Nothing went exactly the way that Arizona Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta had hoped in the first half of the season. However, one thing the goaltender hopes is that he can prove to his team that he is a number one netminder, something he hasn’t accomplished so far this year, according to Arizona Sports Craig Morgan.
Acquired as part of a major package this offseason along with center Derek Stepan for defensive prospect Anthony DeAngelo and the seventh-overall pick in the 2017 draft (Lias Andersson), Raanta was supposed to make people forget about longtime veteran Mike Smith, who the team traded to Calgary in the offseason. Instead, Raanta has spent quite a bit of time on injured reserve with two lower-body ailments and a concussion and has only appeared in 21 games, posting a 2.82 GAA and a .915 save percentage.
“I’m waiting for him to get into a rhythm,” general manager John Chayka said Tuesday. “I don’t think you can evaluate him until he gets into a rhythm. There have been some games, Colorado is one (a 3-1 win on Dec. 27) where I thought he played exceptionally well. I’m hoping now is that time when he can get on a roll and solidify things for us in net.”
The 28-year-old netminder will be an unrestricted free-agent this summer and the team must decide over the next three and a half months whether Raanta is their goalie of the future and if he is worth locking up to a long-term deal.
- Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register writes that Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry is set to return to the Ducks lineup tonight after missing 11 straight games with a knee injury. This will be the first time this year that Perry will get an opportunity to play with Ryan Kesler and Ryan Getzlaf. Kesler came back on Dec. 11, the same day that Perry went down, while Getzlaf hadn’t returned at that point. The three made one of the top lines in hockey in recent years. In 31 games before the injury, Perry has six goals and 16 assists.
- While there is no timetable for his return, Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider writes that Los Angeles Kings veteran center Jeff Carter has been much more visible in the last week. He’s shed the Roll-A-Bout and crutches and is walking around without a boot. He has suffered no setbacks so far since he was injured on Oct. 18 and required ankle surgery. “Progression-wise and everything he’s doing right now shows he will be back this season,” Blake said.
- Paul Gackle of The Mercury News writes that center Logan Couture has finally found his pre-concussion form after Friday’s three assist night against Ottawa. Couture, who had been leading the team in scoring before going down with a head injury on Dec. 15. The scribe writes that Couture, who has struggled in his first three games back after missing four games, looked like the old Couture Friday. “He’s coming off an injury where you never know how long it takes to feel good again,” head coach Peter DeBoer said. “He was obviously good again tonight.”
- One fact about the six-year, $30MM contract that Vegas Golden Knights winger Jon Marchessault signed earlier this week is that it has a modified no-trade clause in it, tweets SinBin. Details on the specifics of the NTC, however, is unknown, according to CapFriendly.