Official: ‘Hawks sign star Finnish goalie
The Chicago Blackhawks have agreed to terms with Finnish goalie Antti Raanta, according to Juha Hiitela of Urheilusanomat.
Raanta, 24, was named SM-liiga playoff MVP this season after -- capturing the Jari Kurri Trophy, Finland’s equivalent to the Conn Smythe -- while posting a 1.33 GAA and .955 save percentage for Assat, backstopping the club to the league championship.
That award capped off a banner campaign in which he also won the league’s top goaltender award and regular-season MVP.
Unsurprisingly, there were a number of NHL teams interested in securing Raanta’s services.
One of them was the Minnesota Wild, who are facing some questions in goal this summer with Niklas Backstrom becoming a UFA and only Josh Harding, Darcy Kuemper and Johan Gustafsson behind him.
Hiitela reports the Jets and Oilers were also believed to be in the running.
Signing with Chicago is certainly an interesting move. The ‘Hawks are currently locked into Corey Crawford and Ray Emery, though neither is signed past 2014 (Emery is a UFA this summer, Crawford next summer).