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Pekka Rinne throws his hat, er, glove in the ring for save of the year

Oct 28, 2011, 2:32 PM EDT

That’s Nashville Predators G Pekka Rinne robbing Vincent Lecavalier in the second period of Nashville’s 5-3 win over the Bolts last night. For the record, I’m not even sure robbery is the correct charge here. Seems a little more heinous than robbery. Felonious larceny, maybe.

This is not the first time Rinne’s pulled an out-of-this-world save. In the second round of last year’s playoffs, Rinne stoned Vancouver’s Kevin Bieksa in overtime of Game 1:

So he’s compiled himself a nice little video resume to woo NHL GMs with this summer. See, Rinne’s in the final year of a deal that’s paying him $4 million (in salary; his annual cap hit is $3.4 mil) and, theoretically, he should be in line for a raise.

In terms of straight salary, 13 netminders are making more than Rinne this year — that list includes Rick DiPietro and, most amusingly, Cristobal Huet. Based on the fact Rinne finished second in Vezina and fourth in Hart Trophy voting last year, he should get paid like a top-five guy.

For the record, the current top five in terms of salary are:

Ilya Bryzgalov, Philadelphia ($10 million)

Henrik Lundqvist, New York ($6.9 million)

Roberto Luongo, Vancouver ($6.7 million)

Cam Ward, Carolina ($6.3 million)

Ryan Miller, Buffalo ($6.3 million)

Of course, Rinne’s emergence as an elite goalie came at a bad time. For one, he plays in Nashville, where the purse strings aren’t just tight — they’re tied into a constrictor knot. There’s also the issue of hitting free agency at a time when teams that have available cap space and a goaltending need are far and few between.

But hey, nice save on Lecavalier.

  1. comeonnowguys - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    That is insane.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 29, 2011 at 4:12 AM

      In OT? Pure insanity

  2. danphipps01 - Oct 28, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    Don’t worry, someone’ll make room. A lot of teams want that kind of goaltending. I could even see Dallas or St. Louis just eating the cap hit to get sustainable top-tier goaltending. Yeah, St. Louis already has a working pair, but if Halak keeps playing like crap I’d make Rinne an offer and just cut Halak or Elliot, whichever’s worse, when their contracts expire. Not like they don’t have enormous room or anything, right? Mind you, if they were wise they’d be gunning for Suter and/or Parise as well, so who knows?

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