New York Rangers Re-Sign Antti Raanta
The New York Rangers have wasted no time in getting their offseason started. Having only been out of the playoffs for just over a week, the team set to work getting their backup goaltending spot solidified. The Rangers announced Monday that they have re-signed backup goaltender Antti Raanta. The deal is reported to be a two-year contract at a very cap-friendly $1 Million per year.
— Antti Raanta (@ARaanta31) May 2, 2016
Raanta was traded to the Rangers last offseason after the Chicago Blackhawks determined that he was expendable with the rise of Scott Darling. This was despite Raanta’s more-than-solid performance for the Chicago club, which saw him with a .942 at 5v5 in 14 games (compared to Darling’s .948 in similar ice time.) Raanta was unusually honest about how this affected him, saying that at one point he hoped Chicago would exit the postseason in 4 games so that he could return to Finland.
After the trade to New York, the Rauma, Finland, native continued to put up great games with the Rangers playing behind the always excellent Henrik Lundqvist. In 25 games, Raanta had a .928 save percentage at 5v5 and a .919 overall. It was not as high a flight as he managed in Chicago but certainly enough to justify the Rangers’ faith in him.
The move gives New York some confidence in net for the net two years. Lundqvist is 34 years old now, and while his net-out style is contained and efficient enough to need fewer aging adjustments than some, he will still require sufficient rest to continue to be the rock on which the Rangers are built. Raanta’s performance thus far has been solid enough that the team should have little concern about his ability to step in when needed.