Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/3/11

Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne celebrated his 29th birthday by signing a seven-year contract extension worth $49 million on Thursday.

The Vezina Trophy finalist had been playing in the final year of his current deal.

"Today's signing is further evidence of our ownership's commitment to keeping our core intact," Nashville president David Poile said in a statement. "This is the first step of a process designed to retain our key players and leaders.

"Pekka has grown with our franchise, just recently established our franchise record for career shutouts and is now recognized as one of the game's elite players. We're thrilled to know that he will be backstopping our franchise for several years to come."

Last Saturday, Pekka Rinne recorded his 100th career victory in style by turning aside all 20 shots he faced as the Predators posted a 3-0 home triumph over the Anaheim Ducks.

Rinne secured his second shutout of the season and franchise-best 22nd career in the process.

Rinne is 5-4-2 with a 2.50 goals-against average this season.

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