Chicago Blackhawks Say “Thanks, No Thanks” To Antti Niemi

August 3rd, 2010 by Ragnar Haagen Leave a reply »

The Chicago Blackhawks have continued to gut the roster that brought the team their first Stanley cup in almost 50 years when the Hawks refused to pick up the $2.75 million contract awarded to Antti Niemi in arbitration.

Instead, the team has signed veteran goaltender Marty Turco to a one-year, $1.3 million contract.

That means Niemi, who started last season as a backup to Christobal Huet, and ended up leading his team to their first Stanley Cup since 1961 will become an unrestricted free agent.

The 26-year-old Finnish goalie took over the starting job midseason and compiled a 26-7-4 record including seven shutouts in 39 regular season games, and then went 16-6 in the playoffs with a 2.63 GAA and a .910 save percentage.

Evidently this was not enough for the Blackhawks and they chose to let him go in favour of keeping Huet and signing Turco.

In Marty Turco, the Hawks get an over-the-hill goaltender who turns 35 in a few weeks.

His win totals have steadily declined since the ‘05-06 season and his luck hasn’t been much better as his overtime losses have increased every year since the rule ...

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