The New York Rangers have re-signed Antti Raanta to a two-year, $2 million contract. It seemed pretty likely that he was going to stay with the team, and it was really only a matter of how much we were going to pay him. He’s a phenomenal backup goaltender and did very well this year, but it’s important that we didn’t overpay him since we have other free agents that need more money. Thankfully, the Rangers got him relatively cheap.
Raanta finished the season with a .919 save% as well as a 2.24 goals against, all in 25 games. The problem is that Raanta didn’t get as much playing time as he should have, and that’s where it looks like this may have been an over-payment. At one point during the season he only had played in one game during the entire month, which is ridiculous.
Henrik Lundqvist is 34-years-old, and while he still might be in tremendous shape, the years are certainly getting to him. He can’t afford to be playing in 15+ straight starts, especially when the Rangers would theoretically need him for the six or seven weeks of the playoffs. Raanta needs to be trusted more, much like Cam Talbot was, and he needs to get significantly more playing time. He’s certainly deserved it. If AV plans to play Raanta the same amount as he did last year, then the Rangers shouldn’t have given him anything more than $800k a year, since it would be a significant waste of money. However, the team seems to have confidence in him getting the nod more often, which is nice to hear.
Either way, what’s done is done and the Rangers have secured a wonderful backup who clearly loves the organization, city, environment, and his teammates. Now it’s time for the Rangers to buckle down and get to work re-signing his buddies, specifically Keith Yandle, Chris Kreider, JT Miller, Dylan Mcilrath, and Kevin Hayes. Yandle’s going to want north of $6 million, and he completely deserves it. Time to get the checkbook out.