After being cleared last week to ramp up his on-ice conditioning, goaltender Pekka Rinne participated fully in informal drills Monday morning with the rest of his teammates. It was the first time he stayed on the ice for the drills, as last week he was limited in what he could do on the ice. Rinne was able to drop to the ice and make saves in the butterfly position, and it all looked routine for him without any issues.
“I need to get more [repetitions] and more ice time, but I’m feeling good and the hip is feeling good, so that’s the main thing,” he said.
It has officially been four full months since Rinne underwent hip surgery, which was the initial timeline he was given for a full recovery. He hopes to see game action in the preseason, but he said last week he’s more worried about the season opener on Oct. 3.
“Obviously you still have to be smart,” Rinne said Monday of progressing towards the season. “[Getting cleared to take next step in on-ice rehab] was a big step for me but it doesn’t mean I’m going to go out there and play a game right now. I still have a lot of work to do, just getting that routine back and all those good habits. Now is a good time to build those things and still have a little time before the season starts.”
When asked how Rinne looked in the drills, defenseman Shea Weber said, “He looks really good. It’s exciting to have him back out there. He’s been chomping at the bit just waiting to get cleared and he’s excited.”