Nashville Predators: Should Pekka Rinne Get The Rest Of Season Off?
The Nashville Predators have nothing left to play for this season except pride, and with the team’s luck this season on the injury front, the time has come for a drastic move. Goaltender Pekka Rinne has been overworked this season, and has suffered from a lack of offensive support all season. Rather than let their star netminder get injured, the Predators would be wise to start Chris Mason as much as possible the rest of the season, and even call up a goaltender from the AHL if they have to.
Mason has played in only nine games this season, and has struggled mightily. The veteran goalie is 1-6-1 with a horrific 3.80 goals-against average, and is likely in his last season with the Predators. He is set to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, which could also very well mark the end of his career.
The Predators have two goaltenders with the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL who have yet to see any NHL action. Jeremy Smith was a second-round pick in 2007, and is set to be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. He has a 19-19-3 record with the Admirals this season. Magnus Hellberg is 18-13-0 as an AHL rookie this season, and boasts a 2.22 goals-against average. He was a second-round pick in the 2011 draft. While this seems like a good idea on paper, there is little likelihood it actually happens. The Admirals are currently fighting for a playoff spot, and the Predators may choose to leave both netminders there, even though the end goal of an AHL team is to develop NHL players and not necessarily to win championships.