Hawks' signing of Khabibulin doesn't shock Raanta
Finnish goaltender Antti Raanta was not surprised when he heard the Blackhawks had signed veteran Nikolai Khabibulin to be Corey Crawford's backup next season.
Some had assumed the job would be Raanta's once Ray Emery left as a free agent to sign with Philadelphia.
"It was kind of obvious they were going to take some goalie there," Raanta said. "They didn't promise me that I'm going to be in the first two goalies. I knew that I have to make lots of work to get games in the NHL, but I'm ready for that and if I have to go to AHL, I'm ready for that also."
The Hawks have decided to hold Raanta out of the remainder of prospects camp this week because of what the club is calling a minor injury.
Raanta came to Chicago anyway to have the Hawks' doctors look at the injury.
"It's a minor injury and it came last year from Finland, so the doctors will see it and they're going to make the decision what to do," Raanta said. "It's going to be like a short break, not so long."
The 24-year-old Raanta, who was named the MVP in the regular season and playoffs playing for Assat Pori in SM-Liiga in Finland, was hoping to get a head start this week on adjusting to the smaller ice surfaces in the NHL.
"I was hoping to go on the ice and take note of the rink size, because it's smaller than (I'm used to), but I hopefully I have time to go on the ice when the training camp starts and be ready for there," Raanta said. "I think guys are coming a lot harder to the net and of course the angles are different than I'm used to. But we'll see when I get to the ice, hopefully pretty soon."
This is Raanta's first time in the U.S.
"I'm from a city with 38,000 people in Finland, so at the airport there was much more people than in my hometown, so it was kind of fun," he said. "Like the whole city, it's unreal. You have seen it in the movies, but you have never been here, so I'm looking forward to it, go see more of the city and get some shopping in."
Raanta compared his style to Boston's Tuukka Rask.
"Well, like Tuukka Rask, he's fast and he's playing that kind of style that I like to be," Raanta said. "All the good goalies you want to be like, but I think I have a little of my own style also and it has been working out."
No-no for Bieber:
Pop star Justin Bieber, who played the United Center on Tuesday night, was caught committing a cardinal sin inside the Hawks' dressing room: He stood on the Indian Head logo while snapping a picture of the Stanley Cup.
Anyone who has ever been in the dressing room knows stepping on the logo is a sign if disrespect and one thing the players cannot accept. Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith and Corey Crawford are the captains of the so-called logo police.
At least two Hawks took to Twitter after seeing the photo, Brandon Bollig and Andrew Shaw.
"Bro no stepping on the logo @justinbieber that's money on the board! #gutty," tweeted Shaw.
As for Bollig, he wondered who the most despised person in Chicago was now, Bieber or Raffi Torres: "After this stunt I'm not sure who's disliked more in Chicago. Bieber or Torres? #TossUp," tweeted Bollig.
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