Tag Archives: Antti Raanta

Hawks say goodbye to Antti Raanta; Now look to solve depth goaltending puzzle again

By Chris Block

For the time being, goaltending is suddenly in short supply once again for the Blackhawks.

On Saturday after completion of the NHL Entry Draft, Hawks general manager Stan Bowman traded goaltender Antti Raanta to the New York Rangers in exchange for minor league forward Ryan Haggerty.

Haggerty, 22, will be a second year pro this coming season. He posted 15 goals and 18 assists in playing all 76 regular season games for the Hartford Wolf Pack in 2014-15. Haggerty notched 2 goals and 4 assists in 14 playoff games for Hartford.

The undrafted right winger out of R.P.I. is a Stamford, CT native and figures to add nice layer of scoring to the IceHogs.

Haggerty is familiar with IceHogs rookie defenseman Michael Paliotta. The due played two seasons together in the United States National Development Team Program. Haggerty is six weeks older than Paliotta. Read more »


Salary Cap and Reality of Off Season Now Set; A look at Blackhawks position and options

[As I noted on Twitter last week, our Summer Blackhawks prospect rankings, originally scheduled for release on Monday, will be delayed due to a family emergency that had me pulled away and out of town last week. I don’t want to commit to a new date just yet, but I am working on it. The draft has taken precedent now. Thanks to all who sent nice notes the past week. I was off the grid for the most part. To those I didn’t get back to, I do appreciate it.]

By Chris Block

Today will kick-off our draft week coverage with the requisite state of the Blackhawks roster business in the wake of the salary cap becoming official for next season.

The Blackhawks currently do not own a 1st round selection in the NHL Draft this Friday in Sunrise, Florida. Chicago occupies just 2 spots over the initial 120 picks in the 2015 NHL Draft. You can expect that to change between now and this weekend, with the Hawks eyeing picks in return for some currently rostered players. Of course, a lot of that has to do with the situation the Blackhawks are in now because of new contracts kicking in, others still to be hammered out and the salary cap being the primary enemy of the defending Stanley Cup Champs.

2015-16 Salary Cap Guidelines Set

NHL released its parameters for the 2015-16 salary cap on Tuesday in conjunction with the National Hockey League Players Association per terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The new “upper limit” is set at $71.4 million, up $2.4M from the 2014-15 season. Read more »


Interview with Antti Raanta on his demotion, the trade deadline, his future and playing for a Cup in Rockford

Raanta_IceHogs_2015Mar06_OKCAntti Raanta, March 6, 2015 in Rockford vs Oklahoma City
Photo courtesy of Rockford IceHogs

By Chris Block

“When they said I was going down (to Rockford) – you just have so many questions inside your head. You try to figure it out, like ‘what did I do wrong?’” – Antti Raanta

Antti Raanta couldn’t have done much better for the Blackhawks this season.

In 12 starts and 14 appearances overall, the Blackhawks’ backup goalie went 7-4-1 with a 1.89 goals against average and .936 save percentage. He posted two shutouts, which is the same number of shutouts as Corey Crawford has tallied through 52 starts in 2014-15.

But after parts of two seasons under Joel Quenneville’s watch, the six-foot one inch Raanta fell down the depth chart in some key decision makers minds with the emergence this year of the 6’6” Scott Darling.

Quenneville was one of those minds.

Raanta last appeared for the Hawks in relief duty of a 6-2 drubbing by Boston at the United Center on February 22. Raanta entered more than halfway into the second period when the Hawks were already down 4-1. Read more »


Hapless Blackhawks Fall 6-2 to Bruins

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks came up with a cringe-worthy effort against the visiting Boston Bruins Sunday afternoon. Boston chased Corey Crawford from the crease and dominated in all phases of the game.

The Blackhawks were soundly defeated, losing 6-2 in front of a national audience on NBC. With the loss, Chicago is now 2-2-3 on a home stand that looked to be full of winnable games a couple of weeks ago.

First Period-Boston was the first to score three minutes into the game. Patrice Bergeron got behind Michael Rozsival at the left post and was right there to take a backhanded feed from Reilly Smith. Read more »


Hossa Not Enough: Hawks return home, drop 3-2 shootout decision to Arizona

By Chris Block

Returning to their home ice for the first time since a 6-1 drubbing of the Arizona Coyotes on January 20th, the Blackhawks faced off with the same desert sons on Monday night in front of 21,337 fans, the 302nd consecutive sellout crowd at United Center.

Marian Hossa repeated his efforts from Sunday’s win in St. Louis, again posting 2 goals in this, the Blackhawks first home game in 20 days, on Marian Hossa bobblehead night nonetheless.

Hossa was in top form Monday. The relentless back-checking, puck-hounding, puck-sniping beast that he has earned him a reputation as one of the game’s premier all-around performers put in a near perfect effort on his end.

But his two goals were not enough on Monday, as a late second period Patrick Kane unsportsmanlike penalty allowed Arizona to check back into a game they were largely being neutralized within up to that point. And a miraculous Mike Smith goal line stand with 16.3 seconds left in overtime kept the Blackhawks from returning to Chicago in winning fashion.

