AUTHOR EDIT: With Chicago trading a 2015 2nd round pick and a conditional 2016 4th round pick for Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Kimmo Timonen, I would figure that the Blackhawks are no longer in the market for Jeff Petry.
Bruce McCurdy from the Edmonton Journal was the first to suggest Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Antti Raanta might be a fit in Edmonton, and Sportsnet's Mark Spector confirmed this morning that he could be on the move.
Remember Antti Raanta, the best goalie not in the NHL from 2013? He can be had from CHI now. They like Scott Darling more.— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) February 27, 2015
Prior to coming to the NHL in 2013 as a free agent, Raanta led Ässät in the SM-Liiga to a league championship, and in the 2012-2013 season, he posted a 1.85 GAA and .943 SV% in 45 GP.
On top of that, he also won awards for Goaltender of the year, best player of the regular season, as well as best player in the playoffs (Jari Kurri Award!!!). Source.
Since signing a two-year extension with the Blackhawks in June of 2014, all he has done is post numbers similar to those in Finland. In 14 games this season he has posted a 1.89 GAA and a .936 SV%.
On February 23rd, Raanta was sent down to the Blackhawks AHL affiliate, the Rockford Icehogs and in one game, he has a 2.00 GAA and a .943 SV%.
According to War On Ice, the 25-year old carries a $.750 million AAV and is a UFA at the end of next season.
Where does he fit?
Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times had this to say in regards to Raanta:
And later in the same article:
Bowman was asked if he expected Raanta to be with the team long-term, and didn’t offer a direct response, instead saying the backup goalie switch was done to give the struggling Hawks "a jolt" and to get Raanta some playing time.
As Lazerus notes, Jeff Petry has been linked to the Blackhawks for sometime as they are in need of some more defensive depth heading into the playoffs.
I think at this point, making a move for Raanta is one that could be beneficial to the Oilers. He would slide in and likely be thrusted into the starting role as the the Scrivens/Fasth tandem fell flat on their face this year.
Giving Raanta the opportunity to come in and steal the starting job is one I am sure he would be very welcoming of.
What do you think?