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Can The Blackhawks Afford To Pay Niemi?

from Michael Traikos ot the National Post,

Niemi earned US$827,000 this season. But after taking over the starting job from Cristobal Huet—Niemi went 26-7-4 with a 2.25 goals-against average in the regular season—the 26-year-old is looking to be paid like a No. 1 netminder after just one year in the league.

The question is: Even if Chicago agrees he is worth the money, can the team afford him?

The NHL’s salary cap is expected to be US$58.8-million next season. And the Blackhawks, who have 14 players signed through 2010-11, have already used up about US$58-million.

That does not include performance bonuses—such as the US$1.3-million bonus that captain Jonathan Toews earned for winning the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Already there has been talk of burying Huet (US$5.625-million) in the minors. And there are rumours that any or all of Patrick Sharp (US$3.9-million), Kris Versteeg (US$3.083-million) and Brent Sopel (US$2.3-million) could be traded. But expecting Niemi to bite the bullet and accept a discount, says Zito, is not an option.

“He’s going to get his money,” Zito said. “But the term is going to have something to do with it too.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: antti+niemi

Comments

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Any time you can lock up a guy long term at significant dollars who ‘only’ gave up 22 goals in 6 Cup Fiinals games… well, you just have to do it.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/12/10 at 03:52 PM ET

eternal_fields's avatar

16-6 on the way to the Cup.

From driving a Zamboni to being lauded in a Stanley Cup Championsip tickertape parade.

Huge saves that contributed to the Cup win.

This Summer, somewhere in Finland, Niemi will have his day with the Cup and you will still be the author of the previous (rather unfortunate) post.

Posted by eternal_fields on 06/13/10 at 01:09 AM ET

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I hope they pay Niemi as much as you think he’s worth. wink

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/14/10 at 12:28 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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