Hawks player reviews: Antti Raanta
June, 13, 2014
By Scott Powers
Doug Pensinger/Getty ImagesAntti Raanta, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, had a 2.77 goals-against average in 25 games this season.
Antti Raanta, Goaltender
2013-14 cap hit: $925,000 | Age: 25 | Season stats: 13-5-4, 2.71 GAA, .897 save percentage
Season recap: The Blackhawks brought along Raanta quicker than they planned because of injuries. After coming over from Finland, he was called up from the AHL after Nikolai Khabibulin was injured in November and became the No. 1 goaltender shortly after because of an injury to Corey Crawford. Raanta was inconsistent throughout the season, but he showed potential.
Season highlight: Raanta recorded his first NHL shutout when he stopped 26 shots in a 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Dec. 30.
Season lowlight: Raanta allowed four goals on 15 shots and was pulled in the second period against the Calgary Flames on Jan. 28.
Final grade: C+
Inside the numbers: Raanta gave up three or more goals just twice in his first 15 regular-season games. In his final 10 regular-season games, he allowed three or more goals seven times.
Notes: Raanta was one of three goaltenders to be recalled from the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL this season. Kent Simpson and Jason LaBarbera were also called up.
Quotes: "There were good games, a couple not so good games," Raanta said after the season. "It was like steady all the time, lots of good things happen. But the second half of the season there was too much ups and downs in the games and in the practice, so I think that was the main reason why I didn't get so much playing time in the last games. Of course, first year here and first year overseas out of the home country and like that, so there was lots of learning experiment. And I think after the summer, we'll see what happens in the summer time and we'll see where I'm going to be. It's going to be a fun summer to work hard and think about the future."
What's next: Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has expressed interest in re-signing Raanta, a restricted free agent. If he returns, the Blackhawks will want him to be more consistent in a backup role to Crawford next season.