<
>

Antti Raanta refutes quote he rooted against Blackhawks

On Wednesday, Antti Raanta refuted a quote recently attributed to him in a Finland publication saying he was rooting for the Chicago Blackhawks to be swept in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs while he was a backup goaltender for the team the past season.

Raanta was quoted in the Satakunnan Kansa as saying (translated from Finnish), “Fingers crossed hoping that Nashville defeated us in four straight matches and get quickly to Finland.”

Raanta confirmed he held an extensive interview with Satakunnan Kansa and discussed his frustrations after he was recalled by the Blackhawks from the AHL prior to the playoffs, only to sit on the bench, but he denied saying he wanted the Blackhawks to lose to the Nashville Predators in the first round.

“I haven’t said that,” Raanta said Wednesday. “I have only said that when I was going back up and knew that I’m not going to play anymore, I was really frustrated. AHL playoff was starting also, and I wanted to play those games. Everybody was great for me when I went back Chicago, so it helped me to work hard and staying ready. Why would I say that kind of stuff when my dream came true, and I’m Stanley Cup champion?”

Raanta was concerned about how people perceived him due to the comments.

“It’s a pretty s----- situation right now because everyone’s thinking the worst about me -- that I’m the stupidest person in the world,” Raanta said. “That’s not what I want to be, and that’s not what I am. Of course, I’m really upset about the whole situation [and] how it turned out.”

Satakunnan Kansa sports editor Juha Luotola, who interviewed Raanta for the story, declined to comment when contacted via an email.

The Blackhawks traded Raanta to the New York Rangers in June. He was 20-8-5 with a 2.41 goals-against average and .912 save percentage in 39 games for the Blackhawks over two seasons.