Predators’ hopes still rest on Pekka Rinne

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This is part of Nashville Predators day at PHT …

When it comes to goaltending in the NHL, you don’t always get what you pay for.

If teams did, the Dallas Stars would be living off of their expensive duo and Pekka Rinne would probably have a Vezina Trophy or two on his resume.

Unfortunately, as important as the goaltending position is, teams don’t always know what they’re getting. And let’s be honest; only GM David Poile’s most shameless “Yes-Men” would claim that Nashville is getting its $7 million worth out of Rinne.

In 2015-16, Rinne only managed a .908 save percentage, marking the third season in his past four where he generated a mark at or below .910. Far too often, he’s played more like a low-cost backup than even a mediocre starter.

With Jusse Saros likely needs more time to marinate, the Predators are going all-in on Rinne figuring things out (sorry, Marek Mazanec). It’s a little surprising that such a strong team wouldn’t plunk down a little extra money for more peace of mind – Jhonas Enroth, anyone? – but that’s the decision Poile & Co. made.

Many believe that P.K. Subban boosts the Predators’ defense up another level, possibly making them the best unit in the NHL. That fleet defense and a solid group of forwards has a strong chance to give Nashville the sort of balance that will likely maintain the Predators’ spot among the league’s stronger possession teams.

Unfortunately for Nashville, if Rinne unravels once more, the Predators would be stuck lagging behind the league’s true elite.

That’s a lot of pressure, but great paychecks come with great expectations.