Antti Raanta: ‘I Was So Pissed’ In Chicago
When Antti Raanta was sent to the New York Rangers this offseason, it did not make a lot of headlines. The assumption was that Scott Darling had simply outplayed him for the backup role, and there was no room left on the roster. Apparently there was more resentment behind-the-scenes than what was initially reported.
Speaking to Finnish news outlet Ilta-Sanomat, Raanta was quoted saying that he was hoping that the Nashville Predators would sweep the Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs this year, so he could go back home to Finland sooner.
Says Raanta: “With fingers crossed I hoped NSH would beat us (CHI) in four so I could get back to Finland sooner. I was so pissed.”
— Vesa Rantanen (@vrantanen) September 2, 2015
Raanta would go on to say that he wished he remained in Rockford, the AHL affiliate, to play in their playoffs. He did not enjoy sitting in the press box as the third string goaltender. In the Stanley Cup final games in Tampa Bay, he apparently had to sit in the dressing room and watch the games because there was no room for him in the press box.
“They had such a small TV in the locker room in Tampa, you really couldn’t see the game. I spent more time playing with my phone.”
While the news itself isn’t that shocking, the complete honesty of the comments by Raanta is. The report, although it has been translated multiple times, was originally written in Finnish, so some of the intricacy of the language used may have been lost in translation. Still, in a world where cookie-cutter athlete comments have become the norm – it’s interesting to see such honesty from a player.
The 25-year-old Raanta appeared in 14 games with the Blackhawks in 2014-2015. He played fantastically well, going 7-4-1, with a .936 save percentage – saving the Blackhawks 8.2 goals against above league average. Those numbers would still not be good enough, as Darling stole the backup role and received a contract extension. Raanta was also quoted in the interview saying that Darling’s height may have been a factor in winning the job, as head coach Joel Quenneville is a big fan of his size.
Despite the resentment, Raanta will still receive a ring, and get his name engraved on the Stanley Cup. He spent a day with it earlier this summer, taking it to his hometown of Rauma, Finland.