Pekka Rinne third Predators player to be inducted to Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame

It was always a matter of "when" and not "if" Pekka Rinne would be inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame as the franchise great of the Nashville Predators franchise.
2022 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series - Tampa Bay Lightning v Nashville Predators
2022 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series - Tampa Bay Lightning v Nashville Predators / Frederick Breedon/GettyImages

Pekka Rinne will be inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hallf of Fame, joining only Mike Fisher and David Legwand as the former Nashville Predators players to have this honor.

Former General Manager David Poile is also in the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, along with legendary Predators TV announcer and analyst Terry Crisp.

It's hard to imagine what would've happened to the Nashville Predators if Pekka Rinne didn't come along when he did and become the team's main goalie in 2008-09.

Pekka Rinne propelled hockey to survive and become "Smashville"

With concerns of relocating back to Canada altogether, the Predators rallied into a viable playoff team thanks to Rinne's rise as one of the best goalies in the NHL. Smashville began to grow behind Rinne and the team that was built around him, culminating into a 2017 Stanley Cup Final appearance, a Vezina Trophy by Rinne in 2018 and a Presidents Trophy that same year.

Rinne's final NHL season he managed respectable numbers knowing the end was near and it was either retirement or playing for a different team. He put up a commendable 2.84 GAA and .907 save percentage while winning the NHL's King Clancy Award which highlights "Leadership and Humanitarian Contribution".

Rinne retired following the 2020-21 season after playing all 15 seasons with the Predators. He eventually got his statue in the Bridgestone Arena plaza, and now you see countless photos of fans posing next to it.

It's really hard to find a player more universally loved, not just by his own fans, but hockey fans everywhere than Pekka Rinne.

Rinne has some untouchable franchise records for the Predators including wins at 369, game played at 683, shutouts at 60 and saves at 17,627. Only way Juuse Saros catches those records is if he gets a long-term deal this summer and also keeps up with a ridiculous pace that Rinne was able to maintain for so many years.

Rinne will officially get his induction in July of this summer. Further down the road, I can see Roman Josi and Filip Forsberg also getting rightfully inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. They of course have plenty more years left in their playing careers in pursuit of the first Stanley Cup for the Nashville Predators franchise.