The story didn't end there however, as four years later on March 21, 2015 Kopra presented Rinne with the actual jersey that flew into space on the Endevour and then dropped the ceremonial first puck for the Predators game against the Buffalo Sabres.
Today's featured jersey is a 2010-11 Nashville Predators Pekka Rinne jersey. The jersey chosen to make the trip into space was not a Predators home or road jersey, but their short-lived blue alternate jersey that was only worn for two seasons, 2009-10 and 2010-11 before being dropped when the Predators introduced a brand new pair of home and road jerseys for 2011-12. They have not worn an alternate jersey since.
The Predators alternate jersey was unusual in that it completely eliminated the use of the color gold and had unconventional color-on-color checkerboard stripes around the arms and waist. The nearly monochromatic look was part of a small, brief trend in alternate jerseys, along with those worn during that time frame by the Florida Panthers, whose two-tone blue third jersey contained no red or gold, the St. Louis Blues, which had no medium blue on their navy blue jerseys, unlike their home and roads, and the Columbus Blue Jackets, whose cream and Columbia and navy blue jerseys lacked any red whatsoever. Additionally, the main crests used by Florida, St. Louis and Columbus were all brand new circular logos not worn on their home or road jerseys, all of which caused fans to wonder about this recent crop of jerseys that completely ignored a basic color of a team's identity.
After playing for Oulun Kärpät in Finland and being drafted 258th overall with the final pick of the eighth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, the 6' 5" Finn Rinne came to North America for the 2005-06 season to play with the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL, eventually leading the club to the Calder Cup Finals. That same season he played a pair of games with the Predators of the NHL, earning his first victory in the process.