The Arizona Coyotes had a decision to make soon on whether Adin Hill had earned an NHL role going forward, but won’t have to make it for another few weeks. The team announced today that Antti Raanta is now considered week-to-week and has been moved to injured reserve. Craig Morgan of The Athletic spoke with Coyotes GM John Chayka, who claimed it wasn’t actually a setback for Raanta.
While injuries to Raanta seem to have become commonplace for the Coyotes, this time they may be better prepared than ever to keep things running smoothly in net. Hill has been outstanding since his recall, recording a shutout and posting a .957 save percentage in six appearances. The 22-year old goaltender will likely remain the starter, while waiver claim Calvin Pickard can help provide some NHL experience.
Darcy Kuemper, who is also dealing with injury, is expected to be back before long, meaning they’ll still have to make a decision on who to keep. Hill is obviously playing well enough to remain in the NHL, but is also still waiver exempt. Pickard, obviously, is not and would need to clear in order to be assigned to the minor leagues. Risking him might not be the absolute worst move though, given that the Coyotes are currently at the 50-contract limit and have been for much of the season. Still, having depth at such a crucial position is key for Arizona as they try to push towards the playoffs in the Pacific Division. Raanta is obviously their starter if healthy, but he hasn’t been much of that for any length of time.