Raanta holds no ill will toward Blackhawks

New York Rangers backup goaltender Antti Raanta kept cool in his return to the Windy City for Wednesday's season opener against the Chicago Blackhawks.
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Antti Raanta has cooled down considerably since his heat-of-the-moment comments in the summer put him in hot water.

Raanta kept his emotions in check in his return to the Windy City on Wednesday prior to the New York Rangers' season-opening game versus the Chicago Blackhawks. The backup goaltender was traded to the Rangers a mere 12 days after the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in June.

Raanta reiterated that he was briefly upset after falling behind backup Scott Darling on the depth chart when he told Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat that he was rooting against Chicago in the playoffs. The 26-year-old Raanta also told reporters that he had made peace with having his name left off the Stanley Cup as well.

“I didn’t want to say anything bad about the 'Hawks,” the 26-year-old Raanta told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I understand the fans can be a little disappointed in me. But hopefully they understand I wasn’t thinking that the whole playoff time. It was one hour in one day. When you're frustrated, you have a lot of things going on in your mind.”

Chicago cited a numbers game for its reason for leaving Raanta's name off the Stanley Cup. The Blackhawks must submit 52 names, with the lone rule for inclusion being a player must appear in 41 of the team's 82 regular-season contests or at least one Stanley Cup final game. Raanta (7-4-1 with two shutouts and a 1.89 goals-against average) played in only 14 contests, but dressed as a backup to either Corey Crawford or Darling in more than the requirement.

“I didn’t know what to think about that,” Raanta told CSN Chicago. “There's a number of how many names you can put on there. It’s not there, so it’s not there. I know I was part of the team, so that’s good enough. What are you going to do?”

Raanta did receive quite a consolation prize on Wednesday when Blackhawks vice president Al MacIsaac presented him with a championship ring. The ring has 355 round, pear, marquise and princess-cut diamonds totaling 10.8 carats and is set in 14-karat white gold.