Lucas Lessio and Antoine Vermette beat Antti Raanta with different slick maneuverings in the shootout, while Patrick Kane was the lone Blackhawk to convert on Smith. Read more »


Sharks’ Antti Bests Hawks Antti to 2-0 Sharks Win

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks finished the month of January 6-6-1 after being shut out in San Jose Saturday night. Former Blackhawks goaltender Antti Niemi had a big night, stopping all 31 shots tossed his way as the Sharks beat Chicago 2-0.

(Note-I’m breaking my own format a bit tonight. Rather than offer three periods of “Niemi says no,” I’ll just tell you that while both goalies were stingy Saturday, this was Niemi’s victory.)

The only goal San Jose would need came five minutes into the game. Melker Karlsson brought the puck across the Chicago blue line and fed defenseman Matt Irwin at the top of the left circle. Irwin’s attempt came off Antti Raanta’s pads and provided a second chance for Karlsson. Raanta kept the shot out of the net again but couldn’t control the rebound. Karlsson was able to collect the loose puck and slip it between the Hawks goalie and the left post. Read more »


2015 Chicago Blackhawks Prospect Rankings

Teravainen_2014Nov21_IceHogs“Turbo” Teuvo Teravainen, photo: Rockford IceHogs

By Chris Block


Qualifications for this list include being under the age of 26 on the final day of the 2014-15 regular season. This excluded Scott Darling, Brandon Mashinter (each 26 now) and T. J. Brennan from consideration for these rankings.

The other qualifier is the player must have no more than 25 NHL games played in the current season or no more than a total of 40 NHL career games played at the time of these rankings.

These rankings and short bios were first published on January 16th and are as of January 15, 2015. As you’ll read, the extended bios took a little longer to write and at that point I decided to do a writeup on every Blackhawks prospect who would qualify for this list, even those who fell below the top 25. To me, there was no added value in ranking the players 1-40, so I decided against that.

The rankings are formed by a weighted formula that leans heavily to skill, career potential and probability of impact at the NHL level.  To clear any confusion, how close a player is to playing in the NHL, or being there at times now, does not factor in. Read more »


Shaw strikes twice, Hawks find stride in 6-1 stomping of the Coyotes

By Brad Vandenberk

After dropping two straight divisional games at home, the taste of losing was on the Hawks’ tongues. It just took a quick stir of the drink to make everything better, and a visit from the Arizona Coyotes also helps.

Coach Q, coaching his 500th game in the Hawks organization, tinkered the line up just slightly to get certain players going. Andrew Shaw got the message, scoring two goals on route to a 6 -1 routing of the desert dogs.

Teuvo Teravainen (1G, 1A) and Bryan Bickell (2A) added to the newly third line. Patrick Sharp (2A) also helped ignite the second line alongside Brad Richards (2A) and Patrick Kane (1G, 2A). That lined combined for 9 points with Kane scoring his 200th career goal all with Chicago, being the 20th player in Blackhawk history to achieve that mark. Even the defense core received a face lift with Duncan Keith mentoring David Rundblad, forcing Brent Seabrook to partner with Niklas Hjalmarsson. Johnny Oduya and Michael Rozsival rounding out the bottom pairing. Read more »


Off night for Raanta, Hawks; Oilers skid away late to 5-2 win in Edmonton

By Brad Vandenberk

Just when you think Edmonton was a place you could walk into a get a win, think again. The Hawks came in from their victory in Minnesota last night and looked sluggish the entire night. Mental errors were apparent all over the ice as they let the NHL’s worst, beat them 5-2. Brandon Saad scored the only two goals with Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews collecting 2 assists. Saad’s goals were very similar grabbing rebounds off Ben Scrivens’ pads. Antti Raanta was also a shoe in to start as Corey Crawford played the night previous.

Dan Carcillo was sent to the press box once again with Teuvo Teravainen back in the fold.   Tim Erixon and injured Kris Versteeg were also not in the lineup. Teravainen really made a statement making some picturesque passes cross ice finding Patrick Sharp, Andrew Shaw and David Rundblad on a few opportunities. He wasn’t that mighty with the sluggish Hawks being unable to connect on his standout performance. Read more »


Jets chase Crawford, Winnipeg skates to 5-1 win

By Brad Vandenberk

After playing with heart hearts on Sunday after the tragic loss of Clint Reif, the Blackhawks hosted the Winnipeg Jets. Most of the Jets players were once part of the Hawks organization so this made for an emotional match up. The Jets played a picture perfect road game and made the Hawks look like the defeated team they have been the past few days. Corey Crawford was pulled at the 4:30 mark of the 1st period leaving Antti Raanta in the crease to finish this 5-1 loss. This is the last game before a 3 day NHL Christmas break and it couldn’t have come a better time for the Hawks. Spending time with family and friends is exactly what is required to refocus before they visit Colorado on Saturday.

Brad Richards missed his second consecutive game with an upper body injury. Although he did take part in the morning skate which means he’s not far from returning. David Rundblad was in and Tim Erixon was scratched for this game. Michael Hutchinson made 38 of 39 saves to win again at the United Center. The last time Hutchinson played the Hawks was on November 2nd stealing a shutout in a 1-0 win. Read more »