The Carolina Hurricanes have found both of their goalies early on in the free agency period, as the Canes have signed Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta to play in net.
Both goalies have signed a two-year deal with Carolina, with Andersen’s valued at $4.5 million AAV and Raanta’s coming in at $2 million AAV. Andersen’s deal was first reported by Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, while Raanta’s deal was first reported by Kevin Weekes of ESPN and the NHL Network.
Andersen will now play for the team that originally drafted him in the seventh round back in 2010. Andersen didn’t sign with the Canes then, instead starting his NHL career with the Anaheim Ducks after being selected by them in the third round in 2012. He played three seasons with the Ducks before spending the last five with Toronto.
The Canes are taking a pretty big risk with Andersen, who has had a significant downturn in production over the past two seasons. Andersen started more than 60 games and won more than 30 in each of his first three seasons with the Maple Leafs, posting no worse than a 2.81 GAA or .917 save percentage in any of those years.
But the last two years have been far less kind to Andersen, who has seen his numbers across the board go way down. In 2019-20, Andersen went 29-13-7 with a 2.85 GAA and .909 save percentage, both of which were career lows. In 2021 Andersen struggled even more, mustering an abysmal 2.96 GAA and .895 save percentage.
His particularly bad 2021, where he fairly evenly split Toronto’s starts with Jack Campbell in the regular season, featured some of the worst numbers in the entire NHL. His goals saved above average of -9.21 was 84th of 92 goalies who played in a game, and his goals saved above expected (calculated xGA-GA) of -11.19 was 82nd. In 2019-20 he was at -1.75 GSAA and -10.27 GSAx.
There’s certainly an upside to Andersen though, who was a very good goalie for the Ducks and during his first few years in Toronto. Just a few years ago in 2018-19, Andersen’s 12.59 GSAA and 8.42 GSAx were both top 15 in the NHL.
He was good for the Maple Leafs in the 2020 playoffs despite a first-round loss, starting all five games for the team and posting a GAA of just 1.84 and save percentage of .936. In 2021, he didn’t appear in a single playoff game as the Maple Leafs went with Campbell.
Andersen presents a high risk for the Canes, but there’s also reason to believe there can be high reward if a change of scenery and teammates can help him recapture some of what he was able to do in years past.
Raanta will join Andersen in the Canes’ tandem. The 32-year old Raanta has spent the last four seasons in Arizona after spending two years each with the Rangers and Blackhawks.
Raanta battled injuries in 2021, playing in just 12 games while posting a .905 save percentage and 3.36 GAA. In his three full years with the Coyotes combined, Raanta went 41-37-9 with a .924 save percentage and 2.47 GAA.
Raanta had a spectacular 2017-18 season which featured a GSAA of 24.51 and a GSAx of 25.14, which were both top three in the entire NHL. He was quite good again in 2019-20, posting a GSAA of 11.39 and GSAx of 5.64.
With Raanta, the Canes are getting an experienced netminder who has had some pretty great seasons. The risk comes with Raanta’s injuries, one of which kept him out of the last month of the 2021 season.
Expect Andersen and Raanta, assuming health, to play in a pretty balanced tandem for the Hurricanes.
Update: The Hurricanes have confirmed the Raanta signing. Here’s their release:
‘CANES AGREE TO TERMS WITH RAANTA
Goaltender has played 198 career NHL games
RALEIGH, N.C. – Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with goaltender Antti Raanta on a two-year contract. The deal will pay Raanta an average-annual value (AAV) of $2 million per season through 2022-23.
“Antti is an established goaltender who has put up strong numbers in his career,” said Waddell. “We’re excited to add a veteran presence to our group.”
Raanta, 32, earned a 5-5-2 record, 3.36 goals-against average and .905 save percentage in 12 appearances for the Arizona Coyotes last season. In four seasons with Arizona from 2017-21, he posted a 46-42-11 record, 2.57 goals-against average, .921 save percentage and five shutouts. Raanta owns a career record of 93-65-20 with a 2.46 goals-against average, .919 save percentage and 13 shutouts in 198 career NHL games with the Coyotes, New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks. The 6’0”, 198-pound netminder ranks sixth in save percentage and ninth in goals-against average among active NHL goalies with at least 150 career starts. Raanta is a former teammate of Teuvo Teravainen (Chicago, 2013-15), Jesper Fast and Brady Skjei (New York, 2015-17) and Jordan Martinook (Arizona, 2017-18). The Rauma, Finland, native represented his home country at the 2013 IIHF World Championship, registering a 4-3-0 record, 2.09 goals-against average and .928 save percentage in seven games at the tournament.
Update: The Hurricanes have also confirmed the Frederik Andersen signing. Here’s the release:
‘CANES AGREE TO TERMS WITH ANDERSEN
Goaltender has earned 226 NHL wins
RALEIGH, N.C. – Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with goaltender Frederik Andersen on a two-year contract. The deal will pay Andersen an average-annual value (AAV) of $4.5 million per season through 2022-23.
“Frederik has been a starting goalie in this league and has an established track record,” said Waddell. “We believe that his experience will help us achieve further success.”
Andersen, 31, has registered a 226-100-48 record in 393 career NHL games with Anaheim and Toronto. While with the Maple Leafs in 2019-20, Andersen was chosen to represent the Atlantic Division at the 2020 NHL All-Star Game. The 6’4”, 229-pound netminder also won the William Jennings Trophy alongside John Gibson in 2015-16, earning a 22-9-7 record, 2.30 goals-against average, .919 save percentage and three shutouts in 43 games. Originally drafted by Carolina in the seventh round, 187th overall, of the 2010 NHL Draft, Andersen did not sign with the Hurricanes and was later selected by Anaheim in the third round, 87th overall, of the 2012 NHL Draft.
The Herning, Denmark, native has represented his home country at numerous international tournaments, including the IIHF World Championships in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2018. He was named the Best Goaltender at the 2018 IIHF World Championship after posting a 4-2-0 record, 1.65 goals-against average, .943 save percentage and one shutout in six games.