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Analysis

Former Chicago Blackhawks We’d Like To See, Not See Again In Chicago

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Apr 2, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) brings the puck up ice as Buffalo Sabres left wing C.J. Smith (49) pursues during the first period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 2, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) brings the puck up ice as Buffalo Sabres left wing C.J. Smith (49) pursues during the first period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports /
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chicago blackhawks
Mar 22, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Antti Raanta (32) makes a stick save against the New York Islanders during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports /

Antti Raanta

Here’s an interesting one. Raanta was the backup goaltender who did a fine job behind Corey Crawford in 2013-14 and 2014-15, but he was still overtaken by Scott Darling. Then there was the awkward rumor Raanta had trashed the Blackhawks after being traded to the New York Rangers in 2015.

But Raanta is still a fine backup goaltender. He collected 27 wins, didn’t post a save percentage worse than .919 and didn’t post a goals-against average worse than 2.27 across his two seasons with the Rangers. He was just recently moved to the Arizona Coyotes in the multi-player deal, and he’ll presumably have a chance to start there now that Mike Smith is on the outs.

Would Raanta be a better option right now than Anton Forsberg, the Blackhawks’ likely backup heading into 2017-18? Probably. Raanta has more proven NHL experience. But he’s probably not someone the Blackhawks can mold into a longer-term starter. Forsberg at least is.

Raanta comes with a cap hit of just $1 million though, so if Forsberg needed another year of AHL seasoning, I’d be interested in pulling Raanta back into the fold.

Should Blackhawks want him back: Yes, if they think Forsberg is not ready to be a full-time backup.

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