San Jose Sharks Signing: Is Niemi the Antti-Dote for the Sharks?

September 1st, 2010 by Patrick Goulding II Leave a reply »
The San Jose Sharks made a curious move on Wednesday, as multiple sources confirm that the Sharks are close to signing former Chicago Blackhawk goaltender and Stanley Cup Champion Antti Niemi to a one-year, $2 million contract.

After Niemi was awarded $2.75 million in arbitration, the Blackhawks released him and signed former Dallas Star Marty Turco for $1.3 million. It's interesting that San Jose showed interest in signing Niemi because they had already committed $2 million dollars  to Antero Niittymaki on the first day of free agency.

There are many misperceptions about Niemi, with the biggest being that he is a “proven” winner. He may have a ring on his finger, but he is still far from proven. He started last year as a clear back-up (and a rookie at that) to Cristobal Huet, a multi-million dollar starter who was thought to be THE guy in goal in Chicago. Huet’s continued struggles were the only reason Niemi saw significant playing time as the season progressed.

He may have played admirably in the playoffs and helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup, but he was not a Vezina, Conn Smythe, or even Calder Trophy winner. He ...

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