ANTTI NIEMI AND BLACKHAWKS MAY PART WAYS AFTER ARBITRATION AWARD
First their hair, then a finger or two, a couple of toes, now their glove and stick? The Blackhawks are the walking wounded and they may be falling apart faster than a leper on a hot day. Someone hand Bowman a clapper and bell to warn others. I hope this isn’t contagious.
Antti Niemi received a $2.75 million dollar award. You may be thinking what I have been. That seems fair for a Stanley Cup winning goaltender who recorded a 26-7-4 record with a .912 SV% and a 2.25 GAA. Add 7 shutouts to his season and the young prime age of 27 by the end of this month.
Niemi’s camp wanted between $3 to $4 million and the Hawks wanted less. Chicago should consider itself lucky. Yet, rumors are abound that the Blackhawks cannot afford to pay him the award amount (that salary will put them $3 million over the cap) and will either have to sign and trade him or let him go…this of course begs the question, if they can’t afford $2.7 for their #1 goalie, then can they afford any such goalie? What do they believe Turco will sign for? 2? Do they really want Turco, a goaltender a falling team like Dallas tossed away? I am not sure I buy it. Looking at their cap, it’s not a matter of whether they can afford him but whether they can afford not to keep him? What do you think? The Flyers need a goaltender…oh, the irony.