A rumor surfaced earlier today that Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne had been finalizing a contract to sign with Oulu Kärpät of SM-Liiga in Finland. When told about that rumor, Rinne chuckled and said, “No truth to that.”
Rinne played five years with Oulu Kärpät before bringing his talents to North America. Oulu, Finland, is located 20 minutes from Rinne’s hometown of Kempele.
“It’s my hometown team so I skated with them during the summer,” said Rinne. “I’m close with the management and everybody. We talked but that’s it. There’s nothing going on. I’m just going to wait and see, at least for now. Maybe if there is a window of opportunity [to play overseas] then for sure I want to play.”
Oulu Kärpät has reportedly signed Carolina forward Jussi Jokinen to a contract. Predators prospect Miikka Salomäki also plays for them.
Defenseman Roman Josi is going to get a big opportunity this season in Nashville, as he is currently slated to be paired with Shea Weber if the season were to start today. Unfortunately for the 22-year-old Josi, the lockout will delay that opportunity.
“It’s frustrating for everybody because everybody wants to get out there and play,” he said. “We just have to make the best of it now.”
Josi said he currently does not have any plans to play overseas during the lockout.
“I just want to stay here for a while and practice with the guys. We’ll see what happens. I hope there is an agreement soon [between the NHL and NHLPA]. If not, we’ll see what the plan is.”