Antti up: How the Chicago Blackhawks Keep Niemi Next Year

July 28th, 2010 by TAB BAMFORD Leave a reply »

Thanks to a flurry of fantastic under the radar moves over the past couple weeks, the Blackhawks might now be able to afford having Antti Niemi back on their roster for the 2010-11 season.

Because of a handful of two-way contracts added by GM Stan Bowman, it is now possible that the Blackhawks could begin the season with a 20-man roster and offer Niemi roughly $3.5M, which is closer to the range Niemi and his agent are likely looking at for at least a one-year deal to keep the Stanley Cup winning netminder in the Indianhead sweater.

Is a 20-man roster a good idea? Not always.

Is it possible? Absolutely.

And because of these contracts with limited exposure, the Hawks could realistically bring the minimum number of players north and make it work.

Here’s how.

First off, there will be casualties. The biggest name to be left in Rockford would be Corey Crawford, the one-time top prospect who would be this year’s salary cap-caused demotion. Because his cap number is $250k more than Hannu Toivonen, Crawford might have to take another year with the IceHogs because of his salary.

The ...

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