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Past Fantasy Outlooks
The 2016-17 campaign was a fairly average one by Rinne’s standards -- which is to say, an improvement over his disappointing 2015-16 -- as the Finnish netminder cracked the 30-win plateau for the sixth time in his career. However, it was the postseason where Rinne really shone, posting a sparkling .930 save percentage and 1.96 GAA while carrying his team all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history. That performance has effectively reestablished him as one of the NHL’s better netminders heading into the upcoming season. That said, with just two years left on his seven-year, $49 million contract, the 34-year-old Rinne’s future with the Preds beyond 2017-18 remains uncertain, especially with the up-and-coming Juuse Saros waiting in the wings and flashing elite ability in the backup role last year. The Preds are clearly grooming Saros as Rinne’s replacement, and it’s likely just a matter of when, not if, the team decides to hand over the reins. Even so, Rinne’s got a few years of quality goaltending in him yet, and he makes a fine fantasy selected for this season.
Rinne was not quite as sharp in 2015-16 as he was the previous season. Sure, he finished with a 34-21-10 record, with those 34 wins representing the third-highest total of his career, but that loss total was one of his highest ever and his ratios stats declined substantially, particularly his save percentage (.908, down from .923) and GAA (2.48 vs. 2.18). His numbers were even worse in the postseason, and he failed to win a game on the road as Nashville was bumped after two rounds. Has time finally caught up to the 33-year-old Rinne? Was last year the start of a general decline or just a bump in the road? A 60-plus-game starter the last couple of seasons, he should still have a lot left in the tank, so we could again see him rebound, just as he did in 2014-15 after struggling with injury and ineffectiveness the year before. The Predators should once again be one of the stronger teams in the Western Conference this year, so Rinne should at the very minimum deliver for fantasy owners in leagues that value volume and victories.
After a hip injury derailed Rinne’s 2013-14 season, the netminder was widely viewed as a prime bounce-back candidate entering last season. And boy, did he ever deliver. Rinne appeared in 64 games for the Predators last season, finishing second in the NHL with 41 wins and posting a remarkable .923 save percentage. The 32-year-old reestablished himself as an elite goaltender and was fantasy gold on a much-improved Nashville team that got terrific performances out of breakout stars Filip Forsberg and Roman Josi, as well as offseason acquisition Mike Ribeiro. With a young and rising team in front of him, Rinne is a must-own fantasy option entering the 2015-16 campaign. The Finnish goalie, who has posted at least 30 wins in each of his four full NHL seasons, uses his terrific size and athletic ability to be unbeatable in the crease -- he's quite capable of winning games all on his own. You just can’t beat that.
Normally a very reliable fantasy selection, 2013-14 was not the season to be a Rinne owner, as he missed nearly four months of the season with a hip injury, then split time with backup Carter Hutton once he returned to the lineup. Overall, Rinne played in just 24 games last season, and finished with a mediocre 10-10-3 record. Furthermore, his 2.77 GAA and .902 save percentage were the worst peripheral stats of his career, and he was outplayed by Hutton, who went 20-11-1 in his absence. This season, a healthy Rinne will surely be given the chance to earn back his undisputed No. 1 status, despite Hutton’s solid performance last year. Fantasy-wise, Rinne will surely drop down many of your fellow owners’ depth charts following his disappointing season last year, so don’t hesitate to scoop him up after he’s been passed on a few times. Rinne is a world-class goalie and is poised for a big year given the upgraded talent that now surrounds him.
Rinne was once again a workhorse between the pipes for the Predators last season, tying for second in the league in games played (43) and games started (42). His five shutouts tied him for first with four other goalies, however his 15 wins put him way down the list in that category. Pound for pound, Rinne remains one of the NHL's most talented netminders, but playing for an offensively-challenged team like the Preds means he will be in tough to get a win on any given night. Rinne is a great pick if your league rewards for peripheral goalie stats such as GAA and SV%. But for wins-only leagues, he's a bit of a risk.
Rinne cemented his status as one of the NHL’s elite goaltenders last season, posting a career-high 43 wins. He also ranked among the league leaders in save percentage (.923) and goals-against average (2.39). Along with Shea Weber, Rinne remains one of the cornerstones of the Predators franchise, having inked a seven-year, $49 million contract with the team in November 2011, meaning he’s going to be around a long time. Draft with confidence.
In 2011-12, Rinne will enter the second and final season of a two-year, $6.8 million contract. Last season, he was second among NHL goalies in SV% (.930) and third in SV% (2.12). However, there were 14 other goalies who had at least as many wins (33) as Rinne, the result of playing for the offensively-challenged Predators. From a fantasy perspective, expect Rinne to remain solid in the aforementioned peripheral stat categories this upcoming season, but he will likely still be challenged as far as wins are concerned, unless the Preds can somehow squeeze more offense out of their forward lines.
Rinne started out the season in a platoon situation with Dan Ellis for the job of #1 netminder in Nashville. However, thanks to a solid run in March that saw him win six consecutive games, Rinne eventually became the main man between the pipes for the Preds, and was a big reason why the team managed to grab the seventh playoff spot in the Western Conference. Before the season was even over, the Preds all but anointed Rinne their #1 starter going forward, signing him to a new two-year, $6.8 million contract in February and allowing Ellis to sign with Tampa Bay in the offseason. Rinne is considered one of the better young goalies in the NHL right now, but he is probably a year or two away from entering "elite" status. Don't overpay to get him on draft day.
Rinne burst onto the scene for the Predators in 2008, first splitting starts with incumbent starter Dan Ellis, then taking the starting job through the force of his abilities. He ended up playing in 52 games, posting 29 wins, a 2.38 GAA, a .917 SV%, and seven shutouts. Now that the job is his, more wins seems likely and the GAA and SV% should remain fine. The seven shutouts might not be repeated, but he should be one of the best goalies in the league anyway.
The Finnish goalie only has three NHL games under his belt, but he is ready to become the backup in Nashville. With the departure of Chris Mason, Rinne has been bumped up the ladder to the backup role. He has made quite an impression on the coaching staff in his time as the No. 1 net minder for the Admirals of the AHL. Rinne appeared in 65 games for Milwaukee last season and posted a 36-24-3 record with a strong 2.47 GAA and steady .908 save percentage. The prospect goalie may get a lot of action this season. We expect about 30 starts to keep No. 1 goalie Dan Ellis fresh, but they should be productive starts and he should be worthy of fantasy consideration in very deep leagues.
The Finnish goalie only has two NHL games under his belt, but he is ready to become the backup in Nashville. With the departure of Tomas Vokoun, Rinne was bumped up the ladder to the backup role. Rinne has made quite an impression on the coaching staff in his time as the No. 1 net minder for the Admirals of the AHL. Despite missing part of last season with a shoulder injury, Rinne appeared in 29 games for Milwaukee and he posted a 15-7-6 record with a strong 2.34 GAA and stellar .920 save percentage. Rinne may only get about 20 or so starts this season, but they should be productive and he should be worthy of fantasy consideration in very deep leagues.
Rinne will probably not make any impact with the Predators this season. Rinne underwent surgery for a dislocated shoulder in early September and will miss half the season. Drafted in the 8th round of the 2004 draft, Rinne served notice last season with AHL affiliate Milwaukee that he will some day be an NHL goalie. He racked up 30 wins with a decent GAA of 2.82 and save percentage of .904 to lead the Admirals to an appearance in the Calder Cup Finals.