Former Chicago Blackhawks goalie Antti Raanta sounds just a little salty about how his final days with the Stanley Cup champs played out.
Raanta was the primary backup behind Corey Crawford for much of last season, but he lost his spot to Scott Darling when the playoffs rolled around. Darling ended up filling in for Crawford in the opening round and leading the Blackhawks over the Nashville Predators in six games.
Raanta, who was traded to the New York Rangers after the season, revealed Wednesday that throughout that playoff series, he was hoping his team would just lose already.
Those bad vibes didn’t stop Raanta from taking the Cup back to his native Finland, however, and now, the 26-year-old is looking for a fresh start in the Big Apple.
“At first you get a little bit excited, because it’s a great opportunity,” Raanta told the Chicago Sun-Times shortly after the trade. “But it’s a little sad also. It’s a great organization in Chicago, and everybody has been great to me. They gave me an opportunity to play hockey, and to win the Stanley Cup. But I’m looking forward and I’m excited to go to New York and get a fresh start again.”
Raanta appeared in 14 games last season, posting a 1.89 goals against average and .936 save percentage. He’s expected to back up starting Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist.
UPDATE (3:30 p.m. ET): Raanta has, per Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times, denied rooting against the Blackhawks, saying he’s “not that kind of guy.”
S/t Eye on Hockey
Thumbnail photo via Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports Images