In what could be his final season in Nashville, Predators goalie Pekka Rinne won the NHL’s King Clancy Memorial Trophy Monday night.
The award goes to the player who shows the greatest “leadership on and off the ice and who has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to his community.” Rinne will receive a $25,000 donation from the National Hockey League Foundation to benefit a charity or charities of his choice.
Rinne and Shea Weber’s 365 Foundation has helped raise over $3-million for the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital since its inception in 2012-13. In his first full season with the team, after meeting Mike, a man with Down Syndrome, Rinne also fostered an ongoing affiliation with Best Buddies, a nonprofit advocating for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“After spending 15 years with the same organization and in the same city, and with the opportunities I’ve had through local charities in my community – this is very special to me,” Rinne said. “At the same time, I was to congratulate P.K. and Kurtis on their nomination and for everything they do for their communities. I want to thank the Predators and the Predators Foundation for letting us players get involved and help in our community. I also want to recognize Shea Weber, who helped start the 365 Fund with me. This award means a lot to me and my family, and it’s a huge honor.”
“I view the King Clancy Memorial Trophy as a lifetime achievement award of sorts, and Pekka winning this year is totally reflective of what he has done on the ice, but equally, if not more importantly, what he’s done off the ice in our community,” Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile said. “For years, and for good reason, Pekka has been the face of our franchise and our most popular player. This is shown by the countless hours he’s spent working to make our community a better place and the sacrifices he’s made to make the lives of everyone around him better. Pekka is completely deserving of this honor, and our organization couldn’t be happier for him.”
Each NHL team nominated a player for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, with the three finalists and winner chosen by a committee of senior NHL executives led by Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.