A report from Ilta-Sanomat claimed that goaltender Antti Raanta hoped that the Nashville Predators would sweep his Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the 2015 playoffs. Raanta has since denied making those comments, but the man who interviewed him, Juha Luotola, says he has it on tape.
At the same time, Luotola feels that the quote being passed around lacks context as it was just one line from a talk that lasted hours.
“Antti was frustrated after Chicago send him [a] second time [to the] AHL and he told me truly how he felt,” Luotola said, per CSN Chicago. “Statement looks bad if you read only one line from story. It’s easy to [be] misunderstood and get away from the full story. But I also know that Antti didn’t mean that in bad way. It was just his way to explain how frustrated he was: bad feeling last couple hours and after that, he was happy to be a part of team again.”
Luotola also noted that the goaltender had a lot of great things to say about his time with the Blackhawks.
Although Raanta had a 1.89 GAA and .936 save percentage in 14 games last season, he ultimately lost the backup job to Scott Darling. Chicago dealt him to the New York Rangers in exchange for Ryan Haggerty this summer.
Former Blackhawks’ goaltender Antti Raanta refuted a report by Ilta-Sanomat, which said he was cheering against Chicago during the Stanley Cup playoffs.
According to the Finnish newspaper, Raanta had hoped the Nashville Predators would sweep the Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs.
“With fingers crossed I hoped (Nashville) would beat us in four so I could get back to Finland sooner. I was so pissed,” Raanta said per Vesa Rantanen.
When reached by Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times, Raanta denied the comments.
“I have never said anything like that,” he said.
The 26-year-old appeared in 14 games with the Blackhawks last season posting a 7-4-1 record to go along with a 2.39 G.A.A. and a .918 save percentage. Raanta was demoted to the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs in favor of Scott Darling in February.
Instead of staying with the IceHogs during the Calder Cup playoffs, Chicago recalled Raanta to be the club’s third string goaltender.
“I’m not that kind of guy that I would say something like that, and hope my team to lose, even if I’m not paying goalie,” Raanta said.
Chicago dealt Raanta to the New York Rangers in June.
For those wondering, the Rangers open their regular season schedule on Oct. 7 in Chicago.
Former Chicago netminder Antti Raanta — traded to the Rangers at the draft after losing his backup gig to Scott Darling — was apparently none too pleased with how his time as a Blackhawk ended.
From Finnish news outlet Ilta-Sanomat:
Despite posting relatively solid numbers over parts of two seasons with Chicago — 34-20-9, .912 save percentage, 2.41 GAA — Raanta fell out of favor with head coach Joel Quenneville last year, and was eventually supplanted by Darling, who briefly took over the No. 1 gig during the playoffs.
In that same Ilta-Sanomat interview, Raanta touched on his relationship with coach Q.
From Puck Daddy:
According to Raanta, Blackhawks were suffering of weak team spirit and head coach Joel Quenneville didn’t seem to like him.
“I noticed that coach didn’t like me, in that position it is pretty difficult to fight the windmills,” Raanta said.
Last season, Raanta was demoted to AHL Rockford in February after allowing two goals on 16 shots in a loss to the Bruins, Chicago’s fifth loss in seven games on an eight-game homestand.
Darling was promoted, and the B’s game proved be Raanta’s last in a ‘Hawks uniform.