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Chicago Blackhawks: Antti Raanta Days Until Banner Raising

By Keith Schultz
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We had so much fun doing our Countdown to Faceoff series last season that we decided to do it again.  In case you’re new to the series, we’ll do a roster preview as we count down the days until the Chicago Blackhawks raise their 6th Stanley Cup Banner on October 7th season opener against the New York Rangers.

We are down to 31 days in our countdown, and we have arrived at a number last worn by a player that created a bunch of controversy this past week.

Before last week, all Chicago Blackhawks fans thought of Antti Raanta was a happy go lucky back up goalie that enjoyed his time with the Chicago Blackhawks yet was happy to be traded this offseason for a shot to be a full-time back up goalie instead of competing with Scott Darling in Chicago.

Antti Raanta had very good stats with the Chicago Blackhawks, yet his style was never a favorite of the coaching staff, and in the end they liked Darling over Raanta.  Raanta’s stats were solid when he did get a shot, especially on home ice where he was almost unbeatable.  Here is Raanta’s stats in Chicago.

Games-39

Wins-20

Losses-9

OTL-5

Goals Against Average-2.41

Save Percentage-.912

Raanta never saw playoff action, and now he will be remembered as a cry baby rooting for losses even if the story is total fabrication.  Raanta wasn’t the first player to wear #31 or even the first Antti to wear the number.  So here’s a stroll down memory lane of 31’s in Chicago Blackhawks franchise history.

1. Ken Solheim-1980 Solheim played his first 5 NHL games with the Hawks scoring 2 goals. He played until 1986 scoring 19 goals and 20 assists in 135 games played.

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2. Steve Ludzik-1982 Ludzik also wore #29 with the Blackhawks.  Ludzik played 413 games with the Hawks scoring 46 goals and 92 assists over his 9 year career.

3. Dan Frawley-1984 Frawley played 30 games with the Hawks scoring 4 goals and 3 assists before moving on to the Pittsburgh Penguins for the rest of his career.

4. Bob Sauve-1985-1987 Suave went 38-32-7 in between the pipes for Chicago during his 84 games started in Chicago. In his 420 game NHL career he went 182-154-54

5. Jacques Cloutier-2000-2001 Cloutier played 53 games in Chicago scoring 20 goals and 18 assists. He finished in Quebec in 1994 playing in 255 games scoring 82 goals and 102 assists.

6. Jeff Hackett 1993-1998 Hackett came to the Hawks from San Jose for a 3rd round pick and during his tenure in Chicago he went 61-63-25 before getting moved to the Montreal Canadiens for Jocelyn Thibault.

7. Marc Lamothe-2000 Lamothe played 2 games with the Hawks going 1-1.

8. Craig Anderson-2003-2006 Anderson played 50 games with the Hawks going 12-29-6 and while he struggled during his time for the Hawks between the pipes he’s become one of the best goalies in the league while playing for the Ottawa Senators. After a slow start to his career he’s raised his career totals to 168-135-40

9. Brian Boucher-2007 Boucher made a 15 game pit stop with the Blackhawks during his 328 game career. During his stay he picked up a goal and 10 assists.  His career totals are 120 goals and 139 assists.

10. Antti Niemi-2009-2010 Niemi’s stay with the Hawks was very brief only 41 games, but it isn’t his regular season stats that anyone will remember Niemi for in 2010.  Everyone will remember Niemi for helping the Hawks end the 49 year streak without a Stanley Cup.  Niemi has 16 playoff wins with Chicago and then signed a free agent contract with the San Jose Sharks. Patrick Kane jumping into Niemi’s arms will always be one of the best Blackhawks memories ever.

There you have it! We are down to 31 days until opening night.

Next: Why The Hawks Will Repeat

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