Former Chicago Blackhawks backup goaltender and tweeter of dog photos Antti Raanta was reported yesterday as being a very grumpy passenger during the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs:
Says Raanta: "With fingers crossed I hoped NSH would beat us (CHI) in four so I could get back to Finland sooner. I was so pissed."— Vesa Rantanen (@vrantanen) September 2, 2015
Raanta had wanted to play AHL playoffs insead being black ace with big club. Yet he was really happy to hoist the Cup in Finland later..— Vesa Rantanen (@vrantanen) September 2, 2015
According to Puck Daddy, his disgruntlement also included this gem of a quote: "I noticed that coach didn't like me, in that position it is pretty difficult to fight the windmills". If Antti Raanta did in fact make a Don Quixote windmill reference, I think he should be absolved of any and all transgressions.
Now of course that wasn't going to be the final word on the story, and Antti Raanta issued a denial within hours, telling the Chicago Sun-Times, "I have never said anything like that". I'm sure it's just a matter of something being lost in translation, sort of like when fellow Finn Teemu Selanne said in his tell-all that he would still be playing if it weren't for coach Bruce Boudreau.
And now the news.
Continuing on yesterday's FlightZone headline story, the Chicago Blackhawks have reportedly not approached Patrick Kane about waiving his no-move clause. Which again isn't all that surprising, since it's quite possible if not probable that teams are phoning about Kane's availability after the legal process is completed. (ESPN)
Tyler Seguin took to the football field sans knee brace as part of his agility training. Think the Blue Bombers could use him? I'm asking for a friend. (NHL)
Dallas Stars defenceman John Klingberg didn't expect to be offered a long-term contract after his rookie season. Now signed to a cap hit of $4.25 million up to and including the 2021-22 season, his GM Jim Nill is a very smart man. (The Score)
Nashville Predators President, Chief Operating Officer & Alternate Governor Sean Henry says that "there's probably not another team that's set up for the next five to eight years to be as consistent as we're going to be". He does know that his team's top-two centres are both born in 1980, right? (NHL)
Speaking of Nashville, later this month and in October, the organization will be presenting beginner programs "where boys and girls 5-8 years old with no prior hockey or skating experience can get a proper introduction to the sport". These sessions, offered in three and four week programs, will be free and sound like a wonderful bit of outreach. (The Tennessean)
When it comes to the team's roster uncertainty, our St. Louis friends have an excellent point: don't forget Troy Brouwer. He's versatile and does have experience playing in a top-six role. (St. Louis Game Time)
In case you missed it, the Winnipeg Jets are bringing Thomas Raffl to training camp on a PTO. The fact that I failed to include some sort of "Winnipeg Jets Buy a Raffl Ticket" pun yesterday upsets me. (ProHockeyTalk)
And All The Rest
It's never too early to start thinking about the trade deadline (okay, maybe it is), and this season it will reportedly fall on February 29th:
Trade deadline will be on February 29 2016 at 3PM this season. #nhl #tvasports— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) September 2, 2015
Detroit forward Johan Franzen says that he's both suffering weekly setbacks as he returns from a concussion, and that he's still determined to play in 2015-16. (The Score)
Anders Nilsson is gunning for the Edmonton Oilers' starting gig. Considering they may really want to take a step forward and win games this year, it's probably there to be had. Despite the assets spent on acquiring him, Cam Talbot hasn't been coronated just yet. (Edmonton Journal)
Bryce Salvador, veteran of 786 NHL regular season games and an additional 74 in the playoffs, officially announced his retirement via an article in The Players' Tribune. As like many of the website's articles, it's lengthy, visceral and incredibly intimate. My favourite highlight: "After I was drafted, an NHL scout told me, 'Salvador, you're never going to make it. Too slow, too soft. You'll never play a game in the NHL.'" (TPT)
Salvador's body both now and in the future played a key role in his decision to retire. (Fire and Ice)
Bryce Salvador said that though he feels good physically now, he didn't know if he'd get through a full season without getting hurt again.— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) September 2, 2015
In what's a very understandable position to take, the Ottawa Senators' braintrust is reluctant to give up on 24-year old defenceman Jared Cowen. He could probably be had at the right price, but if other teams don't sufficiently meet your terms, why not keep seeing if Cowen can bounce back and make good on some of that upside. (Ottawa Sun)
According to Rick Westhead, the Pittsburgh Penguins' owners have set their asking price for the team at $750 million. Somewhat understandably, there's a bit of skepticism about that being a reasonable number. (TSN)
As part of their 25th anniversary season, the San Jose Sharks will be honouring the memory of original owner George Gund III, with a banner raising before their season home opener October 10th. (Mercury News)
Going to the Stanley Cup Finals seems to have done good things for Tampa Bay Lightning season ticket sales. It's weird how on-ice success can breed increased popularity. Remind me what the Florida Panthers attendance numbers are like, again? (Tampa Bay Times)
And finally, Jake Gardiner and Nazem Kadri of the Toronto Maple Leafs appear to have had a very productive time at the CNE:
Maple Leafs' Gardiner & Kadri win stuffed animals at Canadian National Exhibition! http://t.co/sTp7cfG1aC pic.twitter.com/2OdtmGYkUg— theScore (@theScore) September 2, 2015
Blight On The Land
Man, the kids are going to have some tough "competition" to "earn" spots over Fraser, Raffl & Halishchuk. Pretty clear why Stemp is gone.— Ryan Blight (@arby_18) September 1, 2015
Thanks for reading!