Rinne proves hockey is on Nashville’s radar; voted Best Athlete in Toast of Music City

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Who says Nashville, Tennessee isn’t a hockey town?!

Every summer, The Tennessean holds their Toast of Music City event. The winners and runner-ups are determined by you, the reader, who gets to vote daily on their website. All you need is an account and you can choose your favorite in each category. This year, for the first time, a Nashville Predator has won the Best Local Athlete category.

Predators goaltender and Vezina Trophy finalist Pekka Rinne gets to add the honor of Middle Tennessee’s favorite professional athlete to his ever-expanding accolades.

Rinne single-handedly drove Nashville into the Stanley Cup Playoffs while posting numbers good enough to earn him second place in the Vezina Trophy (league’s top goaltender) balloting and fourth in the Hart Trophy (MVP) balloting. This Toast nomination proves that hockey is now part of the everyday sports vernacular in Music City. Which, even more than the award, is a serious accomplishment.

The south is football country. Hockey fans know that. So when Rinne was named a finalist next to Tennessee Titans stars Courtland Finnegan and Chris Johnson, hockey fans were just happy to have their team represented. But, now that Rinne’s been named the winner, it really does prove that the sports landscape in Nashville is changing. And that can only mean good things over on Broadway.