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Antti Raanta, Rangers agree on new contract

New York Rangers goalie Antti Raanta takes

New York Rangers goalie Antti Raanta takes a drink during a timeout in the second period of a first-round playoff game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Credit: AP / Gene J. Puskar

In their first signing of the offseason, the Rangers and goaltender Antti Raanta agreed to a two-year contract worth $1 million per year.

The Finnish backup for Henrik Lundqvist, who was 11-6-2 with a 2.24 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage, started strong with three wins, then stumbled during what he admitted was a crisis of confidence in midseason, but rebounded well, winning seven of his last eight starts. He allowed two goals or fewer in 13 of 18 starts.

Raanta, 26, signed a one-year deal for $800,000 after coming to the Rangers from Chicago in a trade for forward Ryan Haggerty at last June’s draft. The Rangers had just traded backup Cam Talbot to Edmonton. On breakup day last Tuesday, Raanta said he enjoyed the experience in New York and hoped to work out a deal to return.

The Rangers have several goaltending prospects in the pipeline, including Magnus Hellberg and Brandon Halverson, who will now have the opportunity to gain more experience in the minors.

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