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Raanta excited for fresh start with Rangers

by Kristen Nelson

Antti Raanta has had a busy summer, but the New York Rangers goalie is excited for his opportunity with his new team.

Raanta won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks then was traded to the Rangers 12 days later. He also got married earlier this month.

"It was a pretty amazing stretch, so many great things going on, but now life is back to normal," Raanta told on Thursday. "To get that phone call, to get traded in the middle of all that, it's just all pretty amazing. I think the honeymoon was the first time I had the chance to relax and realize what has happened the last few weeks. Now it's time to focus on hockey, and I am so excited to be a part of the New York Rangers organization."

Raanta, 26, was 7-4-1 with a 1.89 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage last season but did not play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after rookie Scott Darling emerged as the No. 2 goalie behind Corey Crawford.

Raanta is 20-9-5 with a 2.41 GAA and a .912 save percentage in two NHL seasons.

"Sometimes I think it's just good to have a fresh start in a new city and with a new team," Raanta said. "I can't imagine what would be a better place to come than New York. So me and my wife are so excited about the opportunity that is there. I can't wait to get down there and start playing hockey."

Raanta will attend training camp in a familiar position, competing for the backup job with Magnus Hellberg, who was acquired in a trade with the Nashville Predators on July 1.

The challenge excites Raanta, who said he looks forward to learning as much as he can from Rangers starter Henrik Lundqvist.

"I have always watched him, and everyone in the NHL knows that he's one of the best goalies in the world," Raanta said. "I have heard a lot of great things about him, so to see what he does differently and to learn what he's doing better than me and how he prepares every day, I think that's a really nice situation for me to have that kind of goalie in front of me. My job is to push him to his limits, too, of course, but it will be great to learn from Henrik, learn how to be the best player on the ice always."

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