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Morning Line

“If you don’t have a good case, you don’t go (to arbitration).”

-Bill Zito, agent for Antti Niemi.  More on this topic from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: antti+niemi

Comments

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Running comparables for decent goalies that have been signed in the FA market thus far:

Jaroslav Halak - 3.75m
Chris Mason - 1.85m
Dan Ellis - 1.5m
Mike Leighton - 1.55m

There is no reason Niemi should be rewarded anything less than 3m annually.  He started every game for the Hawks in the playoffs and delivered a cup.  I don’t care about the team in front of him and how well the defense played, he is clearly a premier goaltender in the NHL.

Halak’s contract has set the bar here as far as I’m concerned.  If the arbitration process rewards him something less than 3m, I would have no problem concluding that there is something crooked going on with this contract.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 07/28/10 at 02:09 PM ET

Avatar

I don’t care about the team in front of him and how well the defense played, he is clearly a premier goaltender in the NHL.

Clearly?  Right.

He played half the team’s regular season games and played well in the playoffs.  He didn’t steal games, he wasn’t spectacular.  You can’t just brush off the team in front of him and pretend he did it all by himself.

He’ll get a good ruling, worth more than he’s proved he’s worth and it will screw Chicago just a little bit more.

And that makes me happy.

Posted by Garth on 07/28/10 at 05:07 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Posted by Garth on 07/28/10 at 03:07 PM ET

Agreed, I’m going a bit overboard with my “clearly” statement (and I freely admit it was interjected for dramatic purposes)...  I should stick simply to the Halak formula here.  Essentially, this is a similar situation to Halak; regular season second fiddle to part time starter.  Plays every playoff game and tears it up.  Gets 3.75m in the offseason.

There’s no reason why Niemi shouldn’t get much (if any) less than Halak. 

He had better get a good ruling… I’m having doubts this afternoon considering the team that he is dealing with is going to be allowed to “tuck away” a goaltender who has a 5.65m contract.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 07/28/10 at 05:47 PM ET

Avatar

There’s no reason why Niemi shouldn’t get much (if any) less than Halak.

He should absolutely get a favourable ruling but I’m not sure he should get as much as Halak.  The Hawks could point out that Halak was the main reason Montreal went as far as they did whereas Niemi had a much better team around him.

Of course, if Niemi’s agent is any good, it shouldn’t be hard to get a pretty damn good award for Niemi.  It might hurt a slight bit that the other Stanley Cup Finals goalie took $1.5M, but that shouldn’t be too damning for Niemi.

Either way it will be fun to see how Chicago handles this…

Posted by Garth on 07/28/10 at 06:23 PM 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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