The former Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (now retired) returned to Nashville this week so the team could retire his jersey.
Here are five things you might not know about Pekka Rinne.
Rinne is From a Small Town in Finland
He is from Kempele, Finland which has a population, as of 2021, of 19,115. It’s also best known for being the headquarters of the world-famous heart rate monitor corporation Polar Electro, which first brought the device to market in 1978.
Rinne Started “Playing Goalie” as a Kid
He played hockey with his older cousins who put him at the net as practice and called it “playing goalie” and often he would run home crying because he got hurt. (Source: nhl.com)
He Also Played Pesapallo
In additon to playing hockey in Finland, he played pesapallo, simliar to baseball. It’s the national sport of Finland. Rinne says his dad built a wall where he would hit a ball off and catch with his glove after school. (Source: nhl.com)
Rinne Had Never Visited the U.S. Until He Was Drafted in 2004
“My family didn’t travel much growing up, and I’d never been to North America, let alone Tennessee. I didn’t know anything about Nashville. They teach English in the Finnish school system, and I knew some American history from watching movies, but I never thought I’d need to, you know, actually know it. Well, right after the draft was the Predators Development Camp and my first trip to America,” said Pekka Rinne. (Source: nhl.com)
Rinne Created the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund
The 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund was created during the 2012-13 season by Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne and former captain Shea Weber in partnership with the Nashville Predators Foundation. The partnership raises funds and awareness for the vital cancer research that takes place at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Since the fund’s inception, donations totaling more than $3.6 million in cash and in-kind gifts have been made to the hospital and its programs.