Antti Raanta ready if Blackhawks need him (but he hopes they don’t)Continue reading.
Blackhawks sign Ben Smith, Jeremy Morin and Antti Raanta to two-year extensions
The Blackhawks opened draft day by agreeing to terms on two-year contract extensions with all three of their restricted free agents — Ben Smith, Jeremy Morin and Antti Raanta. Smith’s deal is worth $1.5 million per season, while ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun reported that Raanta’s is worth $750,000 a season, and Morin’s is worth $800,000 a season.
The 25-year-old Smith finally cracked the Hawks lineup for good in 2013-14, with 14 goals and 12 assists in 75 games as the Hawks’ fourth-line right wing. The sixth-round pick in 2008 also had four goals and two assists in 19 playoff games, showing his versatility by faring well during a brief stint at second-line center.
The 23-year-old Morin had five goals and six assists in 24 games last season, while posting 24 goals and 23 assists in 47 games with Rockford of the AHL.
Raanta will return as Corey Crawford’s backup in goal. Raanta didn’t play much after the Olympics as Crawford got the bulk of the work, but he shined in November and December when Crawford was injured. The 25-year-old Finn went 13-5-4 with a 2.71 goals-against average and a .897 save percentage.
Michal Handzus, Peter Regin, Sheldon Brookbank and Nikolai Khabibulin are all unrestricted free agents. Handzus and Khabibulin certainly won’t return, while Brookbank and Regin are on the bubble.