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Blackhawks re-sign Ben Smith, Raanta

Antti Raanta

Antti Raanta


The Chicago Blackhawks have announced that goaltender Antti Raanta and forward Ben Smith have agreed to two-year contract extensions. They were eligible to become restricted free agents on Tuesday.

Raanta’s deal is worth $1.5 million while Smith will earn $3 million over the life of his contract, per ESPN/TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.

After some brief stints with the Blackhawks over the last few years, Smith firmly established himself in 2013-14 by scoring 14 goals and 26 points in 75 games. He helped the team kill penalties and served as a bottom-six forward. Chicago wasn’t afraid to use him in the playoffs either and Smith ended up averaging 15:13 minutes per contest in Chicago’s postseason run, up from 12:44 minutes in the regular season.

Raanta also had a big season in 2013-14. Although Nikolai Khabibulin was supposed to serve as Corey Crawford’s understudy, Khabibulin was sidelined for almost the entire campaign. Raanta took his place, posting a 2.71 GAA and .897 save percentage in 25 games.

The 25-year-old goaltender is expected to continue to serve as Chicago’s backup now that he’s re-signed.

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