Jul 10, 2013, 10:52 AM EDT
Antti Raanta, the talented Finnish netminder that signed with the Blackhawks in early June, says he has no problem with the club acquiring veteran Nikolai Khabibulin to pair with Corey Crawford next season.
‘‘It was kind of obvious that they were going to take some goalie there,’’ he told the Chicago Sun-Times. ‘‘They didn’t promise me that I was going to be in the first two goalies, so I knew I had to [do] a lot of work to get upstairs and get games in the NHL.’’
Raanta, 24, was named SM-liiga playoff MVP this season after capturing the Jari Kurri Trophy, Finland’s equivalent to the Conn Smythe. He posted a 1.33 GAA and .955 save percentage in the playoffs for Assat, backstopping the club to the league championship.
That award capped off a banner campaign in which he also won the league’s top goaltender award and regular season MVP.
Unsurprisingly, there were a number of NHL teams interested in securing Raanta’s services.
Chicago beat out the likes of Minnesota, Winnipeg and Edmonton, and it looked as though Raanta was in line for a backup job at the NHL level after Ray Emery — who teamed with Crawford to win the Jennings Trophy last season — signed in Philadelphia.
But shortly after Emery inked with the Flyers, the ‘Hawks brought back Khabibulin, who played in Chicago from 2005-09.
Rannata, to his credit, seemed unfazed by the development.
“If I have to go to the AHL, I’m ready for that, ” he explained. “I just have to take the pucks and try to be the No. 1 goalie in Rockford and in the NHL sometime.”
- Report: John Hynes to be named head coach of the Devils 12
- Ex-Leafs goalie Pogge eyeing North American return 3
- Poll: Should the Ducks fire Boudreau? 57
- Zuccarello (brain contusion, skull fracture) was unable to speak after injury 26
- Overtime format highlights competition committee meeting agenda 16
- Report: Changes coming to compensation for executives 23
- Here’s your 2015 Stanley Cup Final schedule 33
- ‘Hawks rise to occasion in Game 7, head to SCF for third time in six years 95
- WATCH LIVE: Blackhawks at Ducks, Western Conference Final Game 7 5
- After prepping for three years, Franson excited to test free agency 9
- ‘Hawks rise to occasion in Game 7, head to SCF for third time in six years (95)
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers (76)
- Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win (65)
- Despite getting further than ever before, big game letdowns continue to haunt Boudreau (64)
- Poll: Should the Ducks fire Boudreau? (60)