It seems goaltender Antti Raanta is caught in a case of he said/he said.
A Finnish newspaper reported that the former Chicago Blackhawks backup goaltender was not happy with how his now-former NHL team handled him during their tin to the Stanley Cup and that he was rooting against this team.
Raanta denied the report, telling the Chicago Sun-Times that he, “never said anything like that.”
The incident in question stemmed from before the post-season, when Raanta was demoted in favour of Scott Darling and sent down to the AHL-affiliate Rockford IceHogs.
He was called up by the big club shortly after to be the third-string goalie behind Corey Crawford and Darling — an insurance policy, essentially — and didn’t expect to get any playing time. (He was right — he didn’t hit NHL ice that spring.)
The Finnish newspaper said a disgruntled Raanta, who has since been traded to the New York Rangers, was rooting for his team to lose in the first round so he could head home to Finland for an early start to the off-season.
While Raanta admits the frustration at the time was real — albeit temporary — he insists the quote is not.
“I’m not that kind of guy that I would say something like that, and hope my team to lose, even if I’m not [playing] goalie,” he said.