Is Keeping Antti Niemi the Right Decision for the Chicago Blackhawks?

August 1st, 2010 by Michael Wagner Leave a reply »

Speculation surrounding whether the Chicago Blackhawks will accept the arbitration award given to Stanley Cup winning goaltender Antti Niemi has run rampant since Saturday afternoon.

We have heard many scenarios from the 'Hawks signing Niemi and then trading him to the 'Hawks signing him and then trading another roster player.

In my mind, I think the Blackhawks will accept the arbitration award for Niemi. However, then the real question begins, who do the 'Hawks keep?

If the Blackhawks do decide to keep Niemi, they will have to trade another roster player, likely versatile forward Tomas Kopecky.

Kopecky has a rather sizable cap hit ($1.2 million) for a player who spent most of his season on the fourth line but found his place on the 'Hawks in the playoffs being a solid contributor on a line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.

If Kopecky is slotted to play on that same line as Toews and Hossa, his salary would actually be a bargain for a top six forward.

The real problem I have with the 'Hawks keeping Niemi this season is that he will likely be gone after the 2010-2011 season, seeking big money ou ...

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