sign goalie Rinne to 2-year, $10 million extension

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              Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) makes a save on a shot by Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson (9) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Nashville Predators signed goaltender Pekka Rinne to a two-year contract extension worth $10 million, keeping the Vezina Trophy winner under contract through 2020-21.

General manager David Poile announced the extension Saturday, on Rinne’s 36th birthday, a couple hours before the Predators host the Boston Bruins. The Vezina Trophy winner in June, in his fourth time as a finalist, will earn $6 million in 2019-20 and $4 million in 2020-21.

Poile said Rinne has made the most impact on and off the ice for the Predators as one of the NHL’s best goaltenders.

“Both the organization and Pekka want him to play his entire career with the Predators, and this helps accomplish that objective, while also stabilizing our goaltending for at least the next two seasons beyond 2018-19,” Poile said. “We feel the tandem of Pekka and Juuse Saros is among the best in the League.”

The Predators signed Saros to a three-year extension worth $4.5 million in July. With this deal, Rinne and Saros will cost Nashville a combined $6.5 million average annual value each over the next two seasons.

Rinne is 4-1-0 this season and second with a .940 save percentage and 1.91 goals-against average for goalies who have played at least six games. Rinne made a season-high 42 saves Thursday night in a 4-1 win in Tampa Bay in his return after missing five games with an injury.

A native of Kempele, Finland, Rinne is 28th in NHL history with 315 wins and is five shy of passing Miikka Kiprusoff for most by a Finnish-born goalie. His 52 shutouts rank 23rd all-time in NHL history, two behind Bernie Parent and Ed Giacomin for 21st. Rinne is one of seven goalies with three 40-win seasons and one of 18 with 300 wins and at least 50 shutouts.

Originally drafted in the eighth round at No. 258 overall, Rinne also is Nashville’s all-time leader at goaltender with 573 games played, a .919 save percentage and 2.37 goals-against average.