The Nashville Predators officially announced the details of Pekka Rinne's new two-year deal that will pay him a total of $6.8 million over the next two years. The expected cap hit will be for $3.4 million per year and will pay Rinne $2.8 million in 2010-2011 and $4.0 million in 2011-2012.
The amount of the contract will make it difficult for the Predators to re-sign goalie Dan Ellis who is making $2 million this season and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July1. It is unclear if he will be dealt prior to next week's trade deadline or if he will remain with the Preds for the rest of the season.
If Ellis were to be traded, the Predators would be faced with picking up another goaltender as neither Mark Dekanich or Chet Pickard appears ready to assume a backup role in the NHL at this time. With team chemistry being an important part of Barry Trotz's teams, it may be that Ellis will be retained through the end of the season as opposed to bringing someone new in to the room for the stretch run.
Here is the full release from the Predators...
PREDATORS SIGN GOALTENDER PEKKA RINNE TO A TWO-YEAR, $6.8 MILLION CONTRACT
Nashville, Tenn. (February 24, 2010) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed goaltender Pekka Rinne to a two-year, $6.8 million contract. The deal will pay him $2.8 million in 2010-11 and $4 million in 2011-12.
Rinne, 27 (11/3/82), has posted a 20-12-4 record in his second full NHL season, which included a franchise record seven-game winning streak from Nov. 12-25, 2009. As a rookie in 2008-09, the Kempele, Finland native ranked among the League leaders in shutouts (tied for fourth with a franchise-record 7), goals-against average (sixth, 2.38) and save percentage (tied for ninth, .917), in addition to finishing fourth in voting for the Calder Trophy. His 29 wins a season ago were also tied for the ninth-most by a first-year netminder in NHL history.
Nashville’s 10th choice, 258th overall (eighth round), of the 2004 Entry Draft has appeared in 95 career contests since making his NHL debut on Dec. 15, 2005, accumulating a 50-28-8 record, 2.56 goals-against average, a .917 save percentage and 10 shutouts. He represented his native Finland for the first time in last May’s 2009 World Championships in Switzerland, starting six of the nation’s seven games. He was voted one of Finland’s three best players of the tournament after ranking third in goals-against average (1.93) and sixth in save percentage (.926).
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass