Goalie Bonanza Continues with Pekka Rinne

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Pekka Rinne was under the impression we didn’t have enough goaltending news lately so he did something today.

Welcome to the latest and greatest post on the newly renamed Goaltenders Roundtable (I know, I know.). The latest news out of Nashville camp is that Pekka Rinne returned to team practice for the first time since late October. About two weeks ago we had discussed the news of Rinne returning to the ice in full-gear. That was about a fifteen-minute skate around more than anything. Today, he actually participated in a proper team practice.

Other snippets from his return to practice include (A) he skated for around an hour (B) there is still no time table for his official return.

UPDATE: An even bigger snippet just came in the form of some quotes from the man himself courtesy of David Boclair of the Nashville Post:

“It feels great to be on the ice with the boys, just taking shots,” said Pekka Rinne. “It’s been a long time. So it feels great.”

“I don’t want to come back and be 80 percent or anything like that. I want to be strong,” Rinne said. “I want to be able to help this team. As of right now, I feel great and I’m just super-excited and can’t wait to get back between the pipes.”

“You have to listen to the doctors and listen to your own body,” Rinne said. “It’s been a tough go at times but now I’m enjoying this, being back on the ice and feeling good. There’s not really a set timetable. I’m sure each day you kind of feel how it goes and how it reacts.”

As far as this news goes – it’s a nice sign for the Predators and Pekka Rinne that he has taken another step forward in his recovery process. This does act as another interesting aspect to what happened today though in the world of the Milwaukee Admirals.

As mentioned earlier today, the Admirals re-upped Hannu Toivonen with a new PTO contract. This means the Admirals currently have three fit goalies on the roster. That typically doesn’t happen without another move looming in the background. I’ve heard nothing of an injury to Marek Mazanec (not yet anyways). And Scott Darling is not only back in Milwaukee but in uniform reading to the kiddos (as was Taylor Beck, Charles-Olivier Roussel, Vinny Saponari, and Zach Budish — Good Guy awards all-round).

When I heard of today’s news for Toivonen I assumed another body went down or a trade is in the works. If Mazanec is healthy and Rinne is close to returning… what do you think that means could happen next when, between the Predators and Admirals, there are currently seven goalies (Rinne, Hutton, Dubnyk, Mazanec, Darling, Toivonen, and Hellberg). See why I might think an actual move could be rumbling? This could easily be swayed off to pure speculation on my part if, when I got to practice tomorrow, I find out Mazanec is actually injured – hence the need to call up Darling a day before he could play another game in the ECHL before joining the Admirals – and the need to re-sign Toivonen.

Something is up. Injury? Trade? There are far too many numbers at one position right now With the possible returns of Rinne and Hellberg between the NHL and AHL – it will only grow.

What is your impression of the amount of goaltenders in NHL/AHL camp right now? How does this shake out? Does Pekka Rinne’s return to the ice say a trade could be imminent for anyone beneath him on the system’s depth chart?

10 thoughts on “Goalie Bonanza Continues with Pekka Rinne”

  1. Now that’s a real good problem to have. I don’t see why they’d keep Toivonen over Mags or Darling. I wonder if Mazanec is headed out on a trade. He’s great trade bait on the NHL level or even as a player to be named later.

  2. How about this scenario? Predators keep all three as Pekka’s return to regular duty is far from certain, Mazanec stays in Milwaukee with Hellberg or Darling returning to Cincinnati and Toivonen as a possible thought for next years Cincy goalie. Goalie glut resolves itself in offseason although if they could make the afort mentioned trade I’d make it in a heartbeat.

  3. Here is another story I just came across with some quotes from Pekka: http://nashvillepost.com/blogs/postsports/2014/2/19/rinne_practices_with_predators_awaits_word_on_when_he_can_play_a_game

    Kyle: Pair a Mazanec and a Legwand (another piece or possible trade bait) and what could you get on the current NHL market? That just crossed my mind.

    Glenn: That’s certainly a possibility if Mazanec is hurt right now and Rinne doesn’t return. The fact I haven’t heard much on the Maz front tells me he’s fine. The fact that Rinne is now taking part in full team practices tells me he’s probably a week or so away from them giving him an all clear for game action… I expect a trade if not a roster shuffle involving players not named Toivonen or Darling going to Cinci.

  4. Here’s my attempt at rumor mongering… A trade involving Rinne to bring in somebody that can actually score goals. Bringing him back from a major injury just ahead of the trade deadline when your team is in 12th place in the division and, barring an improbable-crazy win streak, out of playoff contention…. seems a bit fishy to me!

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