Pekka Rinne is the backbone of the Nashville Predators franchise. Even a team built with defense in mind breaks down from time to time, and that’s why having Peks in the net is such a wonderful thing. He makes a lot of potentially painful moments disappear with nothing more than the flash of the glove or swat of the stick…or flop of his entire body, as necessary.
Vague news of a Pekka Rinne groin injury last month while he was playing for Dinamo Minsk had me concerned that our super-goalie might miss some time in the event of a resolution to the lockout. Good news came on that front tonight when Willy Daunic of 102.5 The Game addressed Rinne’s health:
On speculation of Pekka Rinne’s reported injury in the KHL: Was just told by a reliable source that it is a “non issue. All is well”. #Preds
— Willy Daunic (@WillyD1025) January 6, 2013
That confirmed what Finnish sportscaster Antti Mäkinen had relayed to me on Twitter earlier in the day, saying that Rinne had been on the ice with Kärpät of the Finnish SM-Liiga and appeared to be in good health.
News of an end to the NHL lockout was good and welcome, but it would’ve been tempered by concern for Pekka Rinne’s well-being had he been seriously injured. Instead we all get to celebrate the return of not only the Nashville Predators and hockey itself, but our human highlight reel of a netminder as well. That makes January 6th officially the best Good News Day for Preds fans since the team beat Detroit in last season’s playoffs. Feel free to mark your calendar with a gold ribbon for future reference!
UPDATE 1/9/12: The news has been confirmed by David Poile, Barry Trotz, and now Pekka Rinne himself. “No injury – that was just the media. I am 100 percent healthy,” he told Ryan Porth at Smashville 24/7. “I’m just happy to be back here and get back on the ice and be around the boys.”