There are rampant rumors circulating right now about veteran goaltender Pekka Rinne as pertains to his future as a member of the Nashville Predators, and now a new message from Rinne may be his attempt to thank fans for their support before he eventually is dealt from his current team.
First, Rinne sent out a message on Monday to thank fans who had kind words of support to offer him despite his frankly catastrophic performance in the Predators' second round playoff series against the Winnipeg Jets. In the message Rinne thanked the fans who stuck by his side while vowing that the team would be back stronger and better next season.
"I want to say thank you again to all of the amazing fans that have supported me and our team," said Rinne. "I feel as though I have let you guys down, but all of the supportive comments have made the loss easier to handle. We will come back next year stronger than ever."
There's only one problem here and it comes down to the fact that Rinne isn't the only one who feels that he let down his team in the playoffs, and in fact there are many who still aren't over the shaky performances he had last year when the Predators were facing off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at this time last year. This time around you can easily argue that Rinne was the biggest factor in the Predators losing their 7 game series to the Jets, Rinne was pulled from three different games, including the critical Game 7, and despite that his teammates manage to force the series to go the distance.
Sportsnet insider Nick Kypreos was on record during the Game 7 broadcast in Canada stating that he believes Rinne would be unable to bounce back from the humiliation he suffered in Game 7, and stated that Rinne could have played his final match up as a member of the Nashville Predators. That may sound insane to some but Kypreos is far from being alone. On Monday Matt Larkin of The Hockey News made the case for trading Pekka Rinne, a player that Larkin believes still has tremendous value.
They’ve committed $67.53 million in cap space for next year, with RFAs Saros and Ryan Hartman needing new deals. With the cap expected to rise from $75 million to upwards of $80 million, Nashville shouldn’t be jammed up against it but also won’t be swimming in cash…
…unless, perhaps, $7 million disappears from the ledger. Even after collapsing in the post-season, Rinne still carries tremendous value. He’s going to be ‘Vezina Trophy Winner Pekka Rinne’ in a matter of weeks. Plenty of teams would consider him a gargantuan upgrade.
Predators general manager David Poile has shown no fear when it comes to making blockbuster trade deals, moving players like Seth Jones, and Shea Weber both of whom were considered cornerstone pieces of that franchise at the time of their respective trades. A trade involving Pekka Rinne would certainly fit his style of aggressive management and when you consider the way Rinne has collapsed in the big moment he may feel that getting value for Rinne in the final year of his contract is the way to go.
There would obviously be no shortage of teams interested in a player like Rinne either which could mean an excellent return for the Predators.
Photo Credit: Steve Roberts/CSM/Zuma