Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta designated ‘unfit to play’
Aug 4, 2020, 1:30 PM | Updated: 3:59 pm
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Arizona Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper started Tuesday in Game 2 against the Nashville Predators, but his teammate Antti Raanta wasn’t on the bench in the second period.
Instead, it was Adin Hill, the third goalie on the Coyotes’ depth chart.
According to the Fox Sports Arizona broadcast, Raanta had been on the bench earlier but was replaced on the bench by Hill. The Coyotes announced shortly thereafter that Raanta was unfit to play.
Head coach Rick Tocchet said after the game that “something happened in warmups” but continued to use the vague “unfit to play” term. Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro said Raanta will not be available in Game 3.
The head shot on Raanta during warmups. pic.twitter.com/1VCIKvU4LZ
— The Goalie Guild (@TheGoalieGuild) August 4, 2020
The “unfit to play” designation is being used in the Edmonton and Toronto bubbles and is standard for injuries and illnesses of various kinds since the season restarted. Thus, it can’t be deduced based on that language what exactly the problem is with Raanta.
Still, it doesn’t sound good for a goaltender who has continuously dealt with injuries since joining the Coyotes. He’s played only 90 games in three seasons with Arizona, despite the Coyotes acquiring him with the intention of making him the starter before the emergence of Kuemper came about.
Also, the Coyotes have the second half of a back-to-back on Wednesday, playing Game 3 against Nashville. They’ll have to choose between starting Kuemper on back-to-back days or going with Hill, who has only 30 NHL games of experience spread out over three seasons. He has been the Coyotes’ next man up when starters have gotten hurt.