July 29 Is a Big Day for the Chicago Blackhawks

July 27th, 2010 by Imtiaz Ferdous Leave a reply »
Although Blake Wheeler's arbitration hearing today will set the standard for arbitration in the NHL, most NHL GMs probably have July 29 circled on their calenders. This is because that is the day of Antti Niemi's arbitration hearing.

During the regular season Niemi played 39 games with a save percentage of .912 and a GAA of 2.25 with seven shutouts. He had a record of 26-7-4. Pretty good, but not brilliant as he played in less than half of Chicago's regular season games, though the record was phenomenal.

The story gets really good in the playoffs. In the 22 games he played he had a 16-6 record with a save percentage of .91 and a GAA of 2.63 with two shutouts. Although these numbers seem pedestrian, remember the 22 games were played much closer together than his regular season games. Furthermore, the teams in the playoffs are inherently better, in fact, he disposed of the Red Wings and the Sharks, two of the best teams in the West. As such, these statistics are phenomenal.

However, this is only the first year that Niemi has played in the NHL. As such, he could be following the footsteps of Andrew Raycroft (yes I'm still bitter about that) and be a ...

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