The Nashville Predators announced today that Pekka Rinne had arthroscopic hip surgery, and is expected to take four months to recover.
The hope obviously is that he'll be ready for training camp and fit to carry the team on his shoulders once again. Josh Cooper points out that Tim Thomas had a similar surgery before going on to win the Vezina Trophy in 2010-2011, so there's one positive example to consider. Another notable player who went through that experience is Vancouver's Ryan Kesler, who had the surgery in 2011 and was back in action just a couple months later.
Given how much explosive lateral movement goaltenders have to make in order on a regular basis, I can imagine that any hip issue could turn into a major problem.
#35 / Goalie / Nashville Predators
Nov 03, 1982
|2012 - Pekka Rinne||43||2444||15||16||8||99||2.43||1101||1002||.910||5|
While many will naturally point to this injury as explanation for Rinne's disappointing conventional goaltending stats like Win/Loss record and overall save percentage, things actually weren't so bad. Win/Loss, of course, ranks right up there with Plus/Minus as one of the most overrated hockey stats in existence - the Predators' scoring woes played a huge role there. With save percentage, the overall figure can be heavily influenced by what happens on the penalty kill, and this year that was a bit of a grease fire for Nashville.
If you isolate for even-strength save percentage, which is a better guide to long-term goaltending performance, Rinne put up a .927 this season, as compared to .928 in 2011-2012. This team had 99 problems this season, but the #1 goalie wasn't one.
So here's to wishing Peks a speedy recovery - and hey, if you're bored having to rest during your recuperation, we could always use a guest blogger...