NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne will miss at least four weeks after he has another procedure on his surgically repaired hip to clear up an infection.
The Predators announced Thursday that Rinne was set for arthroscopic surgery later in the day. Rinne had surgery on his left hip May 9 and recovered in time to start the season. General manager David Poile said Rinne felt something was wrong Tuesday night after the Predators returned from Minnesota.
“When he got back to Nashville after the plane ride home, he developed some soreness and stiffness in his hip and got a little bit of a fever,” Poile said. “A series of tests determined that he had a spontaneous bacterial infection.”
Rinne currently is 4-4-1 with a 2.31 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. Rinne was in net Tuesday night for a 2-0 loss at Minnesota.
A two-time Vezina Trophy finalist from Finland, Rinne is sixth in the NHL with 152 wins since the 2008-09 season and has 30 shutouts since 2008-09, which leads all goalies during that time.
Carter Hutton now takes over in goal for Nashville. He has two career starts in the NHL, earning his first career victory Sunday night in Winnipeg.
“It is real unfortunate, but it’s an opportunity not only for Carter, but for our team to show that we are a good hockey team,” Predators coach Barry Trotz said. “It’s an opportunity for Carter to take the reins.”
Said Hutton: “It definitely helps having a stepping-stone, some things to build off early on. At the same time, it doesn’t change. It is the same game. I have to do my thing, work hard. We have a pretty solid team here and that is definitely going to help me out.”
Nashville also has recalled goalie Magnus Hellberg from Milwaukee under emergency conditions to replace Rinne.
The Predators host Winnipeg Thursday night. They are home again Saturday to face the St. Louis Blues and then set out on a seven-game, 17-day road trip.