Former Blackhawks’ goalie Kevin Lankinen is now a division rivalVincent Pariseon July 15, 2022 at 7:29 pm

The Chicago Blackhawks have a weird goaltending situation going on right now. For a long time, it was Corey Crawford who was amazing. After that, outside of a short stint with Marc-Andre Fleury, it has been mostly young kids trying to earn a full-time spot in the National Hockey League.

One of the goalies that have been a part of that for a few years now has been Kevin Lankinen. The Finnish goalie has had some ups and downs with the Hawks over his time. He is certainly, at minimum, a decent backup in the NHL. Now, he will get that chance somewhere else.

The Nashville Predators and Lankinen have signed a contract worth 1.5 million dollars over one year. This is a great deal for Lankinen as he is getting paid fairly to compete for a roster spot with a team that is always pumping out amazing starting goaltending.

Lankinen is also hoping to be one of the memorable Finnish goalies to play for the Nashville Predators organization. Pekka Rinne is the future Hall of Fame goalie that was their mainstay for years.

Following Rinne, Juuse Saros has come in and become an elite goalie as well. Rinne has won the Vezina Trophy which goes to the best goalie in the NHL and Saros is hoping to do the same. In 2020-21 he came in 6th for it and he came in third in 2021-22.

The #Preds have signed goaltender Kevin Lankinen to a one-year, $1.5 million contract.

— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) July 14, 2022

Going from the Blackhawks to the Predators should be good for Kevin Lankinen.

Lankinen is certainly surrounded by great Finnish goaltending history. Based on how hard he worked with the Hawks, it is fair to hope that he is able to find some success with the Nashville Predators.

They play a significantly stronger game in front of their goalies as well which will make his life way easier than it was in Chicago. Having a team that plays like that should help him find his game and his long-term confidence. He has shown signs of being great and Nashville could help him get there.

Now both Lankinen and Collin Delia are gone. Their tenure in Chicago was fun but they clearly need to rebuild this thing from scratch. It is going to be a painful time but it should be worth it in the end if they do it right.

Arvid Soderblom and Drew Commesso are not ready to be full-time NHL goalies so the Hawks need to make sure that Petr Mrazek (acquired via trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs) and Alex Stalock (acquired in free agency) are healthy and ready to go.

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