Maybe the only surprising part of Saturday night’s goalie news was the timing.
Late Saturday night – the news release hit email inboxes after 11 p.m. – the Blackhawks announced they recalled Scott Darling from Rockford while sending Antti Raanta to the IceHogs. Darling, 25, was 5-2 with the IceHogs with a 1.83 goals-against average and .935 save percentage.
Darling was also strong during his first NHL stint earlier this season, going 2-1 in three appearances while Corey Crawford was out with an upper-body injury.
Those numbers, however, might be just a part of why the Hawks did what they did.
Raanta (1-2-0, .933 save percentage, 2.03 GAA) has been good for the Hawks but hasn’t played since Oct. 25 against the St. Louis Blues. With Corey Crawford off to such a strong start, chances were looking rarer and rarer for Raanta and now he’ll get an opportunity to play, with one chance likely coming Sunday when Rockford hosts Texas to end a three-game weekend.
The salary cap could also be a factor. According to CapGeek, Raanta’s cap hit is $180,000 more than Darling’s.
Earlier Saturday, the Hawks recalled Joakim Nordstrom while assigning Peter Regin to Rockford. Combined, the Hawks saved approximately $213,333 in cap space with their two moves.