by PuckStopsHere on 06/04/13 at 12:02 AM ET
At this point in the playoffs the Chicago Blackhawks have to be the favorite to win the Stanley Cup. They won the Presidents Trophy and are up two games to none against Los Angeles. The earlier Stanley Cup favorite the Pittsburgh Penguins are two games behind the Boston Bruins. With the success of their Stanley Cup run, it would be easy to imagine that is all the Chicago Blackhawks were doing but they have made a move that could pay big dividends into the future. Chicago signed the best goalie who is not currently in the NHL. They signed Antti Raanta from Finland. He is a 24 year old who has improved every season of his career in Finland to date and this year he was the MVP of the Finnish Elite League in both the regular season and also in the playoffs. He posted a remarkable .943 saves percentage and a 1.85 GAA.
While Corey Crawford is yet to establish himself as a top goalie and he has never been a serious Vezina candidate, he is having a good playoff. Chicago's number one goalie position is pretty safe for now. It is the backup position that Raanta is expected to take over. Chicago's current backup goalie, Ray Emery is an unrestricted free agent this summer. I imagine he will not be back in Chicago.
Raanta is likely a more than capable NHL backup goalie and he possesses the potential to take over as a number one goalie in the future. Chicago made a big move to help secure their future today and their present looks pretty good also. That is a sign of a well-run franchise.
